Battle of the Strands 2013 came to fabulous Las Vegas with one thing in mind, to bring down the house. And believe me, that is exactly what they did. Starting with over 14 teams, a competitive group of 8 were selected and gathered at The Palms Pearl Theater to showcase their best in hair, makeup and art with an icon-inspired theme.
Competitors flew in from as far as Puerto Rico, to a stone’s throw away in Los Angeles and even our very own Henderson, Nevada. The show opened up with a swanky cocktail hour that highlighted vendors and sponsors of the show. Gift bags were abundant with everything from flat irons, sculpting gels and a range of makeup accessories from the NY-based line Shades by Gal.
The theme of the show was iconic legends and teams drew from artist such as Madonna, Cher and even Lady Gaga to sculpt mesmerizing pieces all out of hair. As the models made their way down to the runway, the crowd grew robust with applause stunned by elaborate makeup designs and even more embellished hairstyles.
House of Style shocked the crowd with their Lady Gaga icon-inspired look. Their model plummeted to the floor in a studded bondage outfit and almost life-sized pirate ship replication equip with its very own black pearl, all made out of hair. The House of Style team, home to the Las Vegas area consisted of hair professionals Kali Jones and Stephanie Glover from Circa Salon, and make-up artist Lisa Strawther from Making Up Las Vegas.
I was fortunate enough between hectic schedules to get a few words with Lisa.
What was your biggest challenge working on the show?
~ The element of surprise! We never knew what we were doing until we were about to do it, making it very difficult to be prepared. That, and what felt like no more than 3 hours of sleep for about a week.
What inspired your idea?
~ The theme that Battle of the Strands gave us was icons, we had a Lady Gaga impersonator (Erika) and had a giant ship built as we thought we were doing a pirate. Once they said icon, it just made sense to do Lady Gaga....she is super into the sea-themes right now. She was our fierce Lady Gaga-Davy Jones pirate sea wench with the black pearl to top it off!
How important is it for hair salons to get together in this kind of capacity?
~ It’s important for the industry because it brings top artists together from around the world; we get to bond, share ideas and inspiration. It also gives everyone a chance to be incredibly creative; avant-garde is not something most of us get to do often.
How does it feel to be one of the Top 8 makeup teams in the world?
~ As far as being one of the top hair and makeup teams in the world, all I can say is WOW! Besides this being the highlight of my career thus far, it’s still a little surreal to me. I’m sure it will sink in once the show airs!
After musical performances from upcoming artist Manika (pronounced Ma-neek-ka), the judges deliberated on who would be the Battle of the Strands winner. A hard decision to say the least, the judges chose from Swarovski-encrusted mermaid jumpsuits and heart-shaped hairpieces. Yet only one could be winner. California-based salon Clark Russell Salon blew the judges away with their rendition of Cher’s Grammy outfit from 2000. With an amazing hair piece towering from the model’s head, the crowd was left speechless of the slender silhouette saunter down the runway.
The Battle of the Strands event was a great night for all involved. Supporting a great cause and bringing together hairdressers and make-up artists from around the world, the Battle of the Strands accomplished what they came to do, provide a night of iconic legends.