by John Simpson, Guest Contributor

As we approach spring and summer, the most interesting thing to me is the new mix and match personal identity which translates from lifestyle to fashion to hair. I understand that we revisit decades and looks past, adding a little twist to bring them up to day, but never have I found quite a decade mash up and cultural influence like this!

The new illusion is taking the best of the 30s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and putting a new millennium spin to it. Textures, tones, prints and shapes collide, creating a new movement of the industry where every canvas is a masterpiece.

From Runways to Real Life

The fashion is a combination of unique patterns of zig-zags, stripes, dots, paint splashes and solids fused together to create one-of-a-kind results. This is not about just putting everything that’s bright or patterned and placing it together: This is a strategic pairing of your signature pieces, adding a play of color through a contrasting pattern with contrasting texture, while placing a bright shade as an accent.

An example would be a matte silk red pant with thin blue stripes. A pale orange solid silk blouse, then a short summer jacket with a strong zig-zag pattern in shades of white, tan, orange and blue to play off of the pant while tying the accent of the blouse to the jacket. Whew, I know! It may seem a bit crazy, but the look is quite spectacular. Give it a shot and check out the runways, you will see the move from bright to signature pastel combinations come together as one.

The Hair

Over the last year, we have witnessed an obsession with 80s punk cut outs, long flop tops, and the beloved ombre effect. The new dos for this season are straight out of the 70’s punk and the celebrity pop culture scene, but with a twist.

In the short shapes, the sides are under with a soft round form falling over, or a nape line cut out with a special “V” shaped weight line that provides moment and personality. In longer looks, a strong fringe has become the popular look with a collapsed temporal to disconnect the length. The textures and shapes are again a combination of mix and match shapes and strength.

The colors we have got to see have been brighter than they have been in the past few years: ombre, color dipping with contrast shades, and unfortunately, even the self-done “kook-aid kid” experiment. The new color palette is unexpected combinations of unique shade naturals with pastel perfection that outlines the strength of the shape or showcases the texture of the movement within. The play and application that translates from the fashion is simple: bands of graphic shapes are used to on a fringe or a bob shape to shadow the lines, then a zig-zag pattern through the lid with contrasting shades melting together to provide the perfect harmonious application of “hair painting”. This look is personalized and really quite as sophisticated as the person wearing it.

About the Author

John Simpson is a GOLDWELL International Artist and Art Director, and a salon partner at Lewis Hair Salon in Pittsburgh, PA. John’s passion is to educate stylists in all salon concepts and full beauty imagery, conveying the message of inspiration and discipline through technique. His motivational and creative teaching style encourages stylists to reclaim their passion and conquer new design fundamentals of hair color, cutting and finishing techniques. For more of John’s inspirations, visit For Goldwell Academy programs and events near you, visit Also, find John on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Linkedin.