For many in the industry, the Fellowship for British Hairdressing's annual luncheon is the unofficial start of the Christmas season and this year's event had no shortage of festival sparkle.
Hosted at the glittering Dorchester Hotel on London's Park Lane, the event saw 400 of hairdressing's finest assemble to honour the Fellowship's members, hear which four stars of the future had made the FAME Team and enjoy the opportunity to let their hair down before the busy party period commences.
As guests supped on a specially created Fellowship cocktail - with proceeds going to HABB - president Mark Creed started proceedings by reflecting on what he called, "a great year for the UK." While admitting that times had been tough for businesses, Mark added that, "the hairdressing industry never lost its swagger. Our skills and creativity have never left us, which is why British hairdressing is considered the best in the world - and the Fellowship is the very pinnacle of hairdressing talent."
The organisation also paid its respect to its late patron of honour, Vidal Sassoon, with Sassoon international creative director Mark Hayes making a moving speech. Quoting Rudyard Kipling, Mark described Vidal as, "walking with kings, but never losing the common touch."
There was even a guest appearance - via video - from prime minster David Cameron, who paid tribute to the great work done by the hairdressing industry. "UK hairdressing is number on the world," he said. "And that's not just great for fashion, but it's great for business too. Thank you all for your outstanding contribution to the economy."
Awards were then handed out for outstanding achievement, with sponsors and supporters of the Fellowship also acknowledged for their backing throughout the year. As well as specialist categories the Unsung Hero award was presented to Herbert of Liverpool for his tireless charity work, Toni Mascolo was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award and Stephen Messias became only the third person ever to receive a Gold Medal - joining Peter Collinge and Joshua Galvin as recipient of the illustrious award.
The four hairdressers who will make up the 2013 FAME Team were also announced, with Jake Unger of HOB Salons, Joshua Goldsworthy of Goldsworthy's, Matthew Sutcliffe of Westrow and William Ackerley of Electric made the grade and will now spend the year enjoying outstanding educational opportunities, presenting at shows and seminars across the globe and getting the opportunity to hone their hairdressing skills in one of the industry's finest finishing schools.
Finally, an emotional Bruno Marc Giametti of Marc Antoni was awarded Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year. "Everyone in this room has given me so much," he said. "I've learnt from so many of you, which makes this award even more amazing."
And the winners were...
Media Personality of the Year: Jamie Stevens
Individual Salon: Strangeways, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
Salon Group: HOB Salons
Signature Style Collection Autumn/Winter: Tasha Stevens of Jamie Stevens, Yesmin O'Brien of Seanhanna, Sean Tetlow of The Colour Room and Ian Davies of Ocean Hairdressing
Signature Style Collection Spring/Summer: Bruno Marc Giametti, Gary France and the Essensuals team and Sacha Mascolo Tarbuck and the TONI&GUY team
Unsung Hero Award: Herbert of Liverpool
Lifetime Achievement: Toni Mascolo
Umberto Giannini Project X Student of the Year: Jamie Gilling of Mark Riley Hairdressers
Colour Project Achiever of the Year: Samantha Clark of Hug8
Fashion Focus Image of the Year: Ken Picton
Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year: Bruno Marc Giametti
FAME Team 2013: Jake Unger, Joshua Goldsworthy, Matthew Sutcliffe, William Ackerley
Roll of Recognition
Hairdressers Journal International
Hairdressers Journal International
Fellow with Honours
Fellow with Distinction