On Sunday evening I attended the first date on the KMS UK roadshow.  Held at the cool Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh it was an opportunity for me to see what this brand is all about and where it is heading! I’m familiar with the products and some have been 5 star reviewed over at mandmrshaircare.com, but this event is more about the trends and inspirations behind the brand.

Lori Panarello, a cool hairdresser hailing from Brooklyn NYC was to be the guest artist, a member of the KMS Global Style Council she is responsible, alongside fellow council members for the direction and approach the imagery and the brand takes.

Ever the cynic (it’s an age thing) I went along expecting to see some nice hair and some overblown ego spreading their hyperbolic nonsense about why they are the best hairdresser ever!

I have never been so mistaken. The event was a fabulous showcase for KMS and a wonderful, inspiring evening. the hair was very well executed and whilst hair is always subjective to our personal tastes, Lori was so eloquent in her explanations about each of the 6 models she showed that it was impossible not to admire each of the heads of hair, from an artistic and ‘influential description’ way.

I took notes on my Iphone, but they were brief as I was fascinated by Lori’s stories and didn’t want to miss anything..

Here they are elaborated on!

1: Fish supper. Lori’s first time in Edinburgh, she came ready and the Scottish contingent showed their appreciation by loud applause, whistling and general hollering. “I’m having a fish supper after this” she said. A fish supper is fish and chips, salt and sauce, a blend of vinegar and brown sauce … it’s compulsory in Scotland!

(I need to add a few cocktails had been consumed so the audience were lubricated and relaxed, hence their vocal appreciation of the fish supper remark).

Kelly Leclercq, a KMS key account echnician who has worked with the range for 20 years was our compere and introduced a VT that showcased Lori Panarello’s influences, everyone from Warhol to Bowie to Keith Haring. Referencing NYC gang culture, tribes and an absolute riot of colours and textures, this lady draws inspiration from all walks of life. Kelly asked questions that were relevant to the event and kept the audience involved throughout the night!

The chaotic video showcased artists and music and fashion that inspired her, a BIG nod to popular culture including Patricia Fields the designer who dressed the SATC – Sex and the City girls in all of those weird and wonderful outfits, a celebrity designer from New York and she also gave an  absolute necessary nod of appreciation to the man of the moment, Marc Jacobs. Lori explained the video was  a compilation of who she is as an artist.

Inspired by young people, she is lucky to live and work in Brooklyn and Manhattan where her creativity is cultivated by what the youngsters in her salon and on the street do! 

(Loved this phrase) Lori watches and learns, takes note of upcoming trends and fashions and HEADLOCKS everything.

Talking about her role in the KMS Global Style Council she explained the difference between Street and High Style that becomes the meat on the bones of the council meetings when the team come together to share their news, views and predictions.

Street style the inspirations are similar globally and tend to happen organically.

High style is the next level… a work look becomes transformed and done for evenings out or for special occasions.

Whilst engaging with the audience it was interesting for me to hear her discuss the barbering phenomenon and how changes and trends in [barbering] are heading towards a 70’s feel with longer hair and curls that are becoming really popular. Take note UK barbers, this lady knows her stuff and whilst the pompadour and quiffs will remain, as will closely clippered shapes, hair is growing, guys are wanting more options with how they dress and style their hair.

One thing I noticed about Lori was her amazing explanation of products that really is unlike any other platform artist, she is passionate and knowledgable and talks product like hairdressers should talk it to their clients. Even when (slightly) hassled by a member of the audience about a particular product she found ways to explain and share information about it until they reached a satisfactory conclusion together.

Start Style Finish, the KMS principle was discussed in depth and made absolute sense, even to an old ‘dab hand’ retail guy like myself. Lori discussed the concept as she presented her first model, a cool guy who’s hair was styled with ease as she took us through the journey of NYC fashion week which was fascinating to hear.

Netting on the 2nd model gives the hair a head hugging shape, sea salt spray was applied onto the hair then Lori added a net, then diffused dry, once the net was removed clay wax was applied to move and release the hair which was (now) rounded in shape and kept flat. (if you understand those notes you are a better person than me, and I wrote them, but nonetheless the finished result was unique in it’s look).

Loved this statement: When there’s a trend we will have a product for it, when a trend goes the product will go too!

Lori went on to explain that the Global Style Council is all about a community and discussed  #stylematters as part of the brand as she presented her 3rd model Alena who is part of the current global campaign

KMS, she explained has German and Japanese R&D, giving the brand the best of both worlds. Lori elaborated on a story about hairsprays and how she was involved with the development of new sprays for the relaunch and how it led to Working Spray (and to quote … “It’s life changing”)

The latest campaign from KMS is all about gender fluidity,a  ground breaking approach to products being less female and male oriented but more about what they do, irrespective of gender. Gender fluidity is about who you want to be as a person and the campaign speaks to you about who you are.

Another phrase i loved: Global Style Council is honest hair, truth in styling, and KMS is about raw and natural styling 

Naturally, having someone from the USA present there was always going to be a mention of Trump, but I was fascinated to hear how New Yorkers are all about resistance since [Trump] was elected… there’s a message in everything creative that fights the political landscape. Hair is tribal to make a statement to express solidarity against the political landscape, what a brilliant approach to using creativity to express frustration at the White House, quite genius really. Using tribal hair styles and being influenced by the sub culture of gangs in NYC makes a bold statement in its own unique way.

Next model: long hair, sleek through the mid lengths, almost dreadlock-ed through the ends with a big swept back fringe, effortlessly stylish and transformed in (what seemed like) seconds.

A Long hair model had micro crimped which was then dressed in a traditional way, back-combed and a french pleat to create a new texture. my apologies the flash failed on my camera so I have no image to show, all i can say was that it was truly stunning.

Then the final model, her hair had been wrapped around elastic then flat ironed, when unravelled it created the most outrageous texture, not for the faint hearted but certainly show stopping, frizzy but structured, Lori left some of the hair unbrushed to show … and once again I quote 

The truth in the style”! 

And then the night was over, inspiring, entertaining, informative, it was an excellent night and the audience definitely showed their appreciation.

For me it was also a chance to catch up with some old faces and it was a cushion that softened the blow of not getting to Salon International.

I say check out KMS it’s an absolute on trend brand that performs and meets the needs of all your clients.

Apologies for the photo’s, I must invest in a camera for these kind of happenings.