By MIKE CHAIKEN
The class of 2015 at the International Institute of Cosmetology were told to be proud of their careers as hairdressers as the students graduated in a ceremony Sunday.
The graduation was a mix of awards presentation and fashion show. Students were honored for completing their course work at the school, which has campuses in Plainville and Wethersfield. But, the students also showed what they learned with a runway show that offered up a variety of hair styles—from extreme to stylish.
Additionally, the students heard words of wisdom from one of the most famous stylists today—Tabatha Coffey, the star of a reality series and a brand name in the world of hair stylist pundits.
In her commencement address, Coffey spoke about how she was first exposed to the world of hairstylists when she was a little girl heading to the salon with her mother. From those early days, she learned how much hairstylists help their customers.
“We impact people’s lives,” said Coffey. “It sounds trite and it sounds very silly. But, I impact a person’s life every time they in my chair.”
Coffey said hairdressing is a career that has a wealth of potential if the students push themselves.
“There are no limits to this profession,” said Tabatha, whose career has not only allowed her to travel the world over but to have her own TV series.
“We get to play and embrace our creativity and we get to do it in a much louder way than other people get to do in their careers,” said Coffey.
“This industry is always changing… and it changes on a dime. You have to move with it. If you become stagnant you’ll be left behind,” said Coffey to the IIC graduates. “Every day you should work hard and do a better job.”
Coffey urged the students to be proud of the career paths they have chosen.
Carmelo Gugliotti, the founder of the school told the students, “This is a profession that’s not easy.”
But, he said, “It’s a creative career… what we are seeing today is the artistic side of the brain.”
Bristol’s Randilynn Lapointe was one of the IIC students who exhibited her work in the runway show Sunday. Her work was a peacock inspired piece, with colors that ran from the top of the model’s head to a cape that reached the floor. “I thought it was awesome (to have this opportunity)…. I’m a creative person at heart… what I created is exactly what I wanted.”
Zoya Ivanova of Bristol served as the model for Lapointe’s creation. “I like that I see the genius that’s growing in my friend. What I see in this piece is her. It’s very creative.”
Model Lindsayjo Gray of Bristol wore the work of Lara Rutkowski. The work featured a complex weave of braids on her head, touched off with a “Phantom of the Opera type mask, and wings. “I like it. It’s kind of an dark angel… It’s very couture. … It’s kind of a little different than anyone else because I’m wearing the hair as clothing.”
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver.com.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN