For all of us who live the life of hair, the second weekend of June means one thing and one thing only: Hair Expo! This year the new-look International Conference Centre in Sydney was the host of a long weekend of inspiration, motivation, networking and not forgetting a whole lot of fun along the way!

For the fantastic four who make up the Australian FAME team however, this weekend marks the first time they hit the stage as one, just ten weeks after being brought together at AHFA! Behind the scenes, Marie Cain, Dion Lee Andrew, Joe Ribera and Jamie Furlan along with Creative Director Brett McKinnon have been emailing, calling, WhatsApping and everything else you could think of, to chat through their concepts and finalize their inaugural performance.

Sunday afternoon saw the team take to the stage with the wonderful Shaun P, creator and founder of Tangle Teezer to create four distinct looks using Tangle Teezer: Dion created a stunning editorial up-do, Marie, her signature big and beautiful hair. Jamie created a really edgy, rad look on his girl while Joe showed us a modern Pompadour on his male model.

On Monday, it was time for the FAME team to ask ‘WHY?’ Representing the youth of today, a generation constantly questioning their predecessors and concerned about the kind of world that they are inheriting. This is a generation which is socially, spiritually, politically and environmentally aware – a generation asking WHY?

In their GENERATION WHY presentation the team explored the idea of rebellion through hair and fashion and how Gen-Y are making it their own. The team worked on four models on stage, each playing to their strength. Joe created an Afro from scratch using nothing but hair clippings and lots and evo Builders Paradise (nope, us neither!)! Jamie worked a rad shadow cut on his model who’d been transformed into an incredible golden yellow tone with La Biosthetique colour.

Marie did what Marie does best and created gorgeous big, bold texture with a multitude of Cloud 9 hot tools, Dion also employed his favourite Cloud 9 tools to softly wave hair around a variety of braids, detailed with elastic and melted plastic. Two additional models specifically engaged the notion of gender fluidity: the question of why we should be limited by the gender we are assigned at birth is one which is becoming ever more prevalent in today’s world.

FAME Creative Director Brett McKinnon says: “I expected nothing less than a confident debut from this team. Their individual strengths are without question, but it’s clear to see that in just over two months the strong bond that has developed between the four of them has resulted in a harmonious understanding and appreciation of each other. The final six looks were simultaneously an accomplished first collection and unique anecdotes of four individuals: the perfect combination. I just couldn’t be prouder!”

Words by Jane McCarthy

So that’s two down, two to go – next stop London! If you are thinking of entering FAME next year or if you just want the inside track on the best mentorship program in Australia, be sure to follow Marie, Joe, Dion and Jamie on #fameteamau.