Get the Lowdown on Ssh 2016: A Brave New World in Creative Education

Ssh! Australia 2016 Pioneers A Brave New World in Creative Education.

Global hairdressing icons once again gathered in Sydney at the Seymour Centre, before an audience of over 800 hairdressers over an epic THREE days of pure education and creativity, to bring to life the third installment of Ssh! Australia.

An awe-inspiring THREE days comprising the Ssh! show, Masterclass and bespoke Workshops with SACO & Mazella&Palmer, Ssh has truly become a world-class event; remaining true to its values and pushing boundaries unlike anything that has ever existed in Australia, and revered around the world as a truly unique experimental event, pioneering creative exploration.

Led by Australian Hairdresser of the Year Alumni and legends of the global industry, Emiliano Vitale and Benni Tognini, the impressive line up of talent for 2016 comprised:

Dove Palmer & Jean-Baptiste Mazella – Mazella&Palmer (UK)

Richard Ashforth & Pierre Saint Sever – SACO (UK)

Andy Wong and Nick Chung – EROS (Taiwan)

Richard Kavanagh (Australia)

Robert Lobetta (USA) and Team Lobetta (Kobi Bokshish, Alexandra Newman and Jamie Furlan – Australia)

Peter Gray (USA)

As the audience settled in to embrace the poetic universe of contemporary hair culture, Jules Tognini introduced each guest artist to the stage.

Popular duo, Mazella&Palmer, where first up, preceded by a dreamscape of haunting melodies and shadow figures which evolved into their presentation of Demeure; a collection inspired by English fashion photographer Tim Walker and his dreamy, nostalgic pictures. Demeure enveloped the audience in a daydream and fantasy, telling stories conjured directly from the imagination that most of us left behind in childhood, all whilst staying true to the duo’s philosophy of not just how to cut hair, but why.

“This event, and the education it imparts, is one of the best in the world. For us, it’s Number One in the sense of keeping it pure,” says Dove Palmer.

Mercurial and magical, Australia’s Richard Kavanagh embraced the ethos that is Ssh! challenging mindsets with an abstract narrative on the lack of connection we have in the modern era, and how important the human aspect of the craft of hairdressing is and our need to honour that. Richard paid homage to how important the craft of hairdressing is – it being one of the true crafts that cannot be mechanized or digitized.

The powerhouse duo of Nick Chung and Andy Wong, and their entourage that comprise Taiwan’s EROS catapulted the audience into a new world of HUVATAR (human+avatar), where rapid technological developments have caused a change in the world, and influenced the human body. EROS challenged the audience to see body shape in different forms, coupled with new innovations in hair and architecture.

Robert Lobetta mentored and led a trio of Australian young guns – Alexandra Newman, Jamie Furlan and Kobi Bokshish – along with the audience into the world of ‘Asylum’. A safe place for the experimentation of your most wildest ideas, where there’s fluidity of pieces, aggression in beauty and the opportunity to be brilliant by risking and trying something different.

Striking colours and contemporary takes on classic shapes and textures encapsulated SACO’s presentation of their I.D. Collection. Taking influence from performance artist and designer, Leigh Bowery, Richard & Pierre, demonstrated that words were not necessary; it was sheer creativity and technique that piqued and held the crowd’s attention.

The final presentation of the evening to imbue the audience with a definitive shot of creativity and a social conscience message was America’s Peter Gray. A man who needs a reason or cause to present, and to raise awareness, Peter’s strikingly powerful show shone the spotlight on human trafficking; with the finale showcasing a model encased in a ‘web’ of twine/cotton; a direct reference to the underworld web that is the human trafficking trade.

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Says Peter, “This event, Ssh! Australia, is truly what is an incredible global event. Creativity with a purpose is what I aspire to! Inspiring causes motivate me to push the boundaries. Ssh was an amazing opportunity to work with an amazing team using the medium of hair to convey the harsh reality of a web of people involved in human trafficking worldwide!”

Ssh! once again delivered an experiential educational experience for professionals in the hair, makeup, fashion and design arenas at the Seymour Center and around the globe via live streaming through liveED; a concept daring in it’s approach and delivery.

Says Benni, “Ssh! has definitely grown to the next level. The key word is experimentation – what we’re doing is an experiment. We have such admiration for all the teams; they continue to push themselves and share with the audience something we’ve never done before.”

Based purely on the idea of bringing the best in the global hairdressing business together through a neutral platform in creative collaboration with the single desire of sharing and contributing to the industry, Ssh! is an event that unashamedly takes back the heritage of the hairdresser – making it truly ‘by the hairdresser for the hairdresser.’

Says Emiliano, “There is so much about Ssh! that excites me. The Monday Masterclass is always a favourite as, in addition to the creativity that is the Sunday show, we have six world class hairdressing teams sharing intimately their knowledge, their skill and their energy. This year, the audience was encouraged and invited to join the teams on stage, a truly intimate moment where they could touch, feel and truly watch what was happening on stage.”

What’s next for Ssh! Australia 2017? We’re keeping that a secret for now!

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Instagram – @SshAustralia

– TJ