IF YOU DONT GET LOST, THERE IS A CHANCE YOU MAY NEVER BE FOUND

Imagine a clear blue sky with only four clouds. Floating centrally is a large bronze disc decorated with letters and arcane symbols. Start at the top of the disc and move clockwise, spell out the letters, what do they read? T, A, R, O. The word TAROT forming when you return to the spot where you started. On top of the disc a turquoise Egyptian Sphinx rests, menacingly staring at us. In his hands is an almighty sword and he holds it with pride. Below him, rising up from below the disc is what appears to be a a humanoid body with a devil-like wolf’s head. A golden snake slithers down the left hand side and each of the four clouds hosts a winged animal reading a book. Setting the scene for the most mystically illustrated Tarot card.

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‘Wheel of Fortune speaks of a time of fantastic opportunities. It’s about staying at the centre of the wheel where you can respond from a calm still place rather than getting whipped around and reacting to people and events. Getting grounded. Staying centred. Tuning in and trusting yourself. And remember, a tiny shift in direction now will result in a massive difference in where you end up.’ – Polka Dot Dakini (Urban Tarot).

I’ve never felt so in control of my life as I do now. I’ve spent the last two years exploring, discovering and conditioning myself to understand and admit to who I really am. This could be a frightful and unresting period as I unearthed demons buried under years of self-manipulation. I searched intellectually and spiritually, I built new relationships and allowed myself to experience unusual paths. I listened to my own needs and relied fully upon myself. I stopped expecting from others. I believed that I was unable to offer anything substantial until I learned exactly what it was I needed to live happily, achieve my ambitions and release my potential. In doing so I have reached a place where I can wake up with a smile on my face and butterflies in my belly, excited at the prospects that lay out in front of me. Sitting firmly on the centre of my wheel, taking on, with strength and confidence, anything that comes my way.

noun
Self identification is how you see yourself or identifying yourself with someone or something else.

I would never be top candidate for a public speech. I’ve been mimicked indefinitely my entire existence for the high-pitched, piercing shrills that expel from my mouth. My regional accent is even difficult to decipher for people who live within my region and my pace is equal to that of an Olympic sprinter. Nerves make me fidget and my hands take on a life of their own. Give me a model’s hair to style or a dance to perform and I’m sure to be fine, but allow me to engage an audience through the art of storytelling and I may becoming a waffling mess.

‘PechaKucha, or ‘chit chat’ in Japanese, was developed by Klein Dytham Architecture in Tokyo back in 2003. PKNs now run all over the world – our last count was over 800 cities and growing. It’s a simple quick-fire format – presenters show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. Presenters choose their own topic – their work, their loves, hates, hobbies or holidays!’ Creative Dundee.

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I was invited by Creative Dundee to participate in Pecha Kucha Dundee Global Event, held at the Bonar Hall within the city. The night kicked off with an introduction by organiser Gillian Easson and a link with Pecha Kucha founders in Japan. I had never been to the popular event so I was unsure what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised by the relaxed and warming atmosphere.

The first talk was given by Brazilian film maker Sam Goncalves who talked about his recent work ‘Coletivo’ a film surrounding protesters in São Paulo. Sam spoke with ease and his imagery was engaging and captivating. I was up next and should have been frantically reciting my speech round and round my head but instead found myself drawn in by the fascinating story of the social divide surrounding the Brazilian city.

Cue frantic, panicky behaviour.

I had taken the time to rehearse. All bloody week I had said that seven-minute speech in the car, in the shower, whilst hoovering, silently in my head whilst cutting clients’ hair at work. There was actually no need for the gruelling effort because as I walked up the three small steps to the stage, each and every word I had precisely practiced disappeared, evaporated into an abyss only to reappear as soon as my shaking legs hit the first step on the way back down.

Cue fight or flight reaction.

I’m a fighter so there really was no option. I blurted out my opening sentence and the next six and a half minutes were a fuzzy blur. I talked about my short career in hairdressing, my achievements, my goals and ambitions. Moving on to tell the tale of The Velvet Elvis Foundation and eventually the birth and growth of GG BOBS HER HAIR. I only managed to forget a couple of critical factors but the encouraging audience didn’t seem to notice and I managed to provoke laughter, a rowdy cheer and a few tears from my mum in the front row.

Cue that joyous sense of relief.

The last slide, a split screen picture of my family, brought a wave of relaxation and I felt my shoulders drop. I had managed to make it through without falling, spitting or swearing and the generous applause from the creative crowd suggested I did all right. A personal achievement gained and my fear of public speaking reduced by an inch or two. A truly wonderful evening and a brilliant idea to bring people of our vibrant city together to share outstanding stories of achievement within the creative realm. It has encouraged me to broaden my horizons and to seek collaboration with the innovative people of Dundee and beyond.

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This Saturday I will be involved in DJCAD Dundee Service Jam where I have designed a creative and informative workshop on manipulating the texture of hair using various materials. I am working on an exciting piece of writing material with a hugely successful and renowned working photographer on a subject that is close to my heart.

Last week I had an in-depth and insightful tarot reading from a talented friend Pauline Hynd. The cards and informative nature repositioned me on my path and unearthed thoughts and feelings I’d unwillingly let get buried in the day-to-day running of life. I pulled The Wheel of Fortune which I described above and this card confirmed I’m in a comfortable place and has permitted me to release new energies and has given me the get up and go I need to pursue new creative ideas.

I encourage time alone for self identification.

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. – Carl Jung
Long live The VEF and explore yourself, become your true Queen

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‘I AM NOT AFRAID, I WAS BORN TO DO THIS’ – JOAN OF ARC

I got so drunk on White Russians and Bloody Marys that I went to the barbers and had my long hair cut into a short back and sides. I awoke the next morning with no recollection but with an almighty shock! I was in New York and had partied the night before with Paolo Nutini, Kiefer Sutherland and Brian Cox amongst others. I had travelled to the city that never sleeps with my dad to support my sister Hayley at ‘Dressed to Kilt’, a fashion show celebrating Scottish design at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC.

At the time I hadn’t realised it but I was going through a shift, a life change and being a hairdresser for a short five years has taught me that if a women decides to shear her hair, she has decided to shear a whole lot more.

Let’s explore the cultural relevance of my favourite haircut….image

Bobbed hair was first noted in and around 15th century France, when heroine Joan of Arc chopped her hair for practical reasons when preparing for battle between England and France. Although there have been many women thereafter who mimicked the cropped hairstyle, it was ‘The Maid of Orleans’ that heavily influenced French coiffure Antoine de Paris around the early 1900s and the Bob made a legendary comeback that will never disappear from history again.
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Antoine de Paris was the world’s first celebrity hairdresser with his salon in the French Capital the choice of the elite, including high society, film stars and royalty. His reincarnation of the Bob was aptly named ‘coupe e la Jeanne D’Arc’ in memory of the honourable Saint. The style was rapidly taken up by fashionable Parisians and inevitably found its way, swimmingly across the English Channel.
Hairdressing post World War One had seen stylists heavily trained, typically in setting and dressing long hair. This new, modern technique saw women adorn the streets, queueing outside barber shops awaiting their long locks to be shorn off instead. The style was favourable amongst the fashion conscious younger generation and in the early 1920s was still seen as risqué and shocking.

The bobbed style was was taken and famed by Louise ‘Lulu’ Brooks, a silent movie actress renowned for her film noir titles as well as her equally noir personal life. Louise fashioned and made increasingly popular the bobbed haircut, a style she had worn since a child through to later life, where she infamously shifted from Hollywood starlet to drug addicted call girl.

During this time discoveries in archaeological terms saw many treasures being shipped to the West from far lands including Egypt. Riches of golds and diamonds, paintings, carvings and statues were found, including those with depictions of Egyptian Queen Cleopatra who brought the hairstyle and heir of wealth and feminine power.

This era found a shift in empowerment surrounding women, fashions included short skirts and bobbed hair and young ladies pursued quick thrills through smoking, drinking and casual sex. The origin and idealism of these provocative girls were seen as being rooted in liberalism and were fondly known as ‘flappers’.

Flappers embodied the triumphs and the dangers of the modern age and their fresh moral conduct played a huge part on our lives today. Seen as impetuous young women of easy virtue, cutting their hair short symbolised an independence and strength equal
to men. ‘Bernice Bobs her Hair’ is a playful short story and inspiration to my blog name, written by the great F. Scott Fitzgerald, a tale of a dull, drab young lady who cuts her hair and is instantly transformed into a seductive vamp. Fitzgerald quotes ‘I was the spark that hit up that flaming youth, Colleen Moore was the torch. What little things we are to have caused all that trouble’. His wife Zelda was know as the first American flapper.
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Colleen Moore, Madame Butterfly

With the start of WWII, many women entered the workforce. The Bob, still prominent, changed shape, growing in length with a softer feel. Women still yearned stylish hair, which stayed off of their face and allowed them to be practical yet fashionable at work. Waistlines and hemlines lowered for a more conservative appeal and women pursued a more ladylike appearance, in contrast to the laborious jobs they undertook daily through manual work in factory production lines.
The post war era that followed found a more glamorous and structured style with progressive volume and height. Bouffant and lacquered, the 1950s Bob symbolised youth and represented the typical teenage look. With the growth of Rock & Roll, and subculture pushing to the forefront, once more the Bob was representative of a distinctive significance in progressive youth rebellion. Varied styles including the page boy and gamine arose and cropped fringes were fashioned, influenced by pin up girls and film stars including Bettie Paige.

The Beat scene and progressional hippie revolution saw youths reject materialism and human conditioning, they explored the use of illegal drugs and experimented in alternative sexual fantasies or desires. Personal grooming was seen as adverse so hair would be outgrown and left in its natural state. Contrary to this, 1963 saw the most radical reincarnation of the Bob since the 20’s when legendary hairstylist Vidal Sassoon created the five-point Bob and radically changed the technique and fundamentals within the creative hairdressing industry today. Inspired by the art movement Bauhaus, Sassoon based all his revolutionary haircuts on basic geometric shapes, giving women the freedom of an easy to manipulate, fuss free style that few have looked back, even today! Fashion designer Mary Quant and model Twiggy had their tresses groomed by the prolific stylist and the Sassoon Bob was iconic through the swinging sixties.

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Since Sassoon the Bob has always been seen as en vogue and many memorable and fabulous bobs have been created and worn. My favourites being:
Debbie Harry
Mia Wallace
Cleopatra
Lulu Brooks
Posh Spice
Mary Quant
Irene Castle
Colleen Moore
Clara bow
Coco Chanel
Josephine Baker
Winona Ryder
Joan Crawford
Siouxsie Sioux
Anna Wintour
Lois Lane
Velma (Scooby Doo)
and of course my own!

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For me, the meaning of having a Bob gives the impression of stature, feminine freedom, notability, strength, seriousness and sexiness.

Long live the VEF and to avoid looking like the Queen, cut a Bob Jean.

I KISSED A GIRL AND I LIKED IT…

I once nudged Katy Perry out the way so I can get a photograph with her pal. She was wearing a 1950’s one-piece with her hair styled in cute victory rolls. We were amongst revellers at an uber-cool Magazine launch in The Standard Hotel, Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. It was a pool party, everyone to suave to be in the pool. I had no idea who Katy Perry was and never dreamed I’d cheekily pushed a global super-star out of the road. I’m almost certain we were the inspiration to her debut hit ‘I kissed a girl’…

It was August 2007 and I’d flown over to spend my summer break with my sister Hayley who had been living in Hollywood for a few months. Slogging hard in the garage of ‘It’ fashion designer Jeremy Scott, Hayley jetted out to The States employed as an intern for the wacky designer. Learning her much loved craft whilst causing a stir within the A-list clubs of LA. Photographed regularly for party websites including The Cobrasnake and Rony’s Photo-booth it was clear the young Dundee lass was making quite an impression and had set up a great reputation. She managed to blag the best guest-lists just as I arrived.

So how did a young girl from a small town on the other side of The Atlantic Ocean wind up in LA? Rubbing shoulders with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan or making friends with Sky Ferriera and Scout Willis or designing best selling prints for Jeremy Scott, who is now not only head designer for his own label but has Moschino under his trendy belt too. Hard work and determination, self belief and will power, positive attitude and understanding of her craft as well as a bucket load of talent. This being the tip of the iceberg, Hayley has since gone on to setting up her own label, with ten remarkable collections and still consistently surprising customers and industry insiders with cutting edge silhouettes and complementing colours. Having caught the eye of high street giants including Debenhams and Topshop, as well as stylists of famous faces including, Little Mix, Jessie J and Rihanna, there is no stopping this productive female.

We found ourselves in a small booth with a group of fun, eager Beverly Hills kids, the pool party was in full swing and our playful screams and childlike behaviour naughtily taking attention away from an American soap-opera actor who sat a few booths down. Gathering a crowd with our adolescent game of kissing each other after one too many Long Island Iced Tea’s, the night ended in heaps of laughter and the majority of our group jumping in a shopping mall fountain. Katy Perry finding inspiration for her debut single which was realised less than six months later, marking her rise of fame and eventually going on to perform at The Super Bowl 2015 to over 112 Million viewers inevitably wearing costumes designed by Jeremy Scott.

What’s most impressive with designer Hayley Scanlan’s work is everything is done under one roof, her small studio in the heart of Dundee is where the creative process starts and where the finished product ends. From concept to garment, everything is done by award winning Hayley and her small team. All fabrics and design tools ethically sourced, there are no signs of factories or sweatshops for this expanding business. Every piece made with love from the designers own hands. Friday 30th January 2015 seen the release of a limited edition collection from the design house, a collection which is an expansion of Autumn/Winters ‘Dusky Hustle’ using a unique colour palette with recognisable HS designs. It’s so lustful you will want it all.

http://www.hayleyscanlan.com

Spring/Summer 2015 collection coming this April

Long live the VEF and Katy Perry the Pop Queen X Hayley Scanlan the Design Queen.

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