My goal with MOONLIGHT was to continue pushing the boundaries of colour, shape and texture through hair. I believe that when you do something you love… you will constantly push boundaries.
Enter, MOONLIGHT: A brief albeit stirring foray into the mind of one of our industry’s most prolific figures, Angelo Seminara.
Culminating a series of dazzling editorial images and accompanying film assets, MOONLIGHT is at once masterfully executed and visually arresting; a testament to the four-time British Hairdresser of the Years’ boundless creative vision and otherworldly skillset.
Here, Senior Seminara shares a glimpse into the collection’s mammoth creative production in Iceland, the inspiration behind its conception and how he’s keeping creatively charged during the current social and economic climate. Over to you, Angelo.
TJ: Tell us about MOONLIGHT.
AS: My goal with MOONLIGHT was to continue pushing the boundaries of colour, shape and texture through hair. I wanted this collection to be avant-garde, but still wearable.
While it may not be the most [technically] challenging of shoots, it was definitely one of the most difficult [to execute]! Shooting in Iceland presented a few difficulties, [mainly stemming from the fact that] we chose to shoot at night.
We shot the collection during Summer, [and in Iceland], this meant the sun would barely set… We needed darkness to capture the perfect ‘Moonlight’. [In the end], the light was incredibly beautiful, romantic, mysterious and unique.
Our amazing models were brought in from all over the world; each was specifically chosen to compliment the idea of ‘Moonlight’. I planned the shoot so that it could be divided into two collections; the second of which will be released in the near future.
Iceland is such a majestic place; I hope that every single person is able to experience its magnificent beauty at least once in their lifetime.
TJ: What inspired the concept and aesthetic?
AS: The concept revolved around the idea of models ‘landing on the moon’. We still, however, wanted to make it believable and not too far from reality. For styling and makeup, our intention was to explore and complement this idea of a moon landing.
Makeup was therefore slightly pale, with individualised features (from graphic drawings through to classic, smoky eyes). For styling, we chose to veer away from [strong prints and] patterns; I did not want to distract from the beauty of the hair and location.
During the creation process, there were so many twists and turns that made me excited; endless possibilities to create more. I believe that when you do something you love… you will constantly push the boundaries.
TJ: Tell us about your decision to shoot in Iceland. What is it about the Icelandic landscape and culture that inspires you most?
AS: The first time I visited Iceland, I fell in love with its culture and natural surroundings… instantly. It’s a magical place that makes you feel as though you’re on another planet – much like the moon.
Iceland is home to volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, lagoons, black rocks and hundred-year-old moss; all of these elements co-exist in the same place… I find this unimaginable!
As for the culture… I adore their culinary arts, the people and of course, the heritage. There is simply no other place on earth like it; it’s one of a kind!
TJ: How many people were involved in the project? We heard it was quite the production…
AS: As you can imagine, it was quite difficult to build and shoot on a remote set, so we needed a large crew. In total: about 30-35 team members. While I typically find smaller teams more efficient from a communication perspective, we needed many hands on deck.
Some were tasked with holding windscreens to protect the hair from strong winds and to ensure looks were not damaged. As for the set, we acquired local water tanks that were used to spray the rocks with sea water – to ensure a darker, moodier feel.
We worked with our London team as well as an Icelandic production crew. We were also lucky enough to have an onsite catering team, local assistants, six hairdressers, two makeup artists and two fashion stylists.
TJ: How did you, in collaboration with Andrew O’Toole, conceive of the films’ creative brief?
AS: Andrew was in full control of the photography aspect, [while] I directed all of the video content.
We created an emotional video, as well as a series of accompanying Instagram clips. For the clips, we wanted to create time-lapse drawings that merged into photographs and real-life footage. It was a challenging process, but we are really happy with the outcome!
TJ: As for the hair… what techniques were used to create each of the looks?
AS: I used a fusion of several different techniques, all of which are very intricate; especially with regards to colour application. I hope to release a few ‘step-by-steps’ in the future. It’s still a work in progress as this is a personal, archive collection.
TJ: How are you keeping creatively inspired in this current social and economic climate?
AS: I believe that creativity comes from the passion you have for your craft. It’s up to you to keep that passion alive; to ensure it does not fade away. It’s something that takes a lot of time and commitment; it’s intimate, rather than transparent.
In my opinion, this is the best time for your creativity to blossom, as many of us have a lot of time on our hands. There are many things you can do now, to keep the creativity flowing. You can draw… you can experiment… and you can write down all of your ideas.
I truly feel as though this crisis is a big filter, allowing us to filter out all of the things that are unsustainable… and emerge with something clearer or [at least] more sensible. The results will only be what is essential to each of us.
TJ: Are there any other creative forms, hobbies or personal projects you would like to explore during this time?
AS: I am genuinely enjoying the quality time with my family and reconnecting with people whom I haven’t had the chance to speak with for a long time. I have also been doing a lot of baking and cooking; my other great passion!
At times, I am finding this situation very difficult as I love nature, travelling, culture and meeting new people. We’ve been educated to always push forward; to keep up with a fast paced life.
It’s frustrating to stop, and I’m sure everyone is feeling a little off-kilter at the moment due to the sudden changes and uncertainty. The tenacity and perseverance demonstrated by our essential workers has been so inspiring. We are all extremely grateful for them!
TJ: Where do you see yourself in the next six months… to one year?
AS: I see myself perfecting and developing new hair colouring techniques. It’s an ambition of mine to learn new things during this quiet time; hopefully I can project these learnings back into the hair industry, and share them with my colleagues from around the world!
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