Inside FLARE's March Beauty Shoot: Japanic Organic

Watch our behind-the-scenes video from March's Japan-inspired photo shoot with celebrity hairstylist Danilo

Bun with pearls, updo

Photo by Max Abadian

From Gareth Pugh’s chopstick-spiked updos to Rick Owens’ broomstick wigs to Gucci’s fan chignon, spring runways were a virtual passport to pretty. For our guest hairstylist Danilo, the guru behind Gwen Stefani’s signature sculpted looks, it was the Japanese art of wabi-sabi—an appreciation of natural simplicity and its inherent imperfections—that propelled his exploration of texture and shape. A genius at technique, Danilo deconstructed and reconstructed—using the middle part and the ponytail as starting points—and let the rest fall into place as the day went along. “You see it in their floral art; in their fashion and culture,” he says of the ancient philosophy. “A fading flower and the beauty of that, or the undone moment of something.” Danilo’s good friend Michelle Violy Harper was our muse. The street-style star is a businesswoman, a graduate of art history at NYU’s Fine Arts program and a board member of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Couture Council, but what she’s really known for are her brave fashion and beauty choices, from elaborate headpieces to performance-worthy vintage finds. “I mean, I can really go all out— from geisha to whatever, in five minutes,” she recently told the blog Into the Gloss. Beauty explorers everywhere, we salute you.

Watch the behind-the-scenes video here: 

Inspiration for the shoot:

Japanic Organic Inspiration Mood Board

Clockwise from top left: Michelle Violy Harper, Photo by Billy the Kid; Gucci Spring 2013; Rick Owens Spring 2013; Taschen Hardcover, $40; Gareth Pugh Spring 2013; Gwen Stefani by Splash News; Runway Photos by Anthea Simms

Danilo-ism #1: The base of all trends is having healthy hair at the core.

“If you take care of your hair, you can pretty much do anything you want in the playground of styles,” says Danilo, Pantene Pro-V celebrity stylist and global ambassador. He isn’t just spouting ancient wisdom. Pantene Beautiful Lengths Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner (below) and Strengthening Therapy Masque, $6 each, were sent to models to use the night before shooting.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Danilo-ism #2: Updos and down-dos must have a touchable quality.

Forget stiffy hairspray. Try soft cream formulas to puff the poufy and sleek the smooth.


Bangstyle Smoothing Lotion, $20, controls straightness-deterring fly-aways with olive oil and keratin amino acids while providing light hold.


John Frieda Luxurious Volume-Root Booster Blow-Dry Lotion, $11, lifts fine hair Bardot-style, with a believable finish.


Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Oil-in-Cream Treatment & Finish, $68, reverses extreme dryness in curly or kinky hair with a single camellia oil-infused drop.


Part of a new collection developed with Danilo, Pantene Pro-V Stylers All-In-One Styling Balm, $9, fights frizz while protecting hair from heat-styling damage.


Vidal Sassoon Colour Gloss Crème, $5, pumps brilliance back into dyed and fried hair as it nourishes.

Photo by Max Abadian

Photo by Max Abadian

Photo by Max Abadian

Photo by Max Abadian

Photo by Max Abadian

Photo by Max Abadian

Photo by Max Abadian

Photo by Max Abadian