Athena is a dancer of the Greek National Opera and as far as I’m concerned, is the alpha-female on Anafi, where she co-owns a restaurant with her husband. Every night she would sing greek rembetika songs accompanied by her musicians, keeping us all under her spell. I came across the new Dolce & Gabbana a/w 2012 campaign (feauturing Monica Bellucci) and was mesmerized by the power that the Italian women were projecting in the image but also really inspired by their hair. So, I decided that I had to shoot Athena and this campaign was my inspiration. I didn’t do a bun at the back because the intricate ponytail looks much more seductive and the woman I wanted to capture is a master of seduction. A mediterranean force of nature.
the Dolce & Gabbana a/w 2012 campaign, beautifully shot by Giampaolo Sgura.
There I was, reading the latest issue of British Vogue (Sept. 2012) on the ship going to Anafi (special-place-in-my-heart-Greek-island) for my summer vacations, when I came across a really interesting piece on hairpins by Jo Ellison. The phrase that haunted me from then on was (hair superstar) Luke Hersheson’s statement that “Any hairdresser worth his while should be able to secure a whole ‘do with a single pin”. Hmm, tricky one. All my hairdos have survived extremely demanding occasions such as wedding parties, dance theatre and even pole dancing, but a single pin? Don’t think so. Maybe I did it as a session stylist when a photographer requested a change in the hair in less than one second (which was the case quite often) but then again I’m sure I used more than one. Flash forward to my sixth day of vacation and we’re sitting at a cafe having breakfast when I ask Nikki if she wants me to do her hair. For fun. Before going to the beach. She replies: “I only have one pin”. So, there. This updo was created in four to five minutes and it was held together by a single pin. No hairspray, no nothing. All the boys said it was fantastic so I guess I passed Luke’s test. Then Nikki went to get something and when she came back ten minutes later, her hair was down. Anafi is the windiest place I have been to in my life (even locals complain about the wind every now and then), so my heart wasn’t broken because the updo didn’t survive. And then I came to the conclusion that a single hairpin ‘do isn’t necessarily meant to last for hours and hours but it can give you really good hair pictures. A picture is a moment. And a summer holiday is when people try to capture as many moments as they can. So girls, like Nikki did, carry a pin with you. Be creative with it and don’t stress about the result. Just enjoy every single minute of your holiday.