2018 Hair Expo New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year
- Salon: D&M Hair Design
- Hairstylist: Danny Pato
- Makeup Artist: Kiekie Stanners
- Photographer: Mara Sommer
Q+A with Danny
In your award acceptance speech, you spoke about your collection representing the strength of global women – was there anything in particular that ignited that inspiration?
The global political climate over the past couple of years. I wanted to create an antidote to it, by mixing colours, textures and exuberance from diverse cultural references, embracing the joy of strong women with strong identities.
Are you able to share some of the key techniques that you used for the hair looks in your collection?
Of course! I’ve been going through a period of using craft materials, finding things that I like at the haberdashery and working with it to create hairstyles.
One of the looks people have been asking me about the colourful bob thread look, like “is that a wig”? It’s not a wig. We prepped the hair by braiding into cornrows, then sewed in threading the same way you’d sew in a weave. She could have kept it in for weeks if she wanted, it would have stayed put.
How do you decide on your collection team (photographer, MUA, styling, models) and ensure that everyone is on the same page so that your vision comes to life?
It all depends on the what the concept is as who has the right strengths to bring it to life. Ensuring everyone is on the same page takes a lot of communication – mood boards, creative meetings, production meetings and preparation.
As a session stylist and art director, I’ve worked with some talented people over the years and know how challenging it can be to pull a creative team together. That’s why I’ve created The Directory, an ever-growing database of New Zealand photographers, stylists, make-up artists, and fashion designers (with more industries to come). It’s my way of sharing my little black book and giving back to our industry. It’s a completely free one-stop-shop to support and inspire creatives and foster collaboration. www.directory.dandm.co.nz
You recreated the looks from your collection for your Hair Expo Awards Gala showcase – were there any challenges in recreating such intricate and varied looks for the stage show?
The main challenge was that I went to Italy for the three weeks before Hair Expo, for the launch of the Davines Eco Village and to have a holiday, so everything had to be organised in advance. It really did come down to the planning.
One thing we decided quite early on was to make the on-stage looks slightly larger and more dramatic for the stage compared to the photos and video so that they could be seen clearly by the audience.
I was so honoured to be given the opportunity to bring the collection to life, to be able to share the work with all of us at Expo, to show that the work isn’t just about creating images, but that the looks work on stage and on film as well. When you’ve got models twirling around on stage, there’s no room to hide – it has to look great from any angle.
Do you have any advice for hairdressers thinking about entering the awards in 2019?
I do! Create what you think and feel. You don’t have to follow what’s in fashion or on trend or what others are doing. It’s about telling a story you want to tell, whether it’s ethereal, punk, tribal or whatever. Evolve your concept, push your technical skills and be proud to create something new.