Finding inspiration in nature and the simplicity of Amish women, the Gemma Kahng Spring/Summer 2013 collection exuded femininity from exquisite floral and butterfly appliqués to sexy, strategic cutouts. “I wanted the girls to look like they had just stepped off a farm,” said designer Gemma Kahng. “We were going for a free-spirited look. Not fancy or stuffy.” Essential to the simple, yet beautifully crafted collection were the sleek, sculpted, braided hair looks designed by celebrity hairstylist Nelson Vercher of Rita Hazan Salon and Agent Oliver. Created to complement the country-inspired designs, all looks were styled exclusively with styling products from René Furterer. Working closely with Gemma to come up with the concept for the hair Nelson says, “The original idea was spun from Amish women. We took the notion of this Amish woman who was strong and rebellious. This is an Amish woman with an edge.”
What delivered that edge? A black headdresses reminiscent of the traditional bonnets worn by Amish women, but with a twist—there was no backing to the headdresses created a dramatic frame for the braided hair. To create the show-stopping style with a high gloss finish, Nelson says, “I wanted to stay within the braiding world while pushing it forward and doing it big.” With hair and clothes coming together to bring together the overall aesthetic, the Gemma Kahng presentation brought a refreshing sense of nature indoors. “Hair is so important to the look,” said Gemma Kahng. “The look starts with the hair and ends with the shoes.”
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Here, Nelson explains how he created the intricate yet simply elegant coifs for the presentation of Gemma Kahng’s artful designs.
First, I applied a liberal amount of René Furterer STRAIGHTENING GEL to dry hair and combed it through from roots to ends to help achieve the sleek, no-volume look we were going for. Using a blow-dryer with a nozzle attachment, I then straightened hair in sections with a round brush.
Next, I used a tail comb to make a clean and precise center part. After extensions were added to each section of hair to add length and fullness, I gathered hair into a tight ponytail as close to the nape and flat against the head as possible on each side of the part. Using a bungee cord, I tied the two ponytails together, making sure to keep the hair close to the head and leaving the center part intact.
I wanted a fresh take on the braid trend, so I separated the gathered hair into three parts and began crafting a sleek, not too tight, yet not loose, thick braid and held it together with a clear elastic band. To add more dimension to the overall look, I also had several braided hair pieces on hand ready to be added into the hair.
To prepare the braided hair pieces, I combed through the hair with a small, round Mason Pearson brush smoothing any flyaways with René Furterer STYLING WAX. This helped to create a clean, glossy plait that would seamlessy blend in with the model's hair.
After braiding the model's hair, I then wrapped a braided hair piece into a bun, and pinned it above the model's main braid, which served as my base to begin sculpting the final look.
Making sure to keep all hair as close to the head as possible, I joined the braids together. But I carefully weaved and twisted the braided hair in and out of the base bun in several directions, holding everything together with hair pins, and adding in additional braided hair pieces if I felt the structure needed it. I wanted the braids to look like they weren't just sitting on top of the head, but rather, flatter against the head for a sleeker, more sculpted look.
Finally, I misted hair with René Furterer VEGETAL FINISHING SPRAY to hold hair in place and to keep it as sleek as possible. The final piece of the puzzle was a black, floral-appliqued Gemma Kahng headdress, which carefully framed the ‘do and capped off the whole country chic look. Farm girls have never looked sexier!
[Images courtesy of Karen Oliver and Associates]
Other New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013 Collections: Joanna Mastroianni | Timo Weiland | Monique Lhuillier | Christian Siriano | Rebecca Taylor | Band of Outsiders | Suno | Houghton | Charlotte Ronson | Monika Chiang | Tadashi Shoji | Costello Tagliapietra | Honor | DKNY | Erin Fetherston | Peter Som | Top New York Fashion Week Hair Styles