It wasn’t your average education event when Matrix took to the stage at Salon Melbourne for Matrix Playground. Filling into a room with dozens of mannequin heads and catwalk at the ready, the packed-out crowd, glass of wine in hand, were about to find out what creativity means according to the fashion savvy brand.

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Celebrating the old and new – 35 years of Matrix and their new Creative Director, Adelaidian salon and editorial stylist Uros Mikic – the evening was full of big surprises. Starting off with four models in cartoonish, big wigs in red and black, the evening was set up like a party, with the models performing a dance routine to thumping club music.

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After the opening, Uros and the rest of the Matrix Creative Team, comprised of Andrea De Deugd, Peter Dorio, Lores Giglio and Paul Ricupito, took to the stage to show off looks from the brand’s Graffiti Nation collection, riling up the crowd with distinctive Avant Garde hair styles and a level of performance quality usually reserved for rock stars.

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Inspired by urban art, bold colour techniques, 3D shading, fluid cuts, Avant Garde up styles and graphic hair styles, both male and female, were delivered with bravado, before several of the styles were revealed as wigs and thrown into the crowd – much to the surprise of the audience. Edgy short crops lay underneath, dazzling the crowd with two fashion-forward hair styles for the price of one.

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On the model’s final walk the screen showcased their ‘before’ shots, revealing the drastic change to their hair and entire looks – from boys and girls next door to live-action editorial masterpieces. The gimmick was an effective way in showing the transformative capabilities that the hairstylist possesses.

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Next it was the audience’s turn, and most attendees joined in, crowding around mannequin heads as Uros demonstrated an intricate basket weave with unique pulled-out texture, courtesy of new styling product The Stitch. The brand’s new styling collection Style Link was also showcased in full, with attendees witnessing its potential both on stage and experiencing it for themselves. New innovations from cult ranges Biolage and Colour Graphics also impressed the audience.

After the show models were brought back out on stage so that audience members could have another look – with the vibrant shades, exaggerated shapes and complex details able to be observed and photographed up close.

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It was a final act that reinforced the ethos of the whole event – with inspiring artistic looks, a practical element and a frenetic energy to the entire show, this event put the focus 100 per cent on the hairdresser, marrying education and creativity seamlessly and having fun in the process.

No wonder they called it Playground.

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For more information visit www.matrixaustralia.com