Craig Smith took to the stage on Sunday night to accept the pinnacle trophy for Australian Hairdresser of the Year at the Australian Hair Fashion Awards (AHFAs), as judged by some of the most iconic names in British hair. Winning the award for the first time, Craig’s speech spoke to the power of quiet persistence, particularly as he has been nominated for the title every year since 2014. His powerful Enigma collection won him his first ever Australian Hairdresser of the Year title, after dual Artistic Team wins in 2016 and 2018 and his first ever prize of Queensland Hairdresser of the year in 2011 – and these images will show you why.
The collection captures this titular enigmatic woman who draws the eye of everyone when she enters the room, but walks through it with an aloof confidence. It fuses high end beauty with cool indifference, as inspired by a punk mentality. The moody black and white collection is rich in detailed opulence, where the focus is on the boldly contrasting textures. Graphic beauty within the eye makeup and nude lips offers a cohesive and strong tie-in between all the images.
“Look 1 contrasts religious and punk iconography with the sharply fringed bob which forms the basis of an intricate and ornate skull cap. The shoulders are left bare to highlight the sleek pony which is revealed at the neck,” Craig described of the opening hero look. “Look 2 is pure theatrical couture with dramatic height and volume. Layered for extra depth, the overtly feminine statement is offset by the slouched suiting.”
The other looks similarly wow for their richness, with look 3 offering a dual aesthetic of etherealness and sleekness, and look 4 particularly showing off skills of precision cutting.
“Look 5 blurs the line between hair and fashion and asks the viewer to question where one ends and the other begins. The exaggerated length is full of movement and has become one with the look- enveloping yet never overwhelming,” Craig continued. “Look 6 again takes adornment to the hair with a wet crystallised finish painted directly on to form the shape and structure of the undercut pixie-esque cut. The finish is meticulously choppy and pieced carefully around the face.”
Craig is an icon of the industry, as an educator, mentor, salon owner and creative director, leading the beloved Fruition salon, which is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2019. His exceptional editorial talent is again evident in Enigma and this well-deserved award is just another feather in his cap to secure his status as one of our country’s all-time greats. Check out the collection below.
Hair: Craig Smith
Photography: Andrew O’Toole
Makeup: Kylie O’Toole
Fashion: Mel Nixon
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