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‘Roar’ by Simon Webster

Fierce sexuality. Beauty. Attitude.
Simon Webster explains how he attempted to distill the raw power of Grace Jones into just 60 seconds of film in his creative collaboration, ‘Roar’

“Having worked in hair for more than 30 years, I’ve seen lots of styles and trends come around again. In the early days, I worked a lot in gents’ barbering and incorporated techniques from the ‘50s crew cuts. Grace Jones revived the style in the early ‘80s and added a cross-gender twist, making a bold statement about fashion, beauty and sexuality.

“This collaboration with Made Better Media, The Brighton Studio (Olly Hearsey and Xoe Kingsley) and model Lindy Ncube was an opportunity to revive that graphic, androgynous look and make it more current.  We wanted to capture Grace’s hybrid style and strength of presence. Visually, she is all about contrast, which became the starting point for all elements of the project. I think the look and feel of the film is particularly relevant now, with the industry focus shifting to gender neutrality and the introduction of label-free services in more progressive salons

“I’ve worked with Lindy a lot over the last couple of years. In fact, I discovered her while judging the final of a hair show at a local Brighton college. It was the first time Lindy had modelled and from then on she’s become something of a muse – she’s so versatile that you can manipulate her look in unlimited ways. It was great to take her in a completely different direction for this shoot.

“I’ve just been made UK Guest Artist for KMS for 2018 and so I wanted to put their product range to the test. I started with the cut, focusing on the key elements of shape, texture and line, and used the Moist Repair range to moisturise and straighten out some of the curl. To create an even base I used the Moisture Repair Anti-Breakage Spray and Revival Crème, followed by the Thermashape Straightening Crème. I used a traditional flat-top comb and clippers to square-off the hair and build the main shape, then scissors and comb to refine and remove any strays. I finished the style with KMS Working Hairspray.

“The colour came second. The top of the hair was already pre-lightened from a previous session, so I wanted to take advantage of that and provide a contrast to her natural base. I used an intense copper all over then applied a second pure copper tone to the top to enhance the difference between the two.

“Using video to shoot Lindy brought greater diversity to what I could show of the finished hair and increased the intensity of the final impact. 360-degree filming really allowed us to animate the look and helped to translate the idea of boundaries constantly shifting by combining close-ups and super slow motion. The result is also a much truer representation of the hair because no editing or retouching takes place in post-production, so it had to be perfect from the outset.”

Hair: Simon Webster
Make-Up: Xoe Kingsley
Model: Lindy Ncube
Photography: Olly Hearsey
Video: Made Better Media
Music: Trappin Grandma by Syncro