After a Fashion
Part one of a voyage into the Austin salon scene.
ALL PINK After leaving Astarte a couple of years ago, the legendary Deborah Carter took a lengthy hiatus from the business of beauty. She delved deeply into her passion for painting. Accustomed to the busyness of a salon, as well as interfacing regularly with other creative artists, the solitary life of a painter failed to provide complete gratification, and Carter endeavored to combine the two. The balance between the two pursuits is a delicate one, and one that makes Carter's services as a stylist extremely difficult to procure. It is out of necessity that she limits her salon time to no more than five appointments a day, no appointments further than two weeks off, and charges prices that are not for the faint-of-heart (or purse). It is an intensely personal space, showcasing the talents of not only Carter and her stylist/daughter Farah (other daughter Brooke oversees management), but stylists Ronnie and Amanda as well.
Austin Chronicle: Which fashion designer's show would you most like to do hair for?
Deborah Carter: We would "dye" to work with Alexander McQueen. He simply refuses to cater to the traditional fashion machine, he features avant-garde mannequins instead of the "Naomi-Kate" charade, and he wears red contacts. Need we say more?
AC: Who are your current hair icons?
DC: My daughter Farah is my favorite current hair icon. She is the bravest, most innovative hairdresser I have ever seen. The way she thinks just blows me away. I am in awe of her.
AC: Who are your past hair icons?
DC: Vidal Sassoon, Paul Mitchell, and Jean Braa. These three people changed the way hairdressers thought. Vidal Sassoon taught us that the cut was important and Paul Mitchell taught us to be brave and to educate ourselves. Jean Braa taught us to work faster and elevated hair shows to performance art. Everyone else has been a variation on those themes.
AC: Which major star needs your help most, and what treatment would you recommend?
DC: Kathie Lee Gifford's hair has been orange as long as I can remember. Does she do her own hair color at home, or what?
AC: Which local celebrity needs your help most, and what treatment would you recommend?
DC: I wish our local celebrities would think less "local," and look more "celebrity."
AC: Which hair trend would you most like to see completely vanish?
DC: I hate natural blondes faking brunette. Am I the only person in the world who thinks Gwenyth looks boring now, and Cameron looks dead?
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