The Rock Paper team from left: Jenn Erhke, Marie Rolla, Kim Cohen, Colette von, Kat Cavalieri, Jessica Belanger, Anna Silverstein and Dawn Reid.
It’s not often that we are given the opportunity to have a full, physical transformation. One, may we add, that magically transports us to another realm and unleashes a part of us perhaps resigned for childhood games and fantasies. Believe it or not, as bloggers we can sometimes get stuck in a certain look, vibe or brand we’ve created for ourselves that can limit the aptitude of our imagination. This was certainly not the case in our collaboration with Rock Paper Salon, located in the heart and soul of Echo Park.
We teamed with Colette von, who has been the general manager of the salon, a true Echo Parkian bursting with passion and creative ideas we can’t help but crown her as our resident unicorn. She will soon be leaving the salon as yonder pastures beckon her imaginative skills, so keep an eye out for this one as she creates amazing events we’ll all be lining up for in droves.
But enough galavanting in the cotton candy future we oh so want to devour in its utter elusiveness. Fast backwards to the past where the journey began. After bouncing ideas back and forth, Rock Paper suggested an avant garde theme for our collaboration together. “Rock Paper Salon is about being ahead of the game,” von explained, “doing cutting edge techniques in styling and color, precision cuts, and giving clients what they can’t get at other salons, that is, individual experiences with our incredible staff.” Rock Paper adheres to “doing something out of the box, less-typical, and super artsy to showcase what our shop is all about, while also showing the playfulness and exciting innovative nature that we try to inspire others with.” Well we were sold. And to make matters more interesting, we would be joined in the shoot by many of the stylists themselves, including owner Kim Cohen, all with hair and looks plucked from a surrealist dream.
The stylists began choosing characters and themes to inspire their hair and makeup. von would take on a Burton-esque, cotton candy pink ode to Blade Runner, stylist/colorist extraordinaire Jessica Belanger would soon sheer her mane as the Glam Cyborg and Cohen transformed into the most fabulous Voodoo Witch we’ve ever seen — not that we’ve met too many before. And in the spirit of such imaginative choices, Ashley channeled her undying love for Marie Antoinette, equipped with a menagerie of pink feathers and birds in her teased, pastel powdered mane brilliantly sculpted by Belanger. As for Arielle, she opted to ditch her trademark bangs and, fully tanned and teased with more hair than she could ever dream of, channeled another, more exotic queen —The Mother of Dragons.
These characters were merely inspirations, not literal interpretations by any means, but ignited in all of us a world of whimsy and experimentation. We have to acknowledge our amazing team of makeup artists who in part made this possible: Marline Reiner, Sarah Eisenberg, Jasmine Eastman,
Raquel Garcia and Whitney Costner. We were also adorned with amazing, hand crafted hair pieces by The Feathered Head, as well as stunning, one-of-a-kind jewelry and other accessories from Echo Park’s Spacedust and Kaleidoscope Kollective.
After a long, arduous day of teasing, styling, wig and extension weaving, powdering and primping, our motley crew made quite a statement on Sunset Blvd as we posed in front of the salon. We were shot by the talented photographer, Dana Tarr, a dear friend to us both whose impressive, diverse work you’ll be seeing much more of in our upcoming collaborations and shoots.
It’s exciting to see Rock Paper tread outside the box and push boundaries while also delivering the basics expected by any qualified salon. From our first hand experience, we recommend Belanger as our go to gal. She gave Ashley a mean balayage and is excellent at styling and sheering. They’re open everyday and offer reasonable, competitive prices for a hip neighborhood like Echo Park, so no excuses for not stopping by. Many thanks to all those who participated in making this creative melting pot come to life. Enjoy!