Wednesday, 15 May 2013

How Casanova led to a Goodwood Revival coup

Jade Hargood by Scott Chalmers. Hair & makeup Sharon Holloway at Vintage Hair Lounge

As Vintage Hair Lounge opens for bookings for Goodwood Revival 2013 this week, a peculiar chain of recent events has resulted in a particularly special coup in securing the involvement of supremely talented Hair and Makeup Designer, Christine Allsopp, and sponsorship by her wonderful The Make-up Brush Company. So how did we snatch 3 times BAFTA nominated designer from the claws of a rigorous international filming schedule to join us for 3 days in Chichester this September?

I could say it began 3 years ago (there are a lot of 3's in this post which probably means it's my lucky number!), when Vintage Hair Lounge first opened, and we began to stock The Make-up Brush Company brushes and makeup bags in our salon. The distinctively pink, and unashamedly retro style brushes have graced my own make-up kit ever since. And then along came an extraordinary photoshoot concept from Scott Chalmers Photography...
The Make-up Brush Company brushes

So the proposal was for our longstanding client and friend, Jade Hargood, to be photographed in her wedding dress. Now that doesn't sound much of a shoot, until you know that Jade was married in a deep red dress, complete with cape and tricorn hat, in December 2012, with hair and makeup by Vintage Hair Lounge in late nineteenth century meets 1940s glamour style. Mmmm, this could be interesting! Scott and Jade began to create a mood board of gothic images on pinterest for me to have a look at, and the recurring theme was horns. Yes, horns. And not to mess about, Scott actually delivered a huge pair of real ram's horns for Jade to wear for the shoot. So I pondered the images, thought about Jade and her spectacular dress and began to think of the hair and makeup design of the BBC Casanova television series that first aired in 2005. It made a huge impact on us at the time, and was one of the most exciting pieces of period hair design I'd seen in a long time. And that was down to Christine Allsopp who received her second BAFTA nomination for it. So far so good.

BBC Casanova tv series 
Jade has very very long hair! Which will come as a surprise to many who see her featuring in our Vintage Hair Lounge at Goodwood Revival 2013 (Anything Goes) publicity film, where Gloria Holloway's extensive experience in traditional waving and setting techniques allowed her to effortlessly create a stunning short 1930s hairstyle, notwithstanding the sheer volume of hair Jade has!

But the gothic/eighteenth century inspired look for the new photoshoot was left in my hands, so I started with sectioning off two sites on the top of Jade's head where the hair horns would sit. They were crimped and sectioned off again whilst I methodically crimped the entirety of the remainder of Jade's hair, using Davines Defining Ecohairspray on each piece. I backcombed the horn sections and wrapped the hair around itself until the horn shapes began to satisfy, and then got to work on on the front and sides sections, effectively creating reverse "Victory Rolls". On went the real ram's horns, and with some hair padding inserted behind to secure them (they are very weighty items) to the best of Jade's comfort, I then created a huge french pleat in the shape of a heart, to ensure the balance of the hairstyle was in tune and looked spectacular from all angles. With a small section of red hair extension pinned into place from the top of the head and down into the side pony tail, adding a flash of colour to pay homage to the Casanova hairstyling,  the creation was complete.
In between these stages, we had also taken to the makeup, creating a layered effect around the eyes using variations of brown and red, gave the blusher a miss in preference to strong contouring, and perfected the finished look with Besame Cosmetics Classic Color lipstick in Merlot. Once Jade was dressed, it was possible to get out the airbrush and work down her neck and shoulders with a good combination of Temptu foundations, freshening up the face makeup with a mist all around the hairline, jawline and down the bridge of the nose. Thanks to my recent airbrush training with Martina Parmar at the Professional Makeup Academy, this proved a good decision, as the final images show a great colour balance between face and body, that just leaves a haunting look that worked to perfection.

And so, the following day as I was leaving Southampton's shores for a couple of days' May Bank Holiday break, I saw a flash in my Facebook inbox only to find Mr Chalmers had uploaded the image from the shoot online, a fine going away present if ever there was one, and shortly after came the defining moment of approval : Christine Allsopp had seen the image and shared it on her own facebook page, praising the look as something that would have sat more than comfortably within her designs for Casanova all those years ago. Well, one doesn't miss an opportunity like that, so needless to say, I got on the phone to Christine, and the rest, as they say, is history.....

Christine Allsopp will be joining the Vintage Hair Lounge at Goodwood Revival 2013 team (13-15 September) and The Make-up Brush Company will be an official sponsor. Additional sponsors include Davines, Besame Cosmetics, Professional Makeup Academy, Scott Chalmers Photography, EasyDry, and Babyliss.

To pre-book vintage hairstyling and vintage makeup (airbrush) appointments for this year's Goodwood Revival, email

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