GLiTCH by Verity Clarke and Cat Maund

GLiTCH by Verity Clarke and Cat Maund

At Manic Panic UK we love to embrace and celebrate the wonders of colour and how it can be incorporated into one’s appearance through a variety of ways, including your hair. Throughout our journey, we have been lucky enough to team up and create lasting relationships with artists who share those same priorities; one of which is Verity Clarke - a highly visual and colour-obsessed hair stylist who continues to blow us away with her ever-growing talents and drive to go above and beyond for each client! Since joining the team as a Manic Panic UK Ambassador, Verity has been creating and inspiring unique looks using the Manic Panic products. Joining her on this wild and exciting ride is Verity’s ‘left-hand-unicorn’ Cat!

Over the past few months, Verity and Cat have been hard at work creating a spectacularly mesmerising concept using a niche selection of the Manic Panic UK High Voltage Classic Colour range - the UV-reactive hair dye range. GLiTCH is a UV-inspired photoshoot put together by the Art House team, Verity and Cat. Working with a small group of models, Verity created a range of Manic Panic UK UV-coloured wigs whilst Cat captured their vision; all taking place in their in-house studio!

We have been so excited about the launch of this photoshoot and to kick it off we wanted to find out as much as we could about the process of building GLiTCH and the inspiration behind it all. We took the time to ask Verity and Cat some questions about their incredible work creating this unique project and their ideas behind the shoot.

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Where did the idea to create a UV concept photoshoot come from and were there any particular inspirations?

The last few shoots we’ve worked on have been amazing but they’re very much concept shoots – they’re super out-of-the-box creatively with a lot going on in terms of theme, costuming, background etc. We always check out the gallery of BHA finalists at Salon International and see some amazing editorial work. We wanted to create a collection that could demonstrate fantastic creative hair and photography skills, and showcase the Manic Panic range that we know and love whilst providing a more editorial approach without sacrificing our vibe and signature style. The aim was to bridge that gap whilst still staying true to ourselves.

We decided to take an Ultra Violet-focused approach as we often work with UV colours in the salon; however, we’ve rarely seen the UV aspect take centre stage. We thought it would be effective to give the UV feature its moment and this was the perfect way for us to do things a little differently. The concept for this shoot was to combine our skills and use a blend of light and colour to create something dimensional. Inspired by 80s video games and dark futuristic energy, GLiTCH is a journey into another dimension; light meets dark and creates something truly unique and not of this world.

There’s also a deeper meaning that’s incredibly close to our hearts. Displaying the crazier, possibly darker side that is often hidden but is desperate to get out. Call it a comment on mental health, masking, sexuality, unleashing the ‘real you’ that you’ve always wanted to be or all of the above, it’s open to interpretation and we want to leave it that way.

When colouring hair with UV dyes, is there anything in particular that you must consider compared to when using regular vivid hair dyes?

Verity - Although incredibly pigmented, the UV dyes are slightly transparent due to their UV quality. Because of this, similar to pastel tones, they’re not forgiving when it comes to your lightening; these colours require an even light blonde base for application to achieve an even result.

It is also important to note that although skin staining is easily removed with colour wipes, the UV component can linger on the skin for longer even when you can’t see it. Careful application on the hairline and keeping the hair off the skin whilst processing is important. You might think it’s gone, but as soon as you shine a UV light on all those splodges, smudges and splashes you’ll notice these marks glowing like crazy – not a good look!

Tell us more about the style and colour choices you made for this concept.

We wanted to display as many of the Manic Panic UV colours and different colouring techniques as possible whilst keeping the looks individual yet cohesive. The styling was kept as simple as possible whilst still showing variation to not detract from the colour. With all the wild elements we were incorporating, we were cautious not to take the looks ‘too far’. We decided each model would have a different colour theme for their hair so we could include both UV and non-UV shades to create depth and dimension.

When photographing UV hair, are there any tips that you can share with others who are looking to create a similar project?

Verity – Get yourself a skilled, creative and committed photographer!

Cat – Firstly, bigger is not always better! Having never worked with UV light before I quickly made the assumption that we needed the biggest and most powerful UV light we could find for the brightest results. So we bought a UV cannon online, designed to be used on stages.

We were super excited when it arrived; we immediately had it set up and ready to see what it did. Now, not only did the first bulb explode within 20 seconds of turning the machine on but the ‘glow’ was super disappointing. So, we ended up sending it back and instead, we purchased 2 UV LED floodlights and a UV light bar (all at a fraction of the cost paid for the original!) What a difference, it worked so much better!

Practice, practice practice! Test shooting is really important to make sure you know what you’re doing and where you’re going on the day. I practised with the lights several times before the actual shoot; I placed the wigs on a mannequin to try it all out together and perfect my light placement and camera settings. As is with any photography, be aware of your light placement!

With regards to the technicality of it, you need a camera that has really good low-light capability, especially if you’re also shooting motion because you will require a higher shutter speed. I found that I needed to shoot in short bursts (so a couple of frames at a time) because UV light works on a different frequency so it moves differently. Whilst I was shooting in a burst, it was really interesting to visually see the UV light moving across the screen - crazy!

Alongside all of the technical preparations that are essential to successfully carrying out a shoot like this, it’s also important to play around with it, get creative and have fun!

     

During the process of shooting, was there a favoured UV hair dye and why?

During the shooting process, the vibrancy of both Electric Banana and Electric Lizard was brought to our attention. They are incredibly vibrant shades in both white light and under specialised UV light!

How can other users of UV hair dye experience the brightest and most glowing result?

Cat - From a photographer's perspective working with UV hair dye, ensuring your UV light is compatible with your shooting environment. As mentioned before, the biggest UV light doesn’t necessarily mean that it will provide the most effective result!

Verity - The key is in the preparation. As with any vivid, the best results are achieved on a clean and even blonde base. The lighter the base, the more glow you’ll get! During the experimentation process using these colours for this shoot, we discovered that putting a UV colour over the top of a previously dark base doesn’t provide any glow, however, applying it over a pastel, faded vivid does – your usual colour mixing rules apply here e.g. Electric Banana over faded blue/turquoise will make Electric Lizard.

     

Finally, can you tell us some of your favourite moments that occurred whilst creating the UV photoshoot?

The exploding lightbulb has to be a moment that has stuck in our minds! Although slightly traumatising, it was also quite funny.

The shoot itself was a great time; we had a fantastic set of models who all had fun and supported each other. Dom, the make-up artist is just brilliant; she always makes us laugh and does a cracking job! The 4 models lined up topless whilst Dom walked along the line flicking paint at them with a tint brush was a bizarre and hilarious experience too.

But honestly, just doing this together has been the best bit for us.

Verity – I’ve worked with various people on various photoshoots in the past and they’ve all been great, but sharing the entire experience with someone who you share a brain cell with is just another level. Cat is my bestie, my assistant and my partner in crime. We just get each other, both creatively and in the way we work. Working in such close proximity with both of our businesses daily (The Art House is our hair and photography studio) meant we were each capable of being involved and understanding every aspect of the shoot; bouncing all the mad ideas around and bringing it together seamlessly. It’s been an absolute privilege watching such a talented photographer grow, to finally create our very own hair collection together and feel like we smashed it! Team Art House is a solid win.

Plus there are not many places where you can witness someone taking photos of a shop mannequin wearing a neon wig whilst your hair colour is being processed!

Cat - I’ve worked as Verity’s assistant for nearly 3 years now, she’s my best friend and I’ve seen the magic she creates daily. I’ve assisted with the hair on shoots she’s created with other people and this time it was just cool to be a bigger part of it; to come up with this crazy idea and at the end of it be able to look at the results and say “look what we did” and be so proud of it. This was our thing and I think we did a pretty good job!

It has been such a pleasure to watch this creative vision from Verity and Cat come to life and we are blown away by the results! If you want to create your own UV hair then visit the Manic Panic UK UV Hair range and discover our fantastic collection of glowing semi-permanent hair dyes!

Fancy exploring more incredible work from Verity and Cat and keeping up with the latest that these two creatives put together? You can follow them both on Instagram to be kept in the loop of what they get up to and any future projects they might have! Check them out below.

Verity - @verityclarkehair

Cat - @_art_house_photography_

Appears In: Blog Blog