Richard Kavanagh and Lisa Matson talk runway hair and beauty for NZFW 2017

L'Oreal NZFW 2017

Richard Kavanagh, hairstylist and Redken Artist. Image supplied.

New Zealand Fashion Week 2017 is just days away now and among the many creatives who take part behind the scenes are the talented teams of hairstylists and makeup artists who create the incredible beauty and hair looks for the runway. We caught up with Richard Kavanagh who is a Redken Artist and Lisa Matson who is L’Oréal Paris‘ NZ Makeup Director to find out how they go about creating these amazing looks, what their favourite products are and which NZFW shows they are most looking forward to this year.

Richard Kavanagh – Redken Artist

What can we expect to see in hair trends for NZFW this year?
In terms of global hair trends, we’re seeing a very nineties influenced vibe mixed with the rebelliousness of the 70s and 80s. So, kind of anything goes, as long as it’s effortless and a bit grunge… it should feel lived in.

How do you go about creating a hair look for each designer and how collaborative is the process?
I love the collaborative process of coming up with the hair look for a show. Each season I try to understand the creative inspiration and design process for the collection and how the design team want to represent it on the runway. I then try to create a hair look that embodies the character, or muse, that best suits the brands aesthetic and the specific collection. I always try to bring a little something unique and bespoke for each designer so sometimes it’s a mystery to me what we will end up with until the hair trials are done. Also, I try to work with the makeup artist to complement the overall beauty look. Sometimes the makeup needs to take the lead, and sometimes the hair needs to take the lead.

L'Oreal NZFW 2017

Hair: Richard Kavanagh. Photographer: Steven Chee. Makeup: James Molloy.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I’m inspired by the creative process, by the designers themselves and their muses, by music and art, and in particular by the nuanced looks of subcultures throughs the eras.

How much time do you spend styling an individual hair look at NZFW?
It can vary from show to show. Sometimes, the most effortless looking hairstyles take the longest to style, as they require meticulous preparation with layers of styling product for support then multiple styling techniques to reach a uniform result. We usually have 3-4 hours to get all the models ready, and I try to allow enough time and hands to ensure an international level result. This means we may have three or four stylists working on one girl for an hour or more… if my math is correct, that’s about four man hours per girl.

What is an average day at NZFW like for you?
Where do I start?! Every day is completely different. An average day would consist of 1-2 hair trials, a show, several interviews, a team briefing, a team debrief, making video how-tos and trying to eat well and exercise in order to maintain the energy to do it again the next day, and the next and the next… And then it’s on to New York straight afterwards for more of the same!

L'Oreal NZFW 2017

Hair: Richard Kavanagh. Photographer: Gianluca Santoro. Makeup: Andrea Black (left image). Hair: Richard Kavanagh. Photographer: Christian Blanchard. Makeup: Andrea Black. Fashion editor: Heather Cairns (right image). 

What are your favourite Redken products at the moment?
I can’t live without the Redken Pillow Proof Two Day Extender (dry shampoo) and the Redken Signature Look Fashion Waves (sea salt spray).

What are your top tips for healthy hair?
Three things – regular haircuts and colour (every 6 weeks to keep in tip top condition), professional quality haircare (recommended by your stylist for your hair type), and a good diet – It’s amazing how much of an effect physical wellbeing has on the health of your hair.

Who is your celebrity hair icon?
Tough question… I don’t want to play favourites with the girls I work with, so I’d have to choose someone I don’t know… I’m going to say Rooney Mara (when she had the short bangs) or Brigitte Bardot for that hair every girl wants.

Which show are you most looking forward to at NZFW this year?
Of course, I love all the designers I work with, however, I’m really looking forward to working with Zambesi again this year. They are icons of the industry and their design aesthetic is so timelessly New Zealand and internationally relevant. I’m also working with Salasai for the first time, so that’ll be a great new adventure – looking forward to it.

L'Oreal NZFW 2017

Lisa Matson, L’Oréal Paris NZ Makeup Director. Image supplied.

Lisa Matson – L’Oréal Paris NZ Makeup Director

What can we expect to see in makeup trends for NZFW this year?
Minimal and ethereal makeup looks, splashes of bright colour, metallic and glitter, graphic designs, smokey eyes, looks based on previous eras, dewy skin, statement lashes, brows and/or lips and looks with a nod to the avant-garde.

How do you go about creating a makeup look for each designer and how collaborative is the process?
It’s always very collaborative. Most designers have a total vision for their shows and it’s my job to ensure their vision comes to fruition. Often, I will receive a mood board of images or just one picture, along with fabric and clothing examples and/or a blurb on their show theme and or inspiration. I then take all this info and create a look to suit.

L'Oreal NZFW 2017

Makeup looks by Lisa Matson. Images supplied.

Where do you find your inspiration?
It can come from anywhere; from beauty trends both new and historic, from nature, colours and seasons, but more often than not it is the work of other professional makeup artists that inspire, with social media and the Internet it’s easy to tap into a visual mountain of makeup looks. The trick is to find what you like but make it your own.

How much time do you spend creating an individual makeup look at NZFW?
It all depends on the amount of technique that’s required for the look, but anywhere from 30 to 60mins. Usually once you’ve done the first makeup successfully the following makeups get faster.

L'Oreal NZFW 2017

Makeup looks by Lisa Matson. Images supplied.

What is an average day at NZFW like for you?
It’s a mixed ‘tote bag’ of integral time management and focus, good communication, artistic and visual satisfaction, team comradery and fun.

What are your favourite L’Oréal products at the moment?
I’m loving the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Lip and Eye Paints. The colours are intense, they blend beautifully and I often use them on other areas of the face as well. I also rate the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation, Mega Volume Miss Baby Roll Mascara and their Brow Artist Xpert.

L'Oreal NZFW 2017

Lisa Matson’s current favourite L’Oréal Paris makeup products. Images supplied.

What are your top tips for glowing skin?
Always apply mosituriser to damp skin and exfoliate once or twice a week, preferably using a product with active ingredients not a scrub. I also like to mix a little illuminating primer or facial oil with my foundations to achieve that soft dewy look.

Who is your celebrity beauty icon?
I have a few but if I have to pick one then it would have to be Jennifer Lopez. Her skin and features are a makeup artist’s dream – her makeup is always flawless and varied.

Which show are you most looking forward to at NZFW this year?
All the shows I’m designing makeup looks for of course, so not just one but five – Wynn Hamlyn, Federation, Rachel Mills, Augustine and PIA.

Images supplied.

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