Debutantes stylists recreate 'Alice in Wonderland' characters

DeKALB – Jennifer Herrada’s vision of Alice in Wonderland was an old-school pinup girl with glittery makeup and individual jewels along her faceline.

“She’s more of a natural one in the movie, so what I’m doing is giving her some shimmer – trying to keep her basic, but giving her a little glow as well,” Herrada said.

She made up model Amy Bryant of Rockford for a hair show Saturday at Debutantes School of Cosmetology and Nail Technology in downtown DeKalb. She was among five upcoming cosmetology school graduates who presented their runway show titled, “Down the Rabbit Hole,” to a lively, standing-room crowd.

The show, based on the movie “Alice in Wonderland,” also was a competition, with judging based upon the execution and difficulty of both hair style and makeup, as well as the overall look of the models. Herrada, of Rochelle, won with 102 out of a possible 105 points.

Pamela Rose, an instructor for the school and coordinator of the event, said that the student stylists chose the theme of the show, set up the room the day before, and began at 8 a.m. Saturday transforming the models into their characters. Themes for previous shows have included Barbie, the Jungle and Twisted Disney.

“Cosmetologists are artists and hair shows are a way to show off our artwork,” Rose said. “We invite the community, local salons and anybody we can get in the door to kind of advertise and promote the students.”

Other stylists displaying their talents at the show included Danielle Guard of Genoa with her fan favorite Cheshire Cat, Kaila Howe of DeKalb who did the Mad Hatter, Alicia Williams of Virgil with her Queen of Hearts, and Alyssa Cantrell of DeKalb with her creation of The White Rabbit.

Larissa Willis of Rochelle, one of the three judges of the competition, was impressed by Herrada’s overall execution.

“It was hard to see all of the little details until the lights were on and we were up close,” Willis said. “The make-up was beautiful. I couldn’t see any bobby pins sticking out [of the hair]. Things like that are really important in this industry.”

Anna Bestler of Sycamore said she enjoyed everything about the event and looks forward to attending more shows in the future.

“It’s all decorated very nicely,” Bestler said. “The music matches nicely. Everybody is in character. There’s a lot of people here. There’s lights. There’s fog. It has a little bit of everything.”