“For inspiration for the collection, I studied plays of light. Which refers to patterns made by light as it moves over a surface. Like the way sunlight hits glass and leaves a kaleidoscope stream of colour, holographic dimensions, light refractions seen in rainbows and the contrast between the impact of light hitting a focal point and leaving a surrounding shadow.”
AHFA '22 Creative Colourist of the Year, Lauren Cooper
Her gorgeous work has seen her crowned AHFA ’22 Creative Colourist of the Year, but that’s only the beginning for the incredibly talented Lauren Cooper. Here, we speak with Lauren about her biggest achievements to date, sources of creative inspiration and what we can expect to see from her next.
TJM: What did your AHFA win mean to you?
LC: To say I was shocked and surprised is an understatement! I was honoured to be named as a finalist alongside the other incredible colourists from across Australia and New Zealand and it meant so much to have my creative work seen by the judging panel of industry greats. It’s a really nice sign of recognition that I’m on the right track and that they enjoyed what I created… Feeling beyond grateful!
TJM: Can you chat us through key techniques you utilised in creating your winning collection?
LC: Most of the collection was created using direct dye pigments (evo STAINO is my go-to). Using a direct dye for this type of creative work is awesome because you can instantly see what the results will be as soon as its applied, instead of waiting for a colour to develop. I used split complementary colour schemes and blended the tones together with sponges to create soft blurs between the colour gradients.
TJM: What was the inspiration behind your collection?
LC: For inspiration for the collection, I studied plays of light. Which refers to patterns made by light as it moves over a surface. Like the way sunlight hits glass and leaves a kaleidoscope stream of colour, holographic dimensions, light refractions seen in rainbows and the contrast between the impact of light hitting a focal point and leaving a surrounding shadow. The styling had a strong Y2K influence, and we mirrored the vibrant colours used in the hair with bold textures and fabrics. I love to use a lot of energy and emotion in my creative work, which is always fun for the models as they get to go wild and pull some hilarious faces!
TJM: What are your biggest career goals?
LC: It is cheesy to say that I’m pretty much living it already?! I get to hang out with an incredible team of stylists everyday at Etcher Salon which I own and run alongside my partner Matthew. I am lucky enough to travel the world, meet people and connect with them over a shared love of hair education. I have some other wild and lofty goals in mind, but I’m a bit of a believer of the Frank Ocean quote “work hard in silence and let success be your noise”… So I’ll keep you posted on those things if and when they happen!
TJM: What about your biggest accomplishments to date?
LC: Winning AHFA Creative Colourist this year and AHFA SA/TAS Hairdresser of the Year 2021 are definitely my biggest accomplishment thus far, it was something I had been striving and working towards for the last few years and really trying to push my creativity to get there. Also being part of the international Evo Education team has been a massive career achievement, I have always loved teaching and sharing knowledge with other hair stylists so to be able to travel around AUS and internationally with an incredible team and brand like Evo is a total dream.
TJM: Finish this sentence: In ten years, I will be…
LC: Happy, healthy and living a life full of good vibes! If the last few years of uncertainty have taught me anything, it is that it’s impossible to put concrete plans in place too far in advance. I think aiming for a life filled with happiness will give you a good foundation where anything else that happens on top of that is a bonus!