Letterkenny hairdresser takes London Fashion Week

Patrick Gray, of Pello Hairdressing with hairstylist Jon Reyman at London Fashion Week.

A LETTERKENNY based hairdresser was given the opportunity of a lifetime to style hair for some of the biggest catwalks in the world. Patrick Gray, proprietor of Pello Hairdresser, travelled to London recently to work alongside international hairdressers at London Fashion Week. He was the only hairdresser from Ireland who made the team of 11 hairdressers, with others from America, Australia, France, Italy and Germany. 
Although they had not met until they were backstage, Patrick said they worked together perfectly. 
“ I only met some of the team for the first time back stage, but everybody worked together effortlessly. This was no problem for me as team effort is very much part of our salon culture here at Pello Hairdressing. Team effort is paramount,” Patrick continued. 
Patrick, originally from Glasgow, and partner Tina McBride, Gweedore, opened Pello Hair Colour and Design on the Kilmacrennan Road, Letterkenny in 2007. Last year, they opened a new and improved salon, Pello Hairdressing, in Letterkenny Shopping Centre. He has worked with Aveda for over ten years in Letterkenny and as a committed Aveda artist, he said he felt ‘honoured and humbled’ to be invited backstage and work as part of their global team on three different fashion shows. 
On day one of the three-day trip, Patrick worked his magic at the Estonian designer, Roberta Einer’s show.
“This show focused on colour and ‘80s inspired curls and low pony braids. This was all about mixing up curls with different textures which I love. We used crimps and lots of small sized tongs to give a multi-textured effect. 
“Some of the looks were about business at the front exploding into a massive party at the pack,” he explained. A photograph of Patrick’s model, with a groomed, low ponytail, was featured in the Evening Standard newspaper in London . 
On the second day he worked for German designer, Paula Knorr, which incorporated slicked-back styles with quiffs, which Patrick thinks will be a hair inspiration for the season ahead. 

Patrick Gray styling hair backstage at the Paula Knorr fashion show. at London Fashion Week last month.

“The Paula Knorr show was all about luxurious fabrics with luxurious shapes and pushing the boundaries or evening wear with a distinctive female power. Hair for this show therefore had to be strong and feminist with hair teased back gently using lots of amazing Aveda products to give a slicked back look to the side and soft, textured quiffs at the top,” he continued. 
The final day of the unforgettable trip saw Patrick working backstage at London born designer, Sophie Merchant as he created ‘simple and beautiful’ low, loose knots which were both understated and elegant. 
The team worked under Lead Stylist, Bea Watson, who has worked at Fashion Week over the past ten years, as well as Jon Reyman a collaborative stylist for some of the most influential designers within the fashion industry. He has styled hair for up to 20 shows between London, Paris and New York. Overall, Patrick said the ‘explosion ponytail’ was London Fashion Week’s hottest style with huge ponytails that transcended from 1960s to 1990s disco hair styles. 

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