Big Apple week calls for Craig

TUGGERANONG hairdresser Craig Rhodes will travel to the Big Apple next month to style at New York Fashion Week.

The owner of Smitten Hairdressing will join the team of stylists working with hair-care brand Original and Mineral at the NYFW 2013 fall collection shows for the brand’s fashion-designer partners.

“This is what I’ve been striving for for the past couple of years,” he says. “I was excited enough to be working on Sydney fashion week but New York fashion week is the cream of it.”

During the past couple of years, Craig has worked with other salons, assisting with shoots for “GQ” and “Vogue” magazines.

The shows will be under the direction of Original and Mineral creative director Janelle Chaplin, who is based in New York but is a former Canberran. She completed her apprenticeship at Civic salon Axis Hairdressing and, since leaving Canberra, has styled backstage for some of the leading Paris fashion shows including Chanel, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton.

Craig, who has been in the industry for about 15 years, agrees Canberra is a great breeding ground for hairdressers with a wealth of talent in salons scattered across the capital.

“I was a late starter. I was in retail and the public service – a typical Canberran – and decided that hairdressing would be cool,” he says.

He did his apprenticeship at leading Canberra salon Cataldos and eventually decided to open his own salon.

“Hairdressing can take you lots of places,” Craig says.

And he’s prepared for the experience in New York and the frantic pace of backstage.

“I know it’s going to be a madhouse. No sleeping, no eating, just lots of hair,” he says.

While Craig’s work is all about the hair, he knows fashion week is essentially about the clothes.

“Behind the scenes in runway work is hectic. You have to work to the designer’s brief to make sure you complement the outfit and not overpower it.

“Networking will be an important part of the visit for me, but it’s also about making sure that the work’s good enough that you get an invite back next year.”

It’s not just New York he has his sights set on, either.

“Paris would be phenomenal, but I’d love to go to London fashion week because it’s got a bit more street edge to it. That’s something to aim for over the next couple of years.”

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