Roll up, Roll up! Ladies and gentlemen, step right this way for a tale of a night like no other. Full of dazzling spectacles, daring interactive experiences and deftly coiffed creations, the first ever Featured Artist LIVE event was held in London town last night, and left attendees open-mouthed in wonder…
Dreamed up by the night’s ringmaster, Most Wanted 2017 ‘Session Stylist’ award winner Syd Hayes, the brand new Creative HEAD Education evening followed a slightly twisted circus theme. Blending laughter and learning, it saw guests pushing creative boundaries while playing with hair in fun and fascinating new ways.
Upon arrival at east London’s Hackney Showrooms (and following an all-important visit to the bar), ticket-holders entered Syd’s psyche in the form of a multi-coloured room plastered with 350 personal photos of his projects, childhood and inspirations. There, they were given a short introduction to the night by the man himself, before being handed a playing card that would determine their path through the evening’s activities.
Stepping across the threshold into the venue’s main space, guests discovered a series of creative stations, ready and waiting for their input. After being split into four groups based on the suit of their individual playing cards (hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs), it was time for them to get stuck in.
STATION ONE: PONY TALES
The first area was designed to demonstrate the versatility and necessity of hot styling tools in the high-pressure session world. Through Syd’s lens, the process of transforming a look with hair pieces and wefts became a warped game of pin the ponytail (or fringe) on the donkey. Guests had just ten minutes to select a bundle of extensions and style it using a selection of tongs, before donning a Syd mask blindfold, being spun around and attempting to pin it on a picture of an ass… or a mannequin’s arse! More from Syd >
STATION TWO: LIFE LESSONS
Attendees paired up and were assigned easels for the second creative task, which aimed to get them thinking more freely about creativity and interpreting sources of inspiration. Against a neon-lit backdrop of Syd’s tear-sheets, they undertook a life-drawing class… but with a twist. Instead of charcoal, their medium was hair colour, dispensed in mixing bowls and applied using colour brushes to sheets of artist’s paper. Their model? A body-paint drenched man – decked out in an avant-garde wig – and his unicycle. More from Syd >
STATION THREE: THE DART DYE GALLERY
Giving guests a chance to enjoy all the fun of the fair, but with hair (!), the dart dye gallery focused on Syd’s wardrobe of wigs. Displaying high-end and low-end examples that had been crafted into different styles for use in his session work, the rogues gallery demonstrated how a hairpiece can have numerous incarnations throughout its life, before one last crazy and destructive project sends it off in a final flourish. Attendees were given control of that process on the night, armed with darts that could be used to burst paint-filled balloons suspended above the gallery. More from Syd >
STATION FOUR: GETTING A BUZZ GOING
The last stop for guests was a row of mannequin heads with impressive afros, each accompanied by a suspended set of clippers. Designed to do away with their fear of the tools and to demonstrate just how useful clippers can be in the session world, attendees had free reign on the hair, with their only objective being to create something wild! More from Syd >
At the end of the night, after each group had completed a full circuit of the room and tried each activity, Syd took to the mic to conduct an impromptu Q&A session. Covering everything from session shoot fees (even the biggest of names pay hair pros as little as £50!) to the importance of teamwork, he revealed to the audience just how much hard work his crew had put into preparing for the evening and how passionate he was about shaking up the ‘usual’ hair event experience.
Following rapturous applause from attendees left energised and inspired by the fun-filled evening, Syd also doled out boxes of his brand new styling accessory, the Syd Pin, to guests who had impressed in each of the tasks. Thanks to the generosity of event sponsors BaByliss PRO, everyone also went home with a lucky dip goodie bag, featuring either a Titanium Expression Deep Waver, Titanium Expression Curling Tong, Titanium Expression Ultimate Styler or Titanium Expression Waving Wand.