Hair as performance art at the L’Oréal Color Trophy

We recently got the opportunity to go to the L’Oréal Color Trophy and having heard about the out and out spectacle of the presentation, we hopped a plane to Montreal and took our videographer with us. The Color Trophy awards styling teams from across Canada for creating a look that brings together hairstyle, colour and makeup, and the le tout of the Canadian salon world attends the over-the-top ceremony. (For those of you who haven’t been to a hair show, the people watching is fantastic. This is a world where statement hair rules. We spotted rockabilly bangs, teased out bouffants and crazy colour–and that was just the audience. To an editor more accustomed to subdued Toronto hair, it was a visual feast.)

The awards were presented in the massive Stade Uniprix–the Montreal home of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament–and included honours for best young colourist, best men’s colourist and best new team. Each award was presented like a mini fashion show, with the models in theatrical hair and equally theatrical outfits. (Black stretch lace and Lucite featured prominently, but our favourite ensemble was a shiny suit covered with metal embellishment from the men’s presentation.)

Punctuating the awards were two “artistic presentations” where models in statement hair have their styles tweaked onstage. The theme of the night was One Thousand and One Nights of the Future so there was a vaguely Aladdin feel about the whole enterprise, especially in the international presentation, where models were dressed in long, gold drapey pieces from Monegasque designer Jiki. That presentation was lead by Edinburgh styling team Jason and India Miller who crafted hair webs covered with pink and orange felted balls and teased the ends of tiny braids until one model’s head looked like a stand of bamboo. For the finale, two barefoot, bare chested men dressed in harem pants and gigantic scarves unfurled on one model a mane of multi-coloured strands.

The big winners of the night were the Team #2 from St. John’s salon The Head Room–colourist Kendra Loder, hairstylist Robert Reid and makeup artist Michael Kane–who took home the top Color Trophy. Second place went to Toronto’s Salon Daniel, while Montreal’s Orbite took home third place–both teams won for their respective regions. Other winners include Victoria’s Amie Roy of Carreiro The Studio for best young colourist, Pointe-Claire’s Inpure II for best new team and Montreal’s Mood by Pure for people’s choice.

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