When you date and make new friends, for some of us the question of "what music do you listen too?" is paramount. Some people avoid answering, to others it can be critical. I remembering dating Hillary before we married and making her playlists. I took much pleasure in creating them, and even more when I would learn what songs were her favorite. In someways, it enhanced our love on a sensual level. The thrill of going to shows and staying out late after, avoiding sleep at any cost in fear of losing the memories of the concert. I find those who are passionate about music are truly my people. We don't always have the same taste, but we do have the emotional connection. A connection where we will forever struggle to adequately express in words how music makes us feel, but somehow know that the other person is feeling the same emotions. As a hairdresser, I'm inspired by musicians. It is hard for me to look at architecture and want to translate that to someones's hairstyle, but the personas of David Bowie, Patti Smith, and Iggy Pop move me and inspire me to conjure their likeness in my work. It is the moment in which I am interested. The revelation. The attitude and confidence that an artist owns.
Collaborating with artist Kristin Kontrol was a dream. You might know her best as Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls. Her songs for me were a coming of age sound track, intensely sentimental. The confidence of “Lost Boys and Girls Club” coupled with the clear image of the band's aesthetic continually inspires me. I often revisit the album Only in Dreams..
I’m grateful to be able to work with an artist that I am a fan of. To share stories and be unplugged is an incredibly special moment. Kristin is vegan and we connected over Reverie being vegan and cruelty-free. Our story and performance is critical to us, as are our morals. When we created our first product, MILK- it became our benchmark. Effective and organic. A rare combination.
Thank you for sharing in this journey with me. Your support has made dreams come true.
Founder / Owner
We've been playing your new album on repeat. Whats the story behind the name X Communicate? I wrote that song about halfway through the group of songs that ended up on the album. Melodically, I was trying to do a big vocal run, very Kate Bush or Cyndi Lauper. I had just landed on that phrase and liked it. I often gravitate toward religious imagery because I was raised Catholic; it's just so dramatic. The concept of excommunication easily applies to relationships, particularly to the codependent kinds.
When you recreated your image as the artistic Kristin Kontrol, is that all your say? Of course. Just like I worked with producers to get to and surpass my sonic goals, I worked with designers and stylists to do the same with the aesthetic, but there isn't a Malcolm McLaren behind the scenes.
How important is hair? Definitely part of myself whether I am focused or dismissive of it. I went through pretty severe life detox and a visual representation of that was growing out my hair. I wanted to look and feel more adult, more minimalist, more straight-forward. Eschewing the very 60s-indebted style I'd had for years for something simple and one-length was a quick way to do that.
We met celebrating your vegan lifestyle and Reverie products being formulated completely vegan. How did you come to live this way? I am always psyched to find high quality and high concept vegan products of any kind -- Reverie was even better than usual because I actually use hair products more often that say, faux chorizo or a luxury handbag. I went vegetarian when I was young. I wasn’t a huge fan of meat anyway, but I just loved animals. As a teenager I read Diet For A New America and became vegan immediately. My family thought I was nuts, but over time it was easy to parallel, say, my mother’s desire to grow her own vegetables or shop at a farmer’s market, and my own desire to eat clean and cruelty-free. I ate fish for a few years in my mid 20s and wasn’t as strict with my veganism after that stint, but reading Morrissey’s biography in 2013 and watching Food Inc. with my younger brother helped me recommit to being aware of how what I put in my body affects both me and the planet. I eat most meals at home and have a cheap healhty diet down to a science if anyone needs any help
Is there a grave for Dee Dee? Were her clothes burned or donated? Ha! I didn't feel precious enough about "her" so no funeral, but I did get rid of a lot via resale or donation.
While doing your hair I enjoyed chatting about our shared taste in music. If you were to create a playlist for salons what would be essential? I used to do this at the salons I worked reception in. Definitely important to keep the energy up but not aggressively so. Lots of Air, Goldfrapp, Smiths, Blondie, Donna Summer, Frankie Knuckles, etc.
You've work in a few salons. A TRIBE salon Di Pietro Todd. Any advice for stylists? I saw a lot of assistants come and go via their education program. It seemed like pretty thankless work at times but like any goal worth pursuing, you have to stick it out. Find your mentor, cultivate a work community, work hard but play hard too.
What do you do when you can’t sleep? I use an app called Attractor ... it's supposed to be a dynamic binaural wave generator, using sound to help create various states of mind. Just sounds like white noise.
What was the last best live show you saw? Olivia Newton-John hands down. Baby's All Right in Brooklyn last month. Brilliant.
As a artist do you struggle with control? Kill the ego. I learned over time to let go.
Have you ever been discouraged? Lots of times. Very rarely does it overwhelm me, but when it does, I try to just go through the experience. I sleep it off and pull myself back up in the morning. There's a line in a song I open my set with, a b-side, that touches on this:
Photographer Matthew Kazarian
Make Up Javier Mena
Hair Garrett Markenson
Wardrobe belongs to Kristin and the location of the shoot was the Boardwalk in Santa Monica, California
The shoot began on Monday at the Vidal Sassoon Academy. The consultation was simple; dark but not black or warm. I applied EVER Recover Hair Oil, 6 drops all over as a pre-color treatment to protect and soften her hair.
BASE / Permanent
1/2 Level 3 Neutral
1/2 Level 4 intenseNeutral
2 oz of Green concentrate
20 Volume Developer
ENDS / Semi-Permanent
Pearl Violet deposit only
1.9 % Developer
I applied her base first and allowed her to process for about 20 minutes then dampened down her length and applied the rest for about 20 minutes.
Kristin had some concepts for her look. A few photos that Javier and I looked over and combined into this look. I enjoyed that as she is a artist and knows what she wants. I applied MILK and blow everything neutral and back to prep for her sleek pony. Taking a lighting blot like section to center nap. I left the hairline around her face natural to encourage a soft contrast. After creating each side of the wet look pony tail I braided each one. I was excited to play with a new hair accessory I just got from Preview Wear.