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Huffington Post: Gina Rivera on Being a Stylist on the Red Carpets

Sherrie Wilson

When Halle Berry arrived on the Red Carpet at the Emmy awards, my first thought was, “Wow! She is rockin’ that pixie!” She had it layered beautifully in shades of mocha, subtle tone-on-tone coloring, long in front, short on the sides and back.

My other thought was that the “the pixie is trending strong. It’s going to be here for a while.” Berry was one of at least four major stars wearing pixies at the Emmys and the MTV Video Music Awards held just days earlier.

I don’t know that I would have watched these if I wasn’t writing about them. I would have seen the galleries online but, now, I’ll never miss them again. There was Halle Berry, Lena Headey from “Game of Thrones,” Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting of “The Big Bang Theory” and Miley Cyrus all wearing pixies, no two the same. I got an update on trends, and I was challenged to make them happen. In my head I began tweaking them for my own clients.

I also saw what wasn’t there. Nearly absent were the dramatic hombres. Colors are moving toward softer, more subtle combinations and natural-looking tones. Even Miley Cyrus chose to go with a soft, relatively quiet pixie.

I love being a stylist, and I know that you do, too. It is such a wonderful profession for a lot of reasons. It can, however, become routine if we’re not careful. We get a handful of cuts and colors that we’re really good at, and that’s where we stay. That’s not so good for us or our clients, and it’s partly their fault. … Yes, let’s blame them for a minute! We make them beautiful, they come back for more and what do we do? The same cut and color! Another client comes in with the same cheekbones and skin tones and we do a variation on them, as well.

Our work is beautiful, but grows stale. So, onward we must go. Right now, I’m in the middle of Fashion Week. I’ve followed flashes of these before but now I’m more attentive.

Fashion Week is more like “Fashion Month.” It started with New York Fashion Week, followed by week-long events in London, then Milan and Paris. It’s too much to watch it all, and the focus is on the clothing for the spring and summer next year. The hair, though, is integral and trend setting. I’m reeling through galleries and videos that are easy to find on the internet. There are live-streaming feeds online as well. A lot of what I’ve seen includes slick-back wet looks, ponytails, center parts and loose braids, but gorgeous variations. Much of this is totally within the realm of broadly wearable styles, This isn’t just for the fashion elite. This is about getting new ideas, stimulating our minds to make us better stylists.

As always, be open change!