The Transcendence Hair Show absolutely did its title justice. Each stylist succeeded in transforming the stage into their own unique natural vision which was spectacular to watch from an audience’s perspective. The natural hairstyles on the catwalk succeeded in taking the audience to another world.
New York, the state were the natural hair movement found its roots was lacking a natural hair show for a while. Onyx Johnson, Bedstuy Brooklyn resident deserves nothing but respect for taking the initiative of organizing such an event after eight years of absence. More than just a hair show the organization’s goal is to make this an annual event that takes the relatively young industry to next level of progress, setting higher standards and organizing its people.
The two-day event began on Saturday October 22nd with a bazaar that offered visitors an opportunity to learn about the novelties in the natural care and hair fashion world. Vendors from out of town and even international ones came to show and sell their goods.
As one can expect on a Saturday morning 9:00 am in Brooklyn, the market place started slow at first but the turnout could certainly be called reasonable as some late visitors showed up at the end of the day.
The highlight of this natural hair weekend was of course the hair show where five selected high-end stylists would demonstrate their transcendence hairstyles. From the beginning there was great interest in the show. After almost a decade people finally had a chance again to get inspired by the work of their favorite stylists.
There was quite a line at 4:30 pm, the time that the show was supposed to start. Due to technical difficulties the show itself also had a slow start. After a couple of performances that began at 6:00 pm, the actual hair show finally started at 6:30. This was the biggest but thankfully also the only drawback of the show.
Once the colorful models of Orin Saunders, owner of Locs ‘N Chops took the stage, the audience stopped complaining.
Orin’s hairstyles told a complete story, from beginning to end, connecting the dots. His theme included a tree, water, a peacock, a lion and a Buddha, all incredible hairstyles created to make a connection with our roots.
The most impressive hairstyle was the tree made of long locs on top top of a model’s head, complete with branches and spray painted leafs. The creation was absolutely astonishing. It was all real hair! Wasn’t that what the show was all about?
After another intermezzo to change the decor the show continued with Miss Janice M. Brown owner of Tar Baby Designs known for her colorful freestyle cornrow styles. This time Miss Janice’s models came out rocking with some super fly artistic loced styles and some very chic ones too. Taking the stage, the hairstyles proofed that Miss Janice just never stops surprising and won’t do so any time soon.
Next on stage day were the models of world renown stylist Derrick Scurry. The opening scene set the mood for eloquent elegance to come. Actress Janet Hubert-Whitten graced the stage in a long pink and white elegant gown with a long cigar in her mouth followed by two gentlemen and a lady suitably dressed in black and white. It wasn’t only the masks of her chaperones that gave the performance something magical.
More than a hair show, his models clearly knew how to put on a performance. The huge fros were great and the creation with a rotating hairstyle was fascinating.
Then, the models of Hair Studio Sol sparked up the runaway recreating the atmosphere of West Indian Parade while showing off their fabulous colorful hairstyles. Supported by stilt walkers and dancers in the audience, Hair Studio Sol sure had the crowd entertained and watching their styles at the same time. This salon may be relatively new but judging by their styles, they are clearly here to stay.
After that sparkling performance, stylist Amber and the salon owner of Skilz only had one model representing them. It was too bad we couldn’t see more of them because that one style just made people hungry for more.
Unfortunately a part of the audience had already left by the time Thando Kafele’s models were ready to top the show. And a show it was. Kafele, internationally known for his fabulous loc creations, divided his transcendence into three parts; romantic, or rather sexy, cultural and contemporary.
When the first sexy models entered the stage the crowd went absolutely wild. The hairstyles were fantastic but it seemed that the women in the audience were rather responding to the chests of the men that were gracing the stage.
No doubt, long hair is sexy. So a long haired model dressed in lingerie is a formula for success. The female models were at least as sexy as the guys.
The cultural part of Kafele’s transcendence was absolutely captivating. Three of his models expressed the words of a spoken word artist accompanied by two drummers.
Last but certainly not least were some other fine brothers showing off their contemporary styled locs for almost any occasion.
Asha Mandela, World Guinness Record holder of the longest locs closed the show with five men each carrying part of her 19 feet locs over their shoulder.
All in all it was a great show that transcended every expectation. The hairstyles were phenomenal and the effort that the stylists made clearly paid off. Each one of them succeeded to create their own exceptional interpretation of transcendence. If the organization can manage to start on time next year, this will be the show to see for centuries to come.