• Photographer: Shimon Karmel
  • Photographer: Shimon Karmel
  • Photographer: Shimon Karmel
  • Photographer: Shimon Karmel
  • Photographer: Shimon Karmel
  • Photographer: Shimon Karmel

"Gray Matters"

Over the past 20 years, Dan Nguyen has gained a reputation as one of Canada's premium hair and makeup artists. With that in mind, it's hardly surprising that his celebrity and fashion client list reads like an industry who’s who. One of his latest achievements? Joining Oribe backstage at runway shows for Armani Privé, and Emporio and Giorgio Armani. In 2007, he and his business partner Linda Refosco founded Lure Salon, which has quickly become a go-to spot for innovative hairstyling in Vancouver.

Now, Dan reveals why he values collaboration on-set, how everyone’s inner yin and yang are reflected in hair, and why Dry Texturizing Spray belongs in any self-respecting hairdresser’s kit.

What was your inspiration for the shoot?

Uptown and downtown girls: each envious of the other's freedom.

Did you work with a team or spearhead the shoot yourself?

I love to work in a collaborative environment because a person can learn so much from each other. But for this particular shoot, I was the creative director, which meant I was responsible for the look, feel, setup of the shots and shot selection – as well as doing the hair and makeup.

What mood were you going for?

We kept a neutral backdrop (including clothing, background and light) to focus on the girl's expression and the luxurious fabric and textures. The hair and makeup is intended to be cool and effortlessly rough for the downtown girl, and groomed and chic for the uptown girl. As the story progresses, there’s a merging of the two, blending the yin and the yang that I believe most of us have inside.

What music was playing on the set?

Bronski Beat, A-Ha, Nena, The Communards and Blondie.

What products did you use?

I love Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray, Dry Texturizing Spray and Crème for Style. So did the girls.

Any memorable moments?

It was a bit of a guerrilla shoot...we didn't have much studio time or many assistants. The frenetic energy always adds to the unpredictability and ultimate success of the shoot, though - kind of like a night out with Oribe.

Do you have a fail-safe product that you always turn to on shoots?

Hard to pick, but if I had to choose one, it would be Dry. It gives clean girls a dirty look and vice versa.


Hair and makeup by Dan Nguyen at THEY Representation and Lure Salon using Oribe Hair Care and MAC Cosmetics. Creative direction by Dan Nguyen. Photography by Shimon Karmel. Styling by Krista Sung at THEY Representation.

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