SO much more than a trophy. We spoke to Vas Mikellides, Colour Expert at 2016 L’Oréal Colour Trophy-winning salon Sinéad Kelly London, about his awards experience and just what the title means to him, his fellow salon staff and their clients.
How did it feel to hear your name announced on the night?
When they called our name, I had been so absorbed in the build up it took a little while to register. It was only when the team were cheering and hugging that I realised we had won! It was an exhilarating feeling.
What happened in the days after your win?
After the hangover subsided (!) the next few days were full-on, with messages of congratulations and a sudden wave of social media followers from some of the most influential salons in London, not to mention a boost in salon clientele. It honestly took a while for it to sink in.
Had you entered L’Oréal Colour Trophy before?
Once before a few years ago, but I was nowhere near experienced enough or ready, it’s quite intense (but thrilling at the same time)!
How did you decide on your entry/know your winning look was ‘the one’?
We knew we wanted to create a look that was not only iconic but something women would look at and say: “I want to be that girl.” I have always loved the steampunk look and wanted to create a modern image of the ‘London woman’. Something that symbolised strength, but with a beautifully classic and timeless vibe – paying homage to iconic styles, but with a contemporary twist.
I didn’t want it to be defined as ‘gothic’, which can easily be done with such a bold colour choice for the hair and black clothing, so we steered away from making her fit into any specific box. I wanted to present a model who despite being inspired by so many influences wasn’t a parody of them. The second I saw our model in the flesh for the first time, I knew she was our girl. As for knowing whether she was ‘the look’ that would win, no one can really know, it’s entirely down to the judges. We just wanted to present a model that embodied what we believe to be a representation of our combined style, talent and skill.
What was the winners’ shoot experience like?
We went to Paris for the winners’ shoot and not only do I love Paris as a city anyway, to be there on a shoot was an awesome experience. It was great to meet the winners of the other categories. It was very rewarding to see our girl doing her thing in the studio and the atmosphere was electric. Because myself the stylist and our model all get on so well it was also great fun.
How did winning L’Oréal Colour Trophy shape your year?
Winning LCT16 has made the last year both very busy and very exciting. It inspired me to be more creative with clients and not be afraid to try some new colour ideas, as well as making me want to go on to do more shoots. I love to mix both and have definitely grown in confidence.
How have clients reacted to your win?
My clients have been thrilled for me, and the prestige it has brought the salon. They love to say their colourist won the national L’Oréal Colour Trophy and it was really touching to see how happy they were for us!
What have you learned from the whole experience?
It’s been a great confidence builder, and has also instilled more faith in my ability. It taught me how to do more editorial looks and to really combine fashion with art, technical knowledge and commercial hairdressing.
Any tips for those thinking of entering?
When coming up with a concept, think of what represents you as the colourist, but also remember the final look is a product of the team. Combine your skills and don’t forget the importance of cut, make-up, clothing and who is wearing all of the above. Work together to blend your ideas, creating a look you feel is forward in its thinking. Don’t be afraid to try something different but remember your model has to appeal commercially. Finally, be prepared for a lot of work and don’t compromise on anything – it’s worth it!
What’s next for you?
I love being in salon and my clients are my number one priority. I want to show the hairdressing world I’m not a one trick pony and it’s that drive that fuels me, as well as the opportunity to be creative on an editorial level. Watch this space…
Can you sum up your LCT16 experience in three words?
Creative, rewarding… and thrilling.
Fancy following in Sinéad Kelly London’s footsteps? Is 2017 your year to win? Go to lorealcolourtrophy.com to get all the information you could possibly need and enter NOW!