Last Minute


Image Header

We Took a Chance…and Won!

We Took a Chance…and Won!

W Daly in Aveda’s Catwalk for Water Fashion Show

This past March, we took a team from W Daly to compete/show in Aveda’s Catwalk for Water Fashion Show. Aveda Institutes South hosts this annual event, during which entrants create unique looks using recycled/sustainable materials, with the goal of raising awareness for clean water. The looks are always amazing, as the fashion show doubles as a contest where aspiring cosmetologists can win a full scholarship to an Aveda institute.

W Daly in Aveda’s Catwalk for Water Fashion Show

There are a lot of young, interesting, motivated people come to this show, looking to do their best. And for the first time, we were some of them!

As a salon, we’ve always thought about doing fashion shows and competitions, but it took the team coming together and presenting it to Wendy and showing her that we’re motivated enough to go for it.

W Daly in Aveda’s Catwalk for Water Fashion Show

Each of the 9 people on the team came up with their own idea, and using some techniques we got from a Vivienne Mackinder class, put together storyboards that explained our vision. From there, we voted, and voted again, and eventually it came down to the final two looks that we went with, Graphic Blueprint and Celestial Nature.

Graphic Blueprint was based on the concept of haircutting and fashion going back to the base elements of design.

Graphic Blueprint


We used bold color, bold lines and strong choices to demonstrate a look with architecture & geometry. It was very strong, slick, and modern. The makeup was kind-of color-blocky: a clean, classic red lip with a color pop on the lashes and hair.

Graphic Blueprint

For the cage-skirt, we used recycled copper wire attached to a repurposed belt with some paracord to build a very structural form around a chic cat-suit silhouette.

The paper skirt was made from an old tutu, to which we attached actual old blueprints that we had found and rolled into funnel shapes for volume

paper skirt

Celestial Nature was more about that connection to actual nature itself, in a kind of ethereal way—that otherworldly thing that’s just beyond us, and kind of angelic. We used pale, cool colors in the outfits, no lip color, and a wash of shimmer up from the eyebrow onto the forehead, making the models look as through they were from another realm.

The skirts were made from the cardboard that we use to wrap Aveda gift cards. We used wrapping paper and kraft paper to create the leaves & flowers that make up the bulk of the skirt, then paired that with a corrugated cardboard bodice accented with more recycled gift tissue.

Celestial Nature

For the look that took home the Best Hair and Makeup award, Megan did the rainbow color, and we used another new-to-us technique called threading, i.e. using actual thread to make designs on the hair, almost like corsetry, instead of a braid in the back.

Celestial Nature

For the braid crown, we colored the hair lasts and spun them around to make a little crown form, then dried it, cut it, and arranged them on her as a final accessory. We place this over hair that had been texturized with a new technique we came up with, using a flat-iron to create an unconventional kind of fingerwave.


The creative experimentation process was, in a way, the most rewarding part of the experience. We worked together, researched new techniques, and really pushed the limits of our creativity and ingenuity to bring our concepts to fruition.

One way we stepped outside the box for us was in using wigs, which we’ve never really worked with before. When we got the wigs, we found out that on some of them the whole scalp isn’t covered with hair the way we needed it to be, so we ended up hand-sewing hair into the wig so there weren’t any gaps. We took long, white-blonde human hair lasts and styled/sculpted them into the shapes we needed to create the final looks. We used a bun-form on the girl with the cage-skirt and sewed the custom-colored hair to it to make a ponytail.

All in all, we had an amazing time, and everyone on the team, as well as everyone who held down the fort back home, deserves a round of applause.

W. Daly at the fashion show


A note from Wendy:

“As an owner, I avoided competitions for a long time because of fear of failure. I don’t lose well, and I wasn’t brave enough to take a chance—take that risk—until my team came to me and asked about it. That’s when I realized that I had to support their dream; I had to allow it to happen. And they’re brilliant; my team is just brilliant.

W. Daly team

Of course I’m proud of the amazing looks we created and of winning the award, but the thing I treasure most about this experience is that I feel closer with my staff—like we know each other better. There were several fight-or-flight moments where we were all out of our comfort zones. We had to get vulnerable with each other. It changed us as a group.

Seeing what my team did on their own, without anyone telling them what to do, was so cool to watch; I think they interpreted everything perfectly. I feel like we opened up a door that’s really going to help people step up to the next level for themselves. I see them already planning for next year. And I could not be more proud.”

W. Daly team

Left to right top row: Rose Wiggins Camille Wilbanks Leslie Thurman Amy Gardner Kaitlyn Bouwman Kiley Arp Kai Craig

Left to right bottom row: Megan Sellers Bacca Cardin Wendy Daly


No Comments

Post A Comment