All Access Backstage Pass: Qs and As With Ottawa Fashion Week’s Sylvie Prud’homme


You see the models strut their best on the runway, with make-up perfectly done and their hair well-coiffed to either a flawless bun, an edgy frizzy tease or this season, a surprising twist oF chopsticks on both ends. But what you may not see is the hours of detailed work and combined expertise backstage.

This year, Twenty York Street, in partnership with Ottawa Fashion Week, is pleased to present an exclusive AllAccess Backstage Pass at the seasoned experts behind this magnificent show.

The master at work backstage with OFW Executive Director Bruno Racine
We are very excited to present to you this year’s Lead of the Ottawa Fashion Week Hair Design Team – Canada’s own SYLVIE PRUD’HOMME. With an extensive experience of over ten years, Sylvie has had advanced training with Vidal Sassoon in London, England and has done hair and makeup styling for editorial photo shoots alongside some of Canada’s newest designers and the world’s best known celebrities. 
Without further adieu, here’s our exclusive Twenty York Street’s Qs and As with SYLVIE PRUD’HOMME who has also styled hair for the Geminie Awards, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Project Runway Canada, LG Toronto Fashion Week, Tiffl and leads the beauty team for Ottawa Fashion Week for the past few seasons. 
Read and learn ladies and gentlemen!



@20YS: What’s your TOP 5 favourite hairstyles at Ottawa Fashion Week S|S 2013 and why?

SP’H: Helmer and Sukhoo Sukhoo. Both looks were demanding attention and quite large in shape (Helmer’s crimped large buns and Sukhoo Sukhoo’s Geishas with chopsticks).  I love how the hair moves on a runway, almost mimicking flowing fabrics.

Frank Sukhoo takes yet another standing ovation at OFW S|S 2013

Tess Johnson and Y!D.N.A. Tess’s raised centre braid (inspired by a swordfish’s fin) and Y!D.N.A.’s men’s mushroom cuts (which I cut the morning of the show) are super sleek and futuristic. Keeping the look clean and focusing on the clothes yet adding a touch of interest in beauty.


Architecturally challenging raised centre braid for Tess Johnson’s runway show.


Muse – Classic glam waves are always a hit, and by slicking one side smoothly over, I gave the illusion of a shaved side without taking out my clippers!
All images courtesy of: Richard Tardif of RICHARD TARDIF PHOTO


@20YS: How do you decide what hairstyle matches a designer collection?

SP’H: Coming up with beauty is a collaboration between the designer, hairstylist and makeup artist. I ask designers what their inspiration was while making their collection, what their vision was. We discuss if hair will be up, due to collars of back detail on the garments, or if we will be leaving the hair down.  I suggest looks, either by sketching or examples, to the designers and we go from there.
Past designer collaboration (with Rachel Sin). For more photos, visit @20YS in Facebook.



@20YS: Tell us about your creative process, why do you feel its important to start with a sketch?

SP’H: My background is art and animation. I always found it easy to translate what is in my head by drawing it. Sketching out hair ideas is an easy way to get creative without requiring any tools. I can roughly draw a few ideas and send them to the designers to see what they think. From there I will work on a mannequin head, figuring out the best way to get the desired look done efficiently and have longevity (we do the hair and makeup about 5 hours before show time). 



Then I usually invite some friends over for wine and hair do’s. I like to try the looks on them and get them to walk around, so I know how the hair moves once in the final look.


London, England. Image via


@20YS:  Where do you get your inspiration?

SP’H: I travel quite a bit, and I love to peoplewatch. My favourite city is London. I can sit with a pint and just watch fabulous people walk by. Women in London are so adventurous with their style, in a moment a classy woman in heels and a pencil skirt will walk by and then a model dress head to toe in goth wear will pass. It’s so colourful!

@20YS: What’s your dream gig – any designers, fashion houses or fashion week you would love to collaborate with?

SP’H:  I would love cut hair for a Chanel show the way Vidal Sassoon did for Mary Quant. I would cut perfect little bobs with a fringe on everyone!




@20YS:  Why hairstyling? Was this always something you wanted to do?

SP’H: I’m not sure I knew that I would end up being a hairstylist. I fell into it slightly. And I so happy I did. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I absolutely love what I do and gain so much satisfaction from it.

For more of Sylvie’s hair designs, previous collaborations and exclusive backstage access, 
visit RICHARD TARDIF PHOTO in Facebook.
@20YS: Any advice for up and coming hairstylist or any artist who wants to work in the fashion industry?

SP’H: Be prepared for hard work. The fashion industrydemands long hours on your feet. Get good sleep, eat well, and wear comfortable shoes!
Sylvie began a career in fine arts where she developed a keen eye and passion for aesthetic and beauty. Her passion for originality and artistic expression has led her to hair styling and the fashion industry.
Sylvie’s experience styling fashion and media events have honed her ability to design editorial styles for special events, red carpet and photography shoots. She’s had the opportunity to style the locks of M.I.A., Audrey Tautou, Catherine O’Hara, Belinda Stronach & Edward Burns.

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