“COARSE: The Edges of Black Ingenuity” VIRTUAL EXHIBITION by JAWARA

06.11.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

One of the top young creatives for hair in the fashion industry has been international hairstylist Jawara Wauchope. His expertise in the avant-garde crafting of black hair resonates deeply with many creatives in and outside of the local industry.

In one of his most recent ventures, the hairstylist has partnered with his creative agency Art Partner for the launch of a virtual exhibition of some of his most iconic work entitled COARSE: The Edges of Black Ingenuity . Curated by the artist himself, the exhibition features images by top fashion photographers such as Tyler Mitchell, Kristin-Lee Moolman, Nadine Ijewere among others that document the intricacy of afro-hairstyles as an art-form. In each piece of his work the artist has managed to use hair to tell stories of a modern reality where black hair styles are seen through a complex artistic light as opposed to whatever stigmatized view that is usually put upon it. 

“It is my intention to use this platform to curate a storied journey of triumph through the power of our follicles. I was taught at a young age that “hair is strength” by my mother who hasn’t cut her hair in 43 years. I believe that the best way to convey this truth is through beauty,” he artist explained. 

Running from now until late December 2020, the virtual compilation of images from black hair as something way different than a cosmetic feature but enables one to think of it with commentary on gender, class, race and spirituality. 

Take a tour on the full virtual exhibition on ArtPartner.com 

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Hair Portraits by Rachel Portesi at The BMAC

18.10.2020 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover image: Homage to Louise Bourgoise (quadriptych) 2018

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) in Vermont recently opened an exhibition with Artist Rachel Portesi and BMAC Chief Curator Mara Williams exploring  the sentimental values of hair as it pertains to identity and its relationship women and femme-identifying individuals throughout society. The exhibit entitled Hair Portraits features a series of Portesi’s tintype photographs of femme identifying models of various ages and ethnicity who see consider hair to be a large part of their identity. Each image through the series reflects on hair’s symbolic significance throughout history, with linkage to culture, fertility, sexual identity and ethnicity. 

“Also informing Hair Portraits is Portesi’s fascination with the cross-cultural presence of hair in historic memorialization and mourning practices. During the Victorian era—which coincided with the rise of tintype photography—wreaths, art, and sculpture were often made using the deceased’s hair as the primary medium, especially among families that couldn’t afford photography. In the Ndebele culture of Zimbabwe and northeastern South Africa (among other ethnic groups), it is customary for family members of all sexes to shave their head during the mourning period, unless the deceased relative willed them exempt prior to passing. Religious sculptures from first-century China have been found to contain human hair in their hollow recesses. And in present-day Western culture, it is not unusual for a parent to save a lock of hair to memorialize their child’s first haircut,” – BMAC

 “I use hair to both honor and say goodbye to past parts of myself. These images address fertility, sexuality, creativity, nurturement, and harmony and discord with nature. Above all, these images — photographs of elaborate, pinned hair sculptures constructed in the studio with the input of their subjects—are a testament to change. In my case, that change is a record of metamorphosis from a past fractured self to an integrated, confident, self-actualized woman,” the artist explained.

Rachel Portesi is now on show at The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, for more information visit The BMAC.

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Signature African Art: The Way We Were by Oluwole Omofemi

29.02.2020 | Art , Beauty , Blog , Culture | BY:

Cover image : Oluwole Omofemi, ‘Omonalisa II’, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 121 x 121 cm, 2019. Courtesy Signature African Art

Mayfair based art gallery Signature African Art is set to open it’s new space with an exhibition by Nigerian artist Oluwole Omofemi entitled The Way We Were . In the words of the artist herself , the exhibition will be a celebration of Afrocentric pride and a reflection on the post colonial era. Throughout the exhibition Omofemi explores the importance of black hair in the black community as a call for people to assert their own identity through their own stories and shedding traces and definitions of identity left from colonialism.  

The artist also references more recent times regarding The Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s and the natural hair movement that came with it, made popular by icons such as Diana Ross , Jimi Hendrix and Angela Davis. 

Throughout her work hair is a metaphor for something deeper , a level of freedom prized with the owning of ones own identity, very much similar to the significance and thought process of black woman choosing to keep or go natural in the community. Rendered in oil and acrylic, her paintings at times have simple primary coloured backgrounds, which lend them a vivid Pop Art sensibility; in others, a darker mood is created, referencing the works of the Old Masters.

Located in Davies Street, Mayfair, Signature African Art was founded by Rahman Akar. Of its first show, he says: “We are delighted to be opening a space in London, and thrilled that Oluwole Omofemi, one of Nigeria’s most compelling young artists, is our first show. In addition to his mastery of composition, his works are at once both celebratory and deeply thought-provoking.”

The Way We Were exhibition opens on the 12th of March at the Signature Art Gallery in Mayfair, it will run until the 9th of April.

Oluwole Omofemi, ‘Root II’, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 121 x 121 cm, 2019. Courtesy Signature African Art
Oluwole Omofemi, ‘Omonalisa’ Oil and acrylic on canvas, 121 x 121 cm, 2019. Courtesy Signature African Art
Oluwole Omofemi, ‘Root III’, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 121 x 121 cm, 2019. Courtesy Signature African Art

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Tallawah: A Jamaican story by Jawara & Nadine Ijewere

17.01.2020 | Art , Beauty , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Later this month photographer Nadine Ijewere and hair stylist Jawara will reveal an exhibition titled Tallawah in collaboration with Dazed Beauty at the Cob Gallery in London.

The showcase takes it’s name from the Jamaican patois word Tallawah, which means small but nonetheless fearless and strong-willed. Throughout the exhibition, Jawara explores his childhood of growing up in Kingston during the peak of Dancehall culture and the influence of creativity in the fashion & hairstyling by the women around him. For photographer Nadine Ijewere, she dives into her Nigerian-Jamaican heritage and aims to paint an image of the stories shared by her mother about the island of Jamaica. 

“This project is very close to my heart,” said Ijewere in a statement. “It was empowering to be able to explore part of my heritage by photographing these beautiful, strong people. The relationship between hair and identity is one I wanted to capture and celebrate – it’s a story that’s important to tell.”

Jawara added: “Small but Strong. Likkle but Tallawah. The strength and beauty of Jamaica.”

Tallawah opens it’s doors at the Cob Gallery in London on January 23rd and will run until February 1st. 

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The Drawing Room, Shoreditch

13.04.2015 | Beauty | BY:

Set in a beautiful Georgian townhouse, The Drawing Room is the latest hair salon in the heart of East London, established by renowned hair stylist Oskar Pera and James Ollerenshaw. Charming, with a comforting and luxurious atmosphere, The Drawing Rooms prides itself on the ultimate personal approach. Twin caught up with Co-Founder Ollerenshaw to talk about his latest venture.

Tell us about The Drawing Room and how it started…
The Drawing Room has been open for a year, but the gestation of the concept probably began when Oskar Pera gained his first experience managing a hair salon in Palma de Mallorca approximately ten years ago. This deepened his ambition to open his own salon, but he wanted to develop his career both commercially and creatively before taking that step.

He moved to London in 2006, styling in leading Shoreditch salons, before leaving to work independently as a session stylist for fashion labels, magazines, models and artists, and private clients. Fashion brands Oskar has styled for include Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Kenzo, Chloé, Erdem, Fred Perry, Lacoste, JW Andersen, and Peter Pilotto. He has delivered creative editorial work for magazines such as Vogue, GQ, Ponystep, Volt and Dansk. Models and artists served include Florence Welch, Cara Delevigne, George Michael, Sharleen Spiteri, The Alpines, Trudie Styler, and Kate Nash.

The Drawing Room prides itself on exclusivity and the personal approach, tell us a little about that…
When creating his own salon, Oskar wanted a space and experience that would offer the glamour and exclusivity inspired by his session work, but his years of experience on the salon floor taught him that clients most value an approach that responds to their individual needs and preferences. He has trained the team at The Drawing Room to always to be professional and pay close attention to detail, and never to be less than warm and genuine, putting clients at their ease and making them the centre of attention. Every appointment begins with a consultation so there is an opportunity to listen carefully to clients’ wishes and to talk with them about their lifestyle and personal style. This conversation build rapport and allows each stylist to build a picture of their client’s character and daily life, helping them to create a manageable style that is uniquely theirs.

What’s in the name?
The name of the salon reflects this ethos of personality and the style of the building we occupy. The Drawing Room has been created within a 1750s town house and we wanted to maintain the sense that you are entering a beautiful, almost domestic space. There’s none of the feel of a busy chain salon. Clients sit in capacious styling chairs facing antique or bespoke dressing tables. We shake their choice of cocktail or offer artisan coffee or fresh tea. There are hot towels to refresh and, on most days, Poquito the salon dog provides additional entertainment!

Which hairstyles are particularly on trend for this summer?
Following on from fashion week events in London and Paris, Oskar notes that natural-looking, lightly wavy, air-dried styles are very popular at present. They look effortless, but to work really well you’ll need an exceptional cut and skilful colour. If this natural look suits your taste and hair type, here’s how you can achieve it.

For medium length hair, after washing and conditioning, towel dry taking care to ensure moisture is removed from the ends. If your hair is frizzy, apply a rich leave-in conditioner. If you have smooth hair, use a salt spray to create texture. Part the hair and, holding the hair dryer above you head, blow downwards using a medium temp. Adjust the amount of waviness by using your fingers like a wide-toothed brush, smoothing out the hair to reduce waves, or scrunching to increase them.

For long hair, follow the same steps as above, but when your hair is 95% dry divide it into four quarters across your head and then loosely plait each section. You can leave to dry naturally for around half an hour, or if you’re pressed for time apply some heat by using a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment. Once the hair is fully dry, undo the plaits and shake out your hair to a natural finish.

The Drawing Room, 41 Artillery Lane, London, E1 7LP


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Tailored by No. 5

14.10.2014 | Beauty | BY:

Tailored by No. 5 is a recently launched, new salon in East London that offers a bespoke hair experience, completely tailored to you and your lifestyle. Twin sent Online Editor Mariella to visit the exclusive top-secret location to find out what the Tailored by No. 5 experience is all about.   

Walking into Tailored by No. 5 I was welcomed by the most adorable grey Shar Pei. Having my hair cut can evoke feelings of stress, however this little puppy had me at ease; the glass of prosecco that was waiting for me also helped. We sat down around a lone desk in a bright studio room filled with photography tomes and magazines for a very informal chat, talking everything but hair. Feeling extremely relaxed now, having uttered nothing of my last holiday – something I find myself preparing before my time in the chair – we turned our attention to my dishevelled mane. Talking previous cuts, washing techniques, styling products and personal taste, I was able to suggest ideas that I wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing up to a new stylist, like a short, edgy fringe for example. But walking me through the cutting process I knew I was in very capable hands.

The worst thing about leaving a salon is that sometimes you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. Worst still, you don’t feel like yourself. Leaving No. 5 I felt like an improved version of myself. My hair had even been styled the same way I would at home, so there was none of that rush-home-and-style-yourself business. The products, a paraben and sulphate-free brand called Unite left my hair soft, nourished and much shiner than it has been in previous months. I left feeling great, my hair looking new and improved, and with a head full of styling and cleansing tips and tricks tailored just for me.


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