Shear delight: d&m for Schwarzkopf 2010

For many years now, beauty giant Schwarzkopf Professional have held a biannual awards ceremony in Auckland, honouring the best in the business when it comes to fabulous hair. This year however, the awards have joined forces with Sydney's Hair Expo Awards, and New Zealand entrants were forced to compete against their Australian counterparts for places in the finals, which is no mean feat. The only New Zealand salon to be selected in the final four for the prestigious 2010 Schwarzkopf Professional Hair Expo Salon Team of the Year award was boutique Ponsonby salon d&m hair design, who have been quiet achievers in the industry since they opened just over three years ago. The salon dominated the biannual event held in Auckland in 2008, winning Salon Team of the Year, Hairdresser of the Year, Northern Hairdresser of the Year, Best Photographer, and Best Makeup. This year is the first year that New Zealanders have had to stand up not just against each other, but also the hyper-competitive Australian industry.
As part of the entry process, the d&m salon team - which consisted of Pato, co-owner Michael Sisaengrath and star colourist Shannon Lee-Johnson - produced a collection of six drop-dead-gorgeous photographs to showcase their work. These images were shot by leading international fashion photographer, Craig Owen, in his fourth creative collaboration with the salon. Barry Betham styled the super sexy shoot, with the make up look created by Amy Fiebig. Danny and his team started working on some concepts for the entry almost two months ago, choosing to look to pop culture rather than runway fashion for their inspiration. In the shots you can see the influence of global music superstars such as Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Shakira and Rihanna coming through, as well as a nod to the legendary photographer Helmut Newton, who is Pato's favourite fashion photographer by far. “The brief was to pretty much do anything you liked,” explains Pato, “but had to be fashion-forward, simple and elegant”, in keeping with the ethos of the Schwarzkopf brand. Betham paired the hair looks with super clean, slightly futuristic styling that kept things “sexy but not trashy”, and the overall effect is beautiful as well as most importantly, fun. “We hoped to make the collection stand out from the other entries by doing our own thing rather than just what was happening in hair internationally,” says Pato, and it seems that judges loved their really rather fabulous, calculated risk.


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