The Row Does Natural Hair

We opened our mail this morning to find an early Thanksgiving treat: The Row’s unbound, 28-image Spring/Summer 2010 lookbook, shot by Hanna Liden, with hair by Kevin Ryan and make-up by Jeanine Lobell. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen went native, styling their well-constructed basics as though they had sprung from the soil, with earthy body make-up and witchy, primitive hair.

We asked Ryan why in this case sticks and stones have a bone-crushing effect, in a good way:

GILLIAN MOHNEY: Was there a specific character or icon you wanted to evoke with the hair?

KEVIN RYAN: We wanted the model, Ursula Konina, to look organic and have a neutral feel. Being “of the Earth seemed as neutral as it gets.

MOHNEY: The look here is of a woodland nymph in these photos. But nwhat kind nymph is she? A Disney nymph? A mythical nymph?

RYAN: Most certainly mythical, with a nod to Africa.

MOHNEY: What about The Row’s clothing brought out this look?

RYAN: I think a lot of their pieces are easy to wear and have a second-skin quality, so they can be paired with anything. With the nature/African styling there was no current fashion reference, so you can interpret it in your own way.

MOHNEY: What inspired you to use natural materials in her hair—the feathers, grass, and twigs? Where did you get them? Were they from New York?

RYAN: The feathers and twigs were to follow through on the idea of her being a neutral, and to mix Earth and animal helps make her more creature than model. Some of the twigs came from trees some came from florists; some came from feather and craft stores. A lot was provided for me and I just played around.

MOHNEY:  Is this the texture of Ursula’s hair? Was there anything about her that provoked this look?

RYAN: Ursula has a very old soul and a good head of curls. I layered the hair with bumble&bumble surf spray, some styling cream, and bumble brown hair  powder, then used a diffuser to dry it and still keep the curl . Our model was also very patient and tolerant of having mud painted on her.

MOHNEY: Hanna Liden’s photographs have in the past taken place in the woods. Was this a consideration in the process of putting together the lookbook?

RYAN: Hanna’s beautiful light, real film, and gentle approach worked well. The stylist, Danielle Nachamami, and the twins all had  strong visions and were open to hearing ours.