The final national chapter of the L’Oréal Professionnel Colour Trophy Awards made its long-awaited return to Australia over the weekend, gathering a list of celebrities, talented hairdressers, finalists and performers for one massive show at The Palms at Crown, Melbourne. Walking into the famous location, it was the brand’s name in lights that indicated that, yes, you were in the right place and, truly, this iconic competition is back for another historic outing.
After a long hiatus, the return show was worth the wait, showcasing the many finalists’ alluring live looks in a multitude of runway shows, and proving that the many state semi-finals found the best colour talent our industry has to offer. The night’s proceedings were hosted by TV personality and celebrity Joel Creasy, while the final award, and a preview of the brand’s metallic trend, was presented by brand ambassador Dannii Minogue. Celebrities such as Laurina Fleure, Alex Nation and DJ Havana Brown were in the audience as special guests, and rising band Confidence Man provided the musical interlude.
Other entertainment included a show from the brand’s ID Artist Team, as accompanied by Damien Rinaldo and Justin Pace. The team, created a time machine of sorts, presenting looks from the disco-led 70s, quirky 80s and edgy 90s. For the 70s, think Woodstock hair in all its long, luscious, ultra-blonde glory. For the 80s, a more Avant Garde approach to big hair and bold shapes amongst frills and plenty of polka dots, accompanied by a thrilling break dance routine.
The 90s was titled as a mixtape, with long ponytails and short crops in equal measure creating the modern underground club aesthetic of the decade. To close, Damien and Justin created a smorgasbord of their hero looks with bold hues, hair pieces, hair sewing and Damien’s trademark hair tapestry techniques elevating the runway show to its editorial peak.
Another major highlight of the evening was watching the incomparable Guylaine Martel in action. Hailing from Canada, Guylaine created enthralling Avant Garde looks on stage, turning each model into the living reincarnations of natural and super natural wonders, from mountain ranges, to ocean depths and even extra-terrestrial beings. Guylaine’s original hair sculptures, artistic colour work and major reveals (the finale included a model becoming the living surface for graffiti work) comprised a presentation that was both a unique hair show and a true work of art.
However, among these many highlights, the night’s finale was its true epicentre, as the winners were announced for the Colour Trophy Awards. Congratulations to Wendy Gunn of Ink For Hair, who took home first prize amongst the fifteen talented finalists, delivering an emotional winning speech about her 53 years in the industry and the power of the hair community itself. Wendy has won editorial opportunities including with INSTYLE and marie claire, and a trip to Paris to represent Australia on the international stage.
“The Colour Trophy Awards is an illustrious competition showcasing some of the brightest hairdressing talent from across the country,” said L’Oréal Professionnel General Manager, Olga Zanetti. “Wendy created the most innovative, fashion-forward and inspired look demonstrating exemplary skill and technique.”
“Being a part of this year’s L’Oréal Colour Trophy Awards has been the most incredible experience of my career. Not only has it raised my profile in the industry, but it has also opened the door to so many opportunities,” shared 2018 winner, Wendy Gunn. “It’s been an unrivalled experience and to win means the adventure just continues with the chance to travel and work with some of the best hair colourists from around the world.”
Congratulations as well to first runners up Courtney Treyvaud and Lyndal Salmon, who flew their model back from Texas to recreate their bold pink look, and second runner up, Danni Solier of Xiang Hair, who impressed judges with a multi-faceted blonde-based look. The marie claire Reader’s Choice Award went to a pink, floral incarnation created by Deeann Watt of Watt Style, while Alex Cordell of Rakis on Collins triumphed over tough competition for the Rising Star Award.
It was a nostalgic return for many hairdressers, including Wendy, who remember Colour Trophy as a vital facet of their hairdressing trajectory. The renewed iteration opened doors for an updating generation of Australia’s finest hairdressers to show off their innovative colour work. Built as a competition that skews to the commercial, the evening put the focus on actual hairdressers, with the objective of really driving clients into salons. Meanwhile it still provided extraordinary editorial inspiration that may have no place behind the chair but is vital to igniting artistic vision. It seems after a long hiatus, Colour Trophy returned as relevant as ever.
For more information visit lorealprofessionnel.com.au
Catch up with INSTYLE and Styleicons!