Martyn stands at the glass door before his entrance pulling faces to the audience. This playful mentality is shown the whole way through the evening. The seminar was broken into three sections – Cutting, creative colour and avant-garde. He is presenting with six other members of his team, they differ in age and style of work. We see 3 models on stage, each with something different going on. He works on a model with lovely warm, deep hair. With her hair just sitting on her shoulders he tries to teach up this new idea he has. It’s about sectioning it all in quarters. It has no name, but he asks people to give him ideas. Someone shout something out and it is instantly dismissed. Some would pretend they liked the idea and fake interest. Not Martyn. I admire that. He is straight talking and that is a great characteristic to have, especially in this industry.
Martyn tells us how he is a normal hairdresser, just like us. He has his column every day with the same old Mrs Brown and Mrs White. This is his chance to do something fun (see that word coming back again?) The next three models all have lovely blonde hair. Throughout the evening his ‘Colour Queen’ talks us through exactly what colours are used with each model – going into wonderful detail. He uses a mixture of colour hairspray, stencils and ‘art shop’ pastels. He breaks each model down as this. Cutting out shapes, making wool pompoms and colouring with crayons. All fun from his childhood. Using the colour hairspray to make real life hair pompoms colourful, he asks us to help him out choosing what colour to use first. He decides what he is doing when he is doing it. There wasn’t much structure to the colour placing. It was all how he felt at the time. It was free and playful. Something is mentioned that I can’t get out of my head. “Mistakes are the journey of learning.” They talk about thinking outside of the box. When you are learning you are always told this is the way to do something, and this is the only way. The Strangeways group walk all over this. To them it is all about crossing the line, breaking the mould. There is no right or wrong way.
They bring out the final models and two young girls. This is the avant-garde. And the girls who are demonstrating are some of the youngest in their group. They are bubbling and shy, but when asked to explain what they are doing they shine. Their talent is really shown when they are talking about what they know. This is something they excel at. When they talk us through it, you can see how naturally it comes to them to explain. We are told how everyone gets a chance to be on The Strangeways artist team. If you want to be there, you are there. It’s always something that lingers around art teams. You feel you need 10 years experience behind you before you even ask to be a part of it. With The Strangeways it isn’t like that. I admire this. I felt these girls represented something in all young hairdressers. It is not often enough that we as young stylists are appreciated for the work we are capable of.
When the evening was over and after I snuck a few photos I left with a spring in my step. I had absorbed so much knowledge from the team and felt truly confident in myself. I admire and respect Martyn Holmes and The Strangeways team. I hope to get the chance to have another evening of fun with them.