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Inspired by photographer Luis Alvarez, Donna Hamilton’s latest collection was an absolute labor of love – and he dedication shines through in the finished pieces. Taking 3 years to complete, Donna and her team shot 60 images of 3 ballerinas from the Joffrey Ballet. Each pose was shot at 1/60 of a second so the 60 images combined were captured in 1- second. For the collection, Donna created 4 hair art pieces while the other hair art pieces were made by many of the aquage team members. Keep reading to hear all about the process and how she created this stunning looks!

The Inspiration: 

We were able to use our own creativity on what we wanted to make for a piece and Luis along with the inspirations from the ballerina on which pose would coincide with the hair art piece. As complicated as these pieces seem, it was much more time consuming than it was difficult. They were all constructed out of real hair using hair wefts and then formed into shape with the use of aquage Finishing Spray and aquage Working Spray. Those 2 products are miracle workers for creating projects such as this.

First, all the wefts were sprayed on the dry hair with aquage Working Spray and then pressed with a flat iron to create a hard ribbon of hair. These ribboned hairpieces range from 3-10 inches in width and 12 inches in length. For all the pieces the wefts were then cut into the desired shapes. The swan weft pieces were formed together using hair glue to give it the shape of the swans. The blonde ribboned faux hawk piece was molded over Styrofoam balls. The moon and star piece are ribboned hair cut into their shapes and then glued to wire to give it the free-floating appearance. 

When all the shapes and forms were completed, the pieces were then sprayed with aquage Finishing Spray and freezing spray every morning and evening for about 2 weeks to create the shine on the pieces and to ensure the “firmness “ of each piece to be able to mount to the ballerina. 

We shot one ballerina at a time and would shoot 2-3 hair art pieces a day. Shoot day was so inspiring – to see what the ballerinas can do creativity with their bodies to create 60 different poses was amazing. Luis has an exceptional eye for hair and photography so his vision on this project ensured each and every pose and hair art were married together. This was by far one of the most amazing projects I have got to work on in my career and “En Pointe“ is a book to be very proud of.