Each year, Bangstyle is thrilled to feature the finalists in each NAHA category. Keep reading to learn more about the artists whose work was selected in the Editorial/Session Stylist of the Year category for 2020!
Director and Creative Direction: Mike Ruiz @mikeruizone
Director of Photography: David Berman @bermanat0r
Makeup: Marc Cornwall
Editor/Post-Production: Reality Engine
Music: “go outside more” & “room 808” ADULT BODIES: @adultbodies
Model: Mackenzie Grayce @mackenzie_grayce at Wilhelmina NY
Ruth Roche's Editorial collection exudes sophistication and grace with an edge that sets it apart from within the category. The sculptural aspect mixed with sheen shows off its strength from the inside out. Learn more as Ruth speaks to her experience creating this collection as well as entering NAHA!
What was the inspiration behind each collection?
Mike Ruiz and I wanted to do something very sculptural, focusing on very strong shapes. Smooth, sleek and shiny. Each shape had to stand on its own, but also work as a collection.
Tell us more about you as an artist and how your work has changed over the years and through this competition.
I look at entering NAHA as a creative kick in the butt. It pushes me to create something that may never happen otherwise. It's a deadline. You HAVE to get your '*#$& together. We are all so busy it easy to keep saying "I'll enter next year" and next year never comes. SO I have learned that even if I don't think I have an idea, to put a shoot date on the calendar. Knowing that I have committed to a date starts the ideas moving. Sometimes I panic if I don't come up with something right away, but it always works out. And I only work with people who I connect with. You have to really work as a team.
There are many years I did not enter at all, years where I entered but did not become a finalist, years where I became a finalist but did not win, and some that I did win! Although the hope is to win, that's not always the reality. What you DO get is a collection, that YOU created, that you will have forever. Much of the work in my portfolio are collections, winning and not, from NAHA entries. The collective body of work is great to see your own growth, and how you continue to evolve.
What did you learn about yourself through creating these collections?
I am so grateful to have had Trevor Sorbie and Vivienne Mackinder fas my mentors. They shared their magic hands and taught me how to dress hair. I also learned that there are failures in the creative process, but you keep trying. And many times something better happens than what you planned.
What was your biggest challenge/greatest accomplishment?
The biggest challenge was figuring out how to create the volume of the shapes in the Editorial collection. And that will remain a mystery lol! You have to have a bit of a mad scientist or engineer in you sometimes! Some nails, some glue ...
Were there any products/tools that were key to getting the looks?
An electric carving knife, Redken Guts10, Mason Pearson Brush!
What other forms of art inspire you?
I am a painter. I do large canvases, usually flowers, sometimes fruit, a few vegetables and one goat!
How does it feel to be nominated in 2 categories!?
Amazing. An honor.
Photographer: Patrick Sporleader
Captivating us with the beauty of her images, Jamie Wiley's 2020 NAHA collection - Spatial Beauty - truly makes us all take pause. She goes outside the box of both texture and architecture to bring us images that make you just want to reach out and touch them! There is an unreal quality to them that captivates the audience, making it hard for us to look away. Keep reading to see her collection in its entirety and learn more about her process as an artist.
What have been your goals for this year’s NAHA competition?
My goal this year was to step out of my comfort zone and really push the limits of beauty within a shape. To create a strong well-crafted collection that stops you in your tracks, makes you stare, and makes you feel heart feel something.
How has your artistry changed over the years?
I’ve evolved significantly just by submitting for NAHA for the past five years. There is nothing like research, development, and trial and error through a collection. You learn so much about your own skill set, what you are actually capable of, and the dedication to sharpen a skill to get to the end result for your look. My artistic eye has changed considerably and my focus is to be a well-rounded hairdresser with an aesthetic for styling, finishing and braiding.
What is the inspiration behind the collection?
The inspiration came from the ‘space between life and death’ – her ghostly beauty is trapped in purgatory. Working with geometric shapes, the hair transcended this collection through the space between life and death. Her ghostly glow creates a barrier for her to travel through time but also space as well. Each shape is manipulated with a different texture technique. Ultimately, my goal was to make each image one you can’t pull your eyes away from.
Did you have a favorite shoot or collection?
It is hard to choose between your work; it’s almost like choosing between which child you love more. I am in love with the entire process though; from conception to developing, creating, to preparing, to logistics, to shoot day and of course the best part the hair and seeing it on screen.
What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was actually the first shot of the day, creating the Oblong shape. Placing the pieces perfectly and getting that first shot took almost four hours and since I was using the same model the pressure was extremely high.
How much prep time went into each piece?
The collection itself starts developing about 6-7 months out of the shoot. Each piece takes roughly 15 hours of prep time alone, totaling a prep time 75 hours together. Some of the pieces needed more practice than prep. Making sure I practiced the technique repeatedly. So, when the day of the shoot came it was like tying my shoe, it comes as second nature.
Photographer: Keith Bryce
The feeling that exudes from Lisa Von Kurvink's work is unmistakable. Self-admittedly, Lisa sees her work as having a dark or moody edge. We see that and so much more emotion behind each image. It's directed and pointed and leaves us enamored in the spell she's cast over us as an audience. To learn more about the collection and the inspiration behind it, keep scrolling!
The inspiration behind my collection was Medusa. I’m consistently drawn to the dark and seedy. I love bright and poppy pieces and even have tried to go this direction with my work, but somehow it still turns out dark and moody, lol!
I am constantly keeping my eyes and ears wide open for inspiration. I often pull inspiration from nature but have made collections inspired by everything from art to music. I’m never short of ideas, however, the ideas are sometimes limited to reality.
Once I start a piece, the entire idea can completely change depending on how something is looking. I have found that over the years being flexible is the best way to work. Sometimes if you are so dead set on how something will look when it’s finished, you’ll miss out on all the possibilities it could be. In fact, I actually fully scraped the pieces I had been working on 3 weeks before we shot this collection, and fully started over!
This is the 5th time I have entered NAHA and this is the first time I’ve been a finalist. Every time I do a collection, I learn so much!! I’m extremely proud of all my work, but I can always look back and try and figure out what can I do differently next time. And every year my work gets better. I feel that when you compete, it’s important to know in your heart that what your doing is good because it comes from you. But, also being able to look back on your work through objective eyes.
I’ve had an incredibly hard time working in color. I see others using color and think it’s amazing, but always stick to natural hair colors. I was encouraged to add some color to this collection, and it turned out great, but let’s be honest, you have to look pretty hard to find the color. The collection I am currently working on, however, is full-blown color! We’ll see how it turns out, but it was a big growing moment for me. I’m an L’anza healing artist, so all the hair products used in this collection were L’anza.
All forms of art inspire me! I love art museums, and try to visit our local art museum with my husband and kids regularly. I also try to visit as many throughout the county and beyond if I can! But I also love fashion, movies, music, and generally anything weird or unconventional.
I work behind the chair full time, and like most hairstylists out there spending my days doing mostly balayage and long layer cuts, because that is the market. But doing work like this not only feeds my creative being, it makes me a better stylist behind the chair. I mean, if I can do this with hair, how hard could whatever my client is requesting be?! It gives me confidence and keeps things fresh!