The WorldSkills Hair Expo Challenge invites hairdressing apprentices to the main stage at Hair Expo to demonstrate their skills and compete against their peers.
Prema Bondi Junction’s 2018 Apprentice of the Year winner Giovanna “Gigi” Piscicelli entered AND WON the challenge this year! We caught up with Gigi to pick her brain and find out exactly what she did to create the award winning look.
What was the theme of the competition and how did you interpret it?
The theme for this year’s competition was “Camp” to coincide with the Met Gala theme – so inspiring as there was no limit. My idea was inspired by actress Danai Gurira’s take on camp for the gala’s pink carpet; her look stood out to me so much. She was giving confidence, independence, boldness, and strength – the perfect embodiment of sexiness! Her outfit was simple but effective. No loud colours or patterns were needed as the silhouette of the outfit is already camp and over the top with the extra long gown, the bucket hat and the cane.
How did you go about preparing for the competition?
After receiving the criteria I then started off by making a plan of what needed to be done. I didn’t initially understand the Camp theme so I had to research it and fully grasp the inspiration. I then started to do mood boards of outfit ideas, hair ideas and makeup ideas that I liked.
The criteria for hair was an up-style. The hair needed to be in a ponytail and completing the look would need to be done on stage in 30 minutes. I started practicing different upstyles on a mannequin head, getting tips and tricks from seniors during education days, and even in downtime my colleagues would come and help me out.
Once I set my mind on my final look, I had to find models so I started to ask around. Thankfully one of my old friends from high school was more than willing to be my model. I asked the Salon Director, Johnny Ruggerino, if it was okay to come into the salon on my days off. I started practicing my upstyles, timing, and techniques. I was guided by Prema Education Director Garreth Lenagh, who helped me fine-tune my skillset and hone in on skills I never knew I had! The Tafe teachers, Trish and Angela, have supported me along the way. The Bondi and Surry Hills teams helping and supporting me throughout the competition was such a magical feeling.
How did it feel to win?
When participating in competitions I don’t think about winning. The first thing that comes to mind is getting where I want to be, the techniques I’ll need to utilize and most importantly being able to learn new things every step of the way. Winning is just a bonus that you get when entering competitions.
Winning the Hair Expo and taking first place was such an overwhelming feeling that it brought me to tears! Knowing that the judges liked my work was such an amazing feeling. Hearing my family and the Prema team cheering for me was a so beautiful. The realisation that hard work truly does pay off at the end could be one of the most rewarding aspects of competing.