City News profiles Toni & Guy art director Janice K for her take on the hairdressing industry and the perks of the job.
|CN PHOTO: Michael Chan|
Hairdressing powerhouse Toni & Guy celebrated its 15th anniversary with a bang at Zouk on Nov. 18. The highlight of the evening, the PROJECT 10 Collection, was a showcase somewhat reminiscent of the 90’s grunge generation that fused couture with street style, and classic with cutting-edge.
Heading one of the collections, under the Avant Garde category, is Janice K, Toni & Guy’s art director. Responsible for the quality of work that the salon produces, and for grooming the next generation of stylists and technicians, she’s one of the major creative forces behind the brand.
City News sits down with her for a chat about life behind a pair of scissors.
How did you get into the hairdressing business?
I started as an apprentice for Toni & Guy in 1998 for half a year and went on to do a make-up course during that same year. Realizing that I had a greater interest in hairdressing, I enrolled in Toni & Guy Academy when it first started in 1999 and have been with them ever since.
What are some of the most glamorous aspects of your job?
The glamorous aspect of the job comes as a privilege because of Toni & Guy as an international company.
The greatest privilege was probably to be sent to London (this being the sixth consecutive year to date) to view the following year’s collection, and also to have the opportunity to work alongside the Toni & Guy Artistic Team in London.
Because of the shows we do, we do get invitations to multiple fashion launches. The most memorable one to me is probably the Calvin Klein Show during the early part of this year at the Queenstown Remand Prison here in Singapore. It was my first time visiting a prison.
Having been in this line for many years now, what do you understand about the industry—the trends, the quirks, and how it has progressed over the years?
Hair is now an accessory for fashion. Hair imageries now are likened to fashion imageries; it is not just solely headshots but it can be from top to toe. You can go to a fashion show and see the models with a whole set of that particular brand, but hardly anyone nowadays will take on the whole set. People will say, “I like the shoes but not the bag.” Or, “I like the texture but I don’t like the color …” It is how hair imageries can be looked at too … there will be people who will like to see a picture of a bob hairstyle, but they will probably relate to that style better on the celebrities they know.
How does one interpret hair trends?
One can hardly say that long hair or short hair is no longer in trend, or that a short or long fringe is trendier. It is in the details, and also the way you style your hair that will make it look current. I’m not implying that classic hairstyles can’t be current but it is about giving it a fresher take, for example, making that fringe a little fuller or the color more diffused than having distinctive streaks of highlights …
Hair is fashion, when you have it an inch longer than the current trend dictates, you think it no longer looks nice. When heels suddenly go two or three inches higher, the ladies think there is a need to have it. Guys have been wearing skinny jeans for the last few seasons, but now it has gotten a little baggier on top and tapered at the ankle, a little folded up. So the half-inch to an inch does matter, just like hair.
What is the most challenging thing about being a hairstylist?
Soft skills are important for a hairdresser. It is all about communication.
What is the perfect hairstyle?
It is one that fits the individual’s lifestyle.