News added 15/11/16: Following in the footsteps of her 2015 win, Kirsten Bassett was in Tokyo for four days at the end of October. Kirsten, who won the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards for the second consecutive year in 2016, has shared her diary from her few days in the Japenese capital, and said: “the entire trip from start to finish was so exciting, I had an amazing time with the team, but also learnt a lot about session work and picked up some great tips from the mentor Tomohiro Shashi.” Read on to find out what Kirsten got up to…
DAY ONE: I jumped on the subway over to Okohama and had lunch at the Pompompurin Cafe, which is a really Kawaii (cute) character themed cafe where they served food that looks like the cute character. I then came back to Shibuya where we were staying and explored that until the jet lag caught up with me!
DAY TWO: The Shu Uemura team took us on a cultural tour around the citY; we visited the Meiji shrine and were lucky enough to witness two traditional weddings take place. The Meiji shrine was beautiful and peaceful, despite being adjacent to the vibrant and busy Harajuku. Then we went on to Takeshita street (dori) which is a very busy shopping street, very popular especially with young people. It is filled with Kawaii cafes, shops and is great for people watching and spotting Harajuku girls. Fascinating to see culture and fashions exist with the ancient and traditional shrines. What a contrast!
We then had an incredible Shu Uemura treatment ceremony at ZaZa salon, where I had a 30-minute head massage, Shu Uemura Silk Bloom treatment and blow dry. I left feeling very much the pampered pooch. In the evening we went for dinner at Mr. Shu Uemura’s favourite restaurant, Tofu Ukai, located underneath the Tokyo tower and I had nine courses including: Barracuda Sushi, Pike conger, Matsutake mushroom soup, Tofu and edible Chrysanthemum. All with just chopsticks by the way!
DAY THREE: SHOOT PREP. We all went to the studio early and met with Tomohiro Ohashi, who works closely with Shu Uemura and is an incredible stylist! He had used our winning images as inspiration for the artistic direction of the shoot. He ran through all the looks and techniques with us, then we practised on our models before they were taken for wardrobe and make-up tests. In the evening I explored Shibuya some more, and on a local’s recommendation ate at this tiny “fast food” place, where you sat at a counter and enjoyed the most delicious “fast food” with plum wine (umeshu) all for under a tenner.
DAY FOUR: SHOOT DAY. Woke up early and went over to the studio. We did two looks each, one a beauty look in the studio, the second on location. We shot at some incredible locations including an Edo period house which was actually like a maze inside with tiny doors everywhere leading into secret rooms. We also used a giant, neon lit truck as a prop for one of the looks. The theme of the shoot was celebrating the contrast between ancient traditions and modern pop culture, which is prevalent in Tokyo and one of the many aspects that make it a fancinating place to visit!
Thoughts from the trip: The gallery of style competition gave me the most incredible opportunity, not only to travel across the world and experience such fascinating cultures that I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to, but equally the chance to shoot with an extremely high profile brand!
News added 20/06/16: We caught up with Kirsten Bassett of Electric Marylebone, winner of the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Award for the second year running to find out about her experiences the second time around.
1. How did it feel to win for the second year running?
Absolutely incredible! I can’t actually express the feeling. I certainly wasn’t expecting it, I don’t think I stopped shaking for three days after I found out.
2. What did you make of the new brief – East meets West?
I really liked the eastern twist we had for this year’s brief. Since travelling to Tokyo last year (courtesy of Shu) I’ve become a bit obsessed with Japanese culture.
3. Did your time in Tokyo last year as winner help you with your entry this year?
It definitely did. I had some inspirations from the trip that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, like getting to witness Japanese street style first hand, as well as learning about the ancient traditions. Equally, the trip inspired me to learn more when I returned to England, so I made sure to visit the Japanese exhibition and the Victoria & Albert museum whilst I was working on this year’s entry.
4. Talk to us about the inspiration for your look?
The silhouette of my model’s hair was based on the Japanese Shimada hairstyle (most recognisable on the geisha) with a very defined, feminine shape. I incorporated a western touch by loosening the hair towards the hairline to contrast with the disciplined shape at the back.
5. What made you enter the competition for a second time?
Last year’s win was such an incredible journey for me, it was a no brainier that I would enter again this year! The chance to have your own hair designs shot professionally and to be mentored by the likes of India Miller is a hugely exciting prize. It goes without saying that Tokyo last year was incredible, I had the absolute time of my life! Add to that the Tribu-te show, the coverage and subscription to Tribu-te magazine, along with the opportunity to work with such a fantastic and well respected brand; who wouldn’t enter and try to win that?!
6. What do you like most about the Muse Awards?
I like Shu Uemuras approach to hair; it’s demonstrates skill and strong technique, often avant garde but always beautiful. It’s a high profile brand and the shoot is incredibly professional and you get to work with extremely talented creatives. The competition is open to stylists and trainees alike ( I’m still training towards my NVQ at Electric) so the accessibility of the competition along with the incredible platform Shu provides is unique and something I am incredibly grateful for and treasure.
7. Do you have a wonder product from the Shu Uemura range?
I absolutely love Straightforward blow dry oil spray. It smells delicious and leaves hair so soft and easy to brush and blow dry.
8. What would be your advice to hopefuls wanting to enter in 2017?
Thoroughly do your research. Try to learn as much as you can about the brief subject as you can and seek feedback from others about your designs. Sometimes you can work on a design for so long that your perception of it gets warped and you need a neutral opinion to tell you whether it’s working or not.
News added 13/06/16: It was a tough year for Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Award finalists as the standard was super high, and though the winners have been announced we wanted to share with you the full shortlist. Browse and enjoy the artistry!
News added 03/06/16: Can you believe it’s all over already? On the 1st June, the top three from the 2016 Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Award were announced. Congratulations to Kirsten Bassett of Electric Marylebone, who has taken the top spot for the second consecutive year with her beautiful, understated look. Kirsten has won herself a professional photoshoot, a printed canvass of her winning look to showcase in the salon and a budget of £3000 to have an in-salon party. Wowza, quite the scoop! We’ll be bringing you the all the finished looks from the finalists who shoot their looks alongside India Miller very soon, so watch this space! For now, we give you this year’s Shu podium:
News added 18/05/16: It’s all hotting up in the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards. The first round of judging has recently taken place with Jamie and Sally Brooks from Brooks & Brooks with Nicky Pope, UK publisher of Tribu-te magazine joining the panel to lend her eye and expertise. At the first stage, judges are looking at mood boards that show the thought process behind the inspiration of the entrant’s look alongside a picture of the model before and after the styling. This year the brief was changed to ‘east meets west’ and from the mood boards below we can see that this strongly filtered through… Though the finalists are yet to be announced, a little bird told us that the standard of entries this year was excellent. We can’t wait to see some of the final looks. Watch this space for the winner!
News added 19/04/16: It’s amazing to see the evolution of the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards. We’ve traced the winners from 2013 to 2015, and we’ve just heard that 2015 winner Kirsten Bassett is re-entering for 2016. Look out!
News added 05/04/16: The winner of the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image award 2015 is having a thrilling year as the titleholder! Kirsten Bassett at Electric Hair was scooped up and whisked off to Tokyo to take part in a shoot for the Shu Uemura Art of Hair brand – lucksville! She kept a blog of her experience… read it, be inspired, then enter this year’s Muse Image award – soon this globe-trotter could be you.
“In Tokyo, I had an absolutely amazing time. I really want to go back! So on the first day I hopped on the metro and just explored (got lost) around the city. I went up the government building which looks over Tokyo, fantastic. The second day all the finalists from the Muse Image awards around the world met up (the other finalists were lovely- I had an amazing time with them) and we went around the Majji shrine, the area where all the Lolita girls are – I absolutely love that fashion so I especially enjoyed that bit! Then we toured the designer stores including the Shu store. We had amazing food at Mr Shu Uemura’a favourite restaurant and I’m now a pro with the chopsticks.
“The next day we met our lead hairdresser on the shoot, Tomohiro, and we went through a practise run of the looks. He was lovely and it was a real honour to work with him. The final day we shot in various locations around Tokyo which was really exciting as we got to see some more really beautiful and interesting locations. I’ve posted photos up on Twitter and mainly on Instagram and tagged Shu in them but I’ve attached some for you too.
“Tokyo was a fascinating mix of ancient traditions and modern culture. Visually Tokyo was busy and exciting yet there was a peacefulness and tranquil atmosphere as you walked around it. I loved how beautiful everything was and how kind and gracious the people were. Winning the muse image awards was incredible in itself, but to be given the opportunity to shoot for the brand in Tokyo was an unforgettable experience that I am extremely grateful for!”
Watch this then sign up! It’s an awesome contest – you deserve to be in it!
News added 04/03/16: We caught up with last years winner, Kirsten Bassett, to ask her a few question about her Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards experience and what she’s planning for this year…
• What was the inspiration behind your look?
I wanted to create an image with a beautiful, ethereal quality to it. I envisioned soft, floating hairlines and soft movement, with the appearance of hair that had been caught in mid air.
• Did your look develop and change along the way or did you stick to your original vision?
My look did develop from the original image. The concept remained the same, but I developed the technique from the original twisted braid into the looped technique seen in my final image, which I felt worked better with the overall aesthetic I was aiming for.
• We hear you’re entering again, what can we expect from you this year?
Now that would be telling wouldn’t it..!
I will be drawing inspiration from last year’s trip to Japan (courtesy of Shu Uemura!) in particular the fascinating mix of both traditional and modern architecture and art I explored whilst in Tokyo.
• What advice would you give to entrants this year?
Continue to play around and develop your initial idea using a real model until you are happy with your look. You’d be surprised how far from your original idea you may progress.
• If you could explain your Muse Image Awards experience in one word, what would it be?
Borrowed this one from our company name, but felt it best summarised my emotion: Electric
News added 18/02/16: We have some really exciting news for you all… Following an urban, east-meets-west make-over the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards is back! On the 1st March 2016, entries will open for the 2016 competition. The national competition is open to all UK & Ireland hairdressers and this year, the competition is open to ALL salons, even to non Shu Uemura Art of Hair stockists. Interested? Check out the entry dossier below and great cracking… you won’t want to miss this one! #museimageawards #shuuemurahairuk
Get your Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards entry dossier here
News added 30/09/15: After winning the coveted Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Award, Kirsten Bassett has not stopped. She has been promoted to manager of Electric Hairdressing’s flagship salon in Marylebone, had her work published in Tribu-te Magazine and has an upcoming trip to Tokyo planned with the Shu Uemura Art of Hair team. Wowza! Added to this mix, Kirsten enjoyed an invitation to lunch with Tribu-te Magazine and guest, Tim Hartley at west end hotspot, Joe Allens.
News added 16/07/15: The entries this year for the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Award were beautiful, elegant and of an exceptionally high standard and we know the judges had real trouble picking an outright winner. After hours of careful deliberation, we can finally reveal the judge’s top three…
Winner – Kirsten Rebecca Bassett from Electric
Second – Lucy Potter from Abacus Hair
Third – Akiko Osako from Toni & Guy, Canary Wharf
News added 15/07/15: All the entries were of an incredible standard so we’ve included a gallery of all the finalists below. It’s a great comptition and well worth entering in 2016!
News added 29/05/15: And the results are in! There was a record number of entries for the Shu Uemura Muse Image Awards this year – more than double last year! The judges were overwhelmed but relished the task and now we can share the list of finalists who get a shoot with Jack Eames this summer to go forward to find an overall winner:
Kirsten Rebecca Bassett @ Blow. Lucy Potter @ Abacus Hair. Francesca Harmon @ Abacus Hair. Nicole Dodd @ The Stuart Holmes Salon. Luke Reed @ The Hair Advice Centre. Adam Gates @ Gorgeous. Akiko Osako @ Toni & Guy, Canary Wharf. Michelle Rooney @Hooker & Young. Hannah Quinn @ Alan Edwards Salon. Angel Montague Sayers @ Sally Montague Hair Group. Hayleigh Davidson @ Copperfields Hair & Beauty. Patrick Wilson @ Electric Hair, Harvey Nichols.
GOOD LUCK guys!
News added 16/04/15: We’ve grabbed a quick word with Jack Eames, photographer for the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards, on why the competition provides such a great opportunity…
“With the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards now in their third year, the momentum has truly built with the numbers of entries and the pedigree of talent entering. To see the young talent full of ideas, and then translating them into the look of the model they’re working with on the day is really exciting, and challenging for the stylist.”
And for photographic work?
“To finalise in the Muse Image Awards give the entrants a chance to work with a very talented industry team, with India [Miller] as a hair mentor, to bounce ideas together. Stylists can gain so much from a photographic shoot, and everything is laid on for a great shoot for the Shu Uemura Art of Hair competition finalists. The previous looks have had fabulous coverage in the high end printed pages of Tribute, and this is great for any stylists book.”
What did you think of the previous winners?
“Both previous winners showed a real understanding of what it takes to get a beautiful finish on hair, and also what works well the camera. Two very important skills in this competition.”
News added 19/02/15: Get Inspired by last years London finalists. Remember all the details on how to enter are below… No excuses!
News added 10/02/15: We are very excited to announce the return of the fabulous Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards. Entries open on 2nd March 2015, so keep your eyes peeled and make sure you don’t miss your chance to be involved in this Avant Garde extravaganza.
A fantastic opportunity for stylists to win the chance to take part in a creative group photoshoot, mentored by the fantastic India Miller, artistic director of Charlie Miller Hairdressing. The lucky finalists will be selected to attend a regional photoshoot where everything will be provided for them to recreate their winning muse look.
The teaser trailer below gives a taste of what’s to come… we can’t wait!
Click here for the full brief & entry form >> SHU UEMURA-MUSE AWARD DOSSIER 2015
News added 08/12/14: We caught up with Sean Butt at Gorgeous Hair in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire after he impressed the judges with his on-trend, avante garde female style to win the coveted, Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards 2014.
Having created a moodboard to express his idea and win a place on a shoot with top photographer Jack Eames, Sean embraced the opportunity to work with India Miller, mentor to the Muse Image finalists, and produce his winning image. Bravo, we adore it, too! As part of his prize, Tribu-te Magazine invited Sean to the Tribu-te Show 2014 in the Novello Theatre in London, to watch the best artists on the best stage possible. He also won a lunchtime invititation with the team and the artists, and high-profile coverage on-line and in-print. Wow! Could this be you next year?
“The tribute show was sensational! A must see for hairdressers. To be able to attend a show that brought hairdressing skills and talent from across the world was amazing. The talents of the artists was inspiring. I left feeling like I needed to try the skills they showed that night. I can’t wait for next year.”
The competition reopens for the 2015 edition in early March, but you can pre-register your interest right now, and be sure to gain prompt information and advice on preparing your entry. This could gain you valuable thinking and organising time! The standard is high and the rewards well worth it.
Simply e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and head your message ‘Muse Image Awards 2015’. Best of Luck!
News added 25/06/2014: The second edition of the Shu Uemura Muse Image awards has played out with a gorgeous winning look announced this week. The judges were very vocal in praise of first place stylist Sean Richard Butt at Gorgeous Salon, London. He’s top dog for 2014!
Runners up are similarly superb. The full images and more details will publish soon in Tribu-te Magazine Autumn edition. Congratulations to all!
News added 05/02/2014: You can now download you entry dossier here: Muse Entry Dossier
News added 23/01/2014: We appreciate a competition that is fully focused with a clear brief and here’s one that ticks both boxes. Luxury brand Shu Uemura Art of Hair launches the second edition of its Muse Awards – seeking out someone who is a source of artistic inspiration. Entrants need to first produce mood board for an on-trend avant garde female style image for 2014. A whopping 32 finalists will be invited to a regional shoot with a tip-top photographer to bring their idea to life on a professional model, and compete for the overall title of Muse Image Award 2014. Open to all UK hairdressers, only Shu Uemura Art of Hair products may be used, no wigs or hair pieces allowed. Full rules and regulations apply and can be found on the entry form. Email to request yours at email@example.com
Scroll down to find 2013 finalists and winning image for inspiration. Now go create!
18 July 2013 News added: Whoop whoop! The Shu Uemura Art of Hair Muse Image Awards 2013 are declared a great success! Launched this year, and sponsored by Tribute Magazine, the exclusive media partner, this competition gives great visibility to young stylists with vision and talent. Entrants were invited to submit an image of an avant-garde female in order to win a place on one of 3 regional shoots where they could create an avant-grade look of their own – watched over by Shu Uemura Art of Hair mentor India Miller, and photographed by Jack Eames. We love the winning look from Tyronne Leon Fernandez at Geiko in Leamington Spa. And here are a few of our favourite regional winners…. enjoy!
Click on a location to see backstage images:
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