I think that fashion, hair, make-up and anything else beauty-related often get unjustly labeled as being superficial. A person wanting to look her best does not necessarily mean she is vain. For a woman of any age, how she looks ties into a lot of internal battles. Feeling beautiful and being confident in how she appears affect the way she perceives her self worth and self esteem.
Whether or not physical beauty should equal personal happiness is not for me to decide, but if something as simple as a makeover can help direct a woman towards confidence and personal success, then, by all means, it is worth it. Fashion, hair and beauty can do so much more than you'd think, including making changes in a community, and the upcoming 10th Annual Ihloff Maters Fall Collection will set out to prove this theory.
Ihloff Salon and Day Spa was founded in 1980 by Tulsa native Marilyn Ihloff. In addition to offering an extensive menu of salon and spa services, Ihloff Salon and Day Spa has, throughout most of its years, been dedicated to giving back to society.
Marilyn Ihloff's first step into giving back to her community was a customer appreciation day where people could receive makeovers free of charge. The event changed when, in 2003, her personal charitable work in Tulsa's prisons gave her the inspiration to host the event on an even larger scale. Ihloff was inspired through her work providing makeovers to the incarcerated women of Tulsa. During this process, she not only discovered the self worth the women felt just by their change in appearance, but she also became involved with a local outreach program, Resonance.
Resonance Center for Women was founded in 1977 by Eleanor Hill. Having been suddenly widowed, Hill realized the importance that comes from women having a support system. Since its founding, the organization has expanded into providing a variety of help for women and their families throughout all of Tulsa. Its dedication is in providing "services leading to self-sufficiency for women and families experiencing challenge, change or adversity in their lives."
This non-profit organization now has programs set up for the gender-specific community that assists in intervention, prevention and support for women of all ages. With intervention, Resonance offers Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment, in the assistance of "breaking the cycle of multi-generational chemical addiction and criminal offense."
In my research for this column, I was shocked to discover that the number of women incarcerated in Oklahoma prisons for non violent crimes is the highest in the nation. The Associated Press accounted that for every 100,000 women in the state, 129 were in prison. This is 10 times the national average because of Oklahoma's strict enforcement concerning felonies like drug convictions and petty theft. Once released, a woman's chances of re-entering the system can intensify as she tries to support herself and her family.
Resonance's role in changing this vicious cycle is often referred by Tulsa County Drug Court, Community Sentencing and Oklahoma Probation and Parole. With Resonance, women are provided the opportunity of treatment of substance dependency as well as giving them the tools of job training so that they may have the chance to support themselves and their families financially with jobs that pay "living wages."
Prevention is another key role that Resonance plays.
The focus on children and the role of family is also present throughout Resonance's opportunities. Mother Reads is a program whose goal is for mothers to reconnect with their children from the separation faced throughout incarceration. Girls Unlimited provides workshops for young women from grades four through 12 to build their confidence and self-esteem. There are connections for mentorship with Going to Bat for Tulsa Kids, an award-winning program that pairs adults with Tulsa Public school children for one hour a week. There is also counseling for children ages six to 11 in the alternative school system with KidQuest and Tulsa Youth Intervention Project, which aims at preventing youth gangs.
Resonance's services also include multiple programs that aim at providing career counseling, decision making and providing access to other community services.
In 2003 Ihloff Salon and Day Spa began a Tulsa event that would showcase the importance of Resonance and the metamorphoses these women can have both internally and physically.
Ihloff has said, "Helping people feel better about themselves is the absolute best experience in the world. The fashion show itself is a spectacular event, and with the unveiling of the makeovers the evening is electric."
So what can you expect from the event? Well, typically when you think of hair styling, the ideas of regular day-to-day looks is the standard, but stylists have a repertoire that expands outside of this limitation. A hair show allows them to take measures to the extreme. I'm sure you've seen something connected with a hair show, with bolder colors, creative cuts and elaborate headdresses and additions that aren't typically adorning the average person's head. A hair show is fascinating for viewers and as Ihloff master stylist Kim Freeman notes, it's fun for stylists as well. The show provides them an outlet to showcase their talents.
The theme for this year's event is "Style Is." Freeman says the theme came from the idea that style is ever-changing and that today, more so than ever, style is really about individuality. In going with that theme, the three sections of the show will focus on fashion's past, present and future with a touch of internationalism. Starting out the show will be fashions and extreme hair that conjures up the punk scene in London from the 1970s.
Following that is a nod to our present with dress and hair that recalls modern day Milan haute couture. The third act is fashion future and nothing says ahead of the game like the looks from Tokyo. The last of the hair show concludes with what's been prepared by the master stylist. Master stylists, people who've been in the game for years, create their own ideas, separate from the theme. This year you'll see looks inspired by Moulin Rouge.
The event ends with the makeovers of the 20 sponsored women. The women chosen for the makeovers are decided by the corporate sponsors and do include women from Resonance's programs. The women receive makeovers from Ihloff Salon and Day Spa and wear outfits provided by J. Jill. Their before shots are shown on screen as they sashay down the catwalk with their new looks. Like Ihloff herself feels, Freeman says that this section of the show showcases how this event touches people. She says it's clear from the makeovers that the women feel better about themselves and have a lot of fun.
Freeman says that the entire show is a collage of visuals with dancers, videos, fashion and music. Prepare to see can-can dancers and some spectacular hair. All in all there will be 65 models making their way down the runway. To ensure that the audience can see the great detail put into these outrageous looks, big screen televisions will be providing every seat in the assembly hall with a great view.
The fun of the event is intensified by the addition that every dollar raised from the event goes directly to Resonance. Four years ago, when Ihloff first began the event, they earned several thousands of dollars. Last year $26,000 was donated to Resonance from this event and already this year has surpassed that total.
Those interested in being part of a fantastic event and donating to a worthy cause can pick up tickets prior to the October 25 event at both Ihloff salons: 1876 Utica Square and 8343 S. Memorial. Tickets before the night of the event are $10, or you can buy them at the door for $15. The Annual Ihloff Runway Event to Benefit Resonance will be from 7pm to 9pm at the Tulsa Convention Center in the Assembly Hall located downtown at 100 Civic Center.
For more information about this event or to find out more about the services of Ihloff Salon and Day Spa you can visit www.ihloffspa.com.
To find out more information about the services, programs and resources offered at Resonance or to join them in their support of local area woman you can visit www.resonancetulsa.org.
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