‘Go for bolder browns and more structured hairstyles’

    World-renowned hairstylist Berni Ottjes demonstrates styles that are a little bit ‘rough’ but are easy to wear PHOTOS BY ABBY PALMONES

    World-renowned hairstylist Berni Ottjes demonstrates styles that are a little bit ‘rough’ but are easy to wear PHOTOS BY ABBY PALMONES

    Call it an unstudied take on beauty, or a natural radiance brought about by throwing one’s care to the wind. For whatever reason, the French always seem to achieve beauty effortlessly, be it in fashion, skincare and makeup, and more so achie­ving gorgeous hair.

    While looking beautiful may seem effortless for the French, life is a little bit fair in that there is a hidden formula behind achieving effortlessly beautiful Parisian hairstyles. According to experts at L’Oréal Professionnel, it is a combination of a distinct color, cut, and style as sported by the most followed French women worldwide. Currently, this is a variety of brown colored locks, bluntly chopped and styled in a messy tousle.

    Called the “French Girl” hairstyle, the look is easily achievable even for Filipinas with the local launch of #FrenchBrowns. This latest hair collection from L’Oreal takes from its extensive Majirel portfolio, the brand’s 10 most significant brown shades infused with original formulae to achieve subtler reflections and subdued hues.

    The nonchalant yet striking quality of French Browns makes each shade visible on its wearer, while maintaining a chic sophistication that is easy to wear everyday.

    Runway hair
    On August 9, a grand hair show took place at Shangri-La at the Fort, which featured a live demonstration of haircuts and trends by world-renowned and award-winning hairstylist Berni Ottjes, finished off with a grand fashion show featuring the works of celebrated Filipino designer Francis Libiran.

    Designer Francis Libiran’s collection has the French girl’s minimalistic aesthetic mildly infused with Art Deco details

    Designer Francis Libiran’s collection has the French girl’s minimalistic aesthetic mildly infused with Art Deco details

    “It’s always very surprising when you go to a country you don’t know, and then you get the luck to work with a great designer like Francis—because in a hair show that’s very important,” Ottjes beamed, speaking with reporters at the end of the show. “It’s the same for everyone—when you work together, you get great hair, you get great makeup, so you get a look that is very strong. It works like that for hair and fashion, so this collaboration is just fantastic. I really loved it!”

    According to the French hair expert, he aimed to show the Philippine audience as many different Parisian looks as possible.

    “The styles are not that ‘clean’ but a little bit more rough. There’s street wear, elegant, and a little avant garde, but still with all that sexiness when it comes to the total look,” he enumerated.

    “When I arrived here, all the women want the flat hair and the keratin, so I just want to give them something different. So I gave you a little bit more structure.”

    Real inspiration
    Ottjes shared that while he gets his real inspiration from what he sees on the street, and more so what he sees young people doing with their hair.

    “Do they have a bunny tail? Do they have all blond hair? For me the people on the street—the skaters and the hip hop world are very important to me even if I’m coming up with an elegant and classic collection,” he revealed. “Architectural buildings sometimes also give me views over new shapes, cuts and placements for color. So traveling is important. Everybody should travel a lot, and it will open your world.”

    Meanwhile for Libiran, his taste for hairstyles when it comes to complimenting his design is very fluid. What is important for his in achieving his looks on the runway is a close collaboration with the hair stylist.

    “Collaborating with L’Oréal and Berni has produced a very different style for Filipina hair. We’re used to straight hair all the time but Bernie showed more exciting looks that complimented my collection as well,” Libiran told the media.

    “The hair completes the look of the women. Whatever she’s wearing should complement the hair. Tonight, we’ve seen the possibility of very relaxed and easy to manage looks and it works,” the Filipino designer added.

    Libiran’s collection for the hair show presented the quintessential French girl in short dresses in pastel and dove grays that complemented French Browns-colored hair. Each piece in the collection, according to Libiran, had the French girl’s minimalist aesthetic in mind, mildly infused with his signature Art Deco details.

    Natural look
    Finally according to Ottjes, French Browns is on its way to becoming a classic worldwide.

    “We have seen so many hair coloring trends for a while now but in Europe and also in my country, people are hungry for a more natural look now. You will see that the look is changing.

    “The younger generation of course, they like still like to have the funky colors but I think the French browns will be be the new classic worldwide,” Ottjes explained.

    “I think it is already a big hit here in Asia because the women are very dark so if they are going to two or three levels lighter, it will already be like a European color that will make the face look softer. So yes, the French browns will suit a lot of women over here,” he ended.


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