Preparing for fashion week looks different for everyone. For Jawara Wauchope, global styling ambassador for Dyson and lead hairstylist at LaQuan Smith’s Fall/Winter 2020 runway show, it involves meditation, prayer, and listening to music that calms his senses. This season, that music made its way onto the runways by way of creative hairstyles.
“The inspiration came from a couple of things,” said Jawara. “I was going through some nineties R&B albums and I decided to pull some inspiration from that. And then I did started looking at some tribal twists and stuff like that from Africa and we decided to just mix it all together.”
What materialized was a fringe theme, which included cornrows with cornrow fringe, fringes with nano bangs, and short cuts. That was accented by long double and triple rope twists that hit just under the butt, wet cornrows, and ponytails dipped in water just before hitting the runway (think getting your hair braided and dipped in water to set at the African braid shop).
“I was listening to Toni Braxton, I was also listening to some old Vita. She used to be with Ja Rule,” he continued. “You know, she didn’t really get enough props because she was a little style icon herself. So I pulled one of those hair styles from her as well. And I also was looking at some old Mary J. Blige videos as well which is always a reference for me.”
For the styles that didn’t literally pull from these ladies looks, they invoked a spirit of their music from that era. The playful and fun hairstyles were meant to offset the chic and demure all black looks in Smith’s collection. Jawara and his team used the Dyson Dryer Wide tooth comb attachment to stretch out and smooth the models’ curls, which he says has revolutionized drying for him.
The styles also included clip-on bangs for ease of preparation, and Got2B spiked glue and Got2B spray, a tried-and-true hairstyle cementer in the Black community.