The show season for Spring/Summer 2021 laid bare our new reality. For designers who chose to present, creative swaps allowed the pomp and circumstance of New York Fashion Week to go on: Models drifted down makeshift runways outdoors; guests watched from scattered, socially distanced seating; everyone donned masks; and, in the case of Christian Siriano’s presentation held in his Connecticut home’s backyard, backstage beauty commenced in the open air—sans electricity. “Not having electricity is what started the inspiration for the look,” admits Sebastian Professional international artist Anthony Cole. “Plus, we obviously didn’t know what was going to happen with the weather the day of the show. That’s why we wanted to play it safe by creating a bun but making it abstract, so it wasn’t just the bun everyone has seen before.”
That bun sat low at the nape of the neck to allow Siriano’s parade of wide-brim hats to shine. “We wanted [a style] that wouldn’t be overly distracting with the accessories that some of the models wore. The hats were the centerpiece of the look as they tied the ‘backyard picnic’ theme together,” Cole says.
In light of no electricity, Cole selected liquid tools—Sebastian Professional Dark Oil and Craft Clay—to guide his slicked-back bun. After emulsifying the two products together and applying the mixture for added shine and control, Cole created a low ponytail from two sections that he twisted upward to curve against the head. He pinned the initial curve into place and then continued to twist the remainder of the ponytail in the same direction, creating an “S” pattern, and staying close to the back of the head and pinning as he twisted. A final spray of Sebastian Professional Shaper Fierce froze the byzantine bun into place.
While the challenge of styling without irons or blowdryers certainly loomed large, Cole felt relief to be working again after lockdown. “The whole show’s vibe was amazing. From the models to the stylists and staff, you could tell everyone was really happy doing what they loved,” he says, adding, “It gave me a whole new perspective and appreciation.”