Lead Hairstylist Jaylin Seng and Cutler Salon Served Up the Dreamiest Hair Looks for Tara Babylon’s SS24 Presentation


Gender-fluid fashion label Tara Babylon transported guests into a candy-colored floral fantasy for its Spring 2024, titled “Babylonia.” Inspired by floral prints and leftover fabrics, the collection offered an airy take on warm weather staples, like figure-hugging mini dresses, crop tops, and two-piece sets—all dreamed up in the sweetest pastel color palette. Fully committed to sustainability, designer Tara Babylon made sure to employ the use of upcycling and repurposing into her designs along with some of her signature techniques such as safety-pin crochet, embroidery, t-shirt recycling, and braiding.

While the brand’s whimsical clothing no doubt shined throughout the presentation, so too did the dreamy hair and makeup that was spotted on all the models. Lead makeup artist Mai Mor and New York Makeup Academy worked together to create eye-catching monochromatic makeup looks that incorporated face gems, glittery eyeshadows, and heavy blush. Keeping in line with the collection’s soft color scheme, artist Nailz by Ri designed an array of fabulous nail looks featuring heart-shaped gems and floral designs in shades of baby pink, powder blue, and mint green.

As for the hair, we’re not exaggerating when we say that it looked like it was straight out of a fairytale. Many of the models donned gorgeous garden-fresh florals in shades of baby pink, peach, crimson, and yellow that were pinned and layered into beautiful Edwardian-inspired updos. These floral sculptures were crafted by lead hairstylist Jaylin Seng and his talented team from Cutler Salon—which included salon founder and Redken brand ambassador, Rodney Cutler—using all Redken hair products. 

Pre-show, The Tease was lucky enough to chat with both Seng and Cutler about the inspiration for the whimsical hair looks, how they worked with different hair textures backstage, and their favorite part about working at New York Fashion Week. Keep on reading for more!

The Tease: What can you tell us about the hair for the Tara Babylon Spring 2024 presentation?

Rodney Cutler:  For today’s presentation, we wanted the hair to have this modern, romantic feel to it. So we’ve actually done this sort of old classic set and then we’re backcombing it to give it this sort of Edwardian shape and we’ve set it with a curling iron using Redken products. So you get these sort of rolls and then we just really threw the hair up and loaded it with florals. We got a little garden going on, which is amazing.

What served as inspiration for these beautiful hair looks that you all created?

Jaylin Seng: We wanted to take a really newer, fresh perspective on the idea of Sunday—Sunday sexy and Sunday farmer’s market. There’s a real softness to the hair because after seeing Tara’s beautiful collection, it has really soft tones and it has these plush vibes where the colors just gave us this feeling of slumber. The fabrics feel so beautiful. The textiles are so soft. We wanted to take this kind of approach of showing what felt beautiful on Sunday. 

So we took flowers from the farmer’s market and started taking the idea of pillow princess hair where if Saturday night turned into Sunday, the hair would get bigger. And then the bigger it got, the more whimsical it became. So we played with the idea of changing the term “pillow princess” and the florals from the farmer’s market and then just put it all together. We got this kind of beautiful approach of how we can take her and make her even sexier on Sunday.

Cutler: And I think Tara is just so creative and her designs are always so expressive and colorful and dimensional. Sometimes with the hair, you’ll do something very simple, but Tara really allows us to go for it. So we’re having some real fun and bringing some texture and color and shape to it, which is really lovely.

We noticed so many different hair textures being shown. Can you talk about how you all worked with different hair textures backstage?

Seng: Texture is my love, first and foremost. I was trained in working with 4C hair and with women of color. For me, it’s really taking the opposite world, reigniting the love for it, and adapting everyone else around to that. So we’re going to actually take everything from that. We’re looking at that and not looking at the word frizz, but looking at things that felt more natural and more effervescent. The idea is really feeling airy. Not looking at the word as frizz, but looking at it and giving the world a better space to look at is as something that is soft, more delicate and childlike.

How do these hair looks complement the fashion seen throughout the presentation?

Cutler: Well, at the end of the day, it’s all about the clothes. It’s not a hair show. It’s really just about making the clothes look amazing and it’s just a part of that storytelling. Last time, Jaylin led the show and we did pink wigs. So this time we’re doing more of a classic updo in shape but with texture that is a little bit more modern. 

Rather than it being so classic and clean, we’re backcombing it so you get this sort of airiness to it, which sort of takes it to a new space. And that’s what we do. We take old things and reinvent them. And then you start to see things like this ultimately seep into what we see on the street, not exactly, but it sort of plants seeds for future looks.

Could you talk a bit about the key products that you are using to prep and style the hair?

Cutler: We’re using Redken Volume Maximizer to give the hair some texture. We want a dry texture. And then we’re using Redken Fashion Work 12 Brushable Hairspray. It’s a lightweight hairspray because we want to be able to get in there and mold the hair, which is really very important.

Lastly, what’s your favorite part about working at New York Fashion Week?

Cutler: It’s amazing. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. When the models walk the runway or it’s a presentation and you see them out there, it’s incredible. You still get tingles from it and twice a year or more, we get to be creative and come up with new ideas. It’s just awesome.

Seng: It would be the collaborative aspect and really seeing everyone come together—new, old, fresh, and young. Everyone comes in with this idea of hope and really seeing how the next season is going to come together. It’s really building this collaboration of art, minds, and energy.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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