Dawn Takes On Paris Fashion Week


There are certain aspirations a stylist will hope for in their career. Aspirations that, with hard work and tenacity, come to fruition when suddenly one day your boss calls you to ask ‘Want to go to Paris Fashion Week?’ This is exactly what happened to our Technical Stylist Dawn Cooper, who had the privilege of assisting Creative Director Renya Xydis for Wella Professional AU and NZ for Toni Maticevski’s 2018 Resort show, linking onto the end of couture week.

Here, Dawn fills us in on all the details of the show…. 

How did you feel when you were asked to join Renya in Paris?

I actually auditioned for New York Fashion Week because I have ten years of editorial styling experience, and Gino thought I’d be a good fit. Although I didn’t get picked for the five who went, I did do the hair at Bec and Bridge back in Sydney for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. It was after seeing my work there that the Paris opportunity came up. I was so excited to see the city and be part of this show – I’m such a big fan of Toni Maticevski and Renya. It’s such a dream come true.

What are some of your personal highlights?

We flew in on the Friday and had that free. Then I did a prep day on Saturday, so went to the Wella Paris Studios. They hadn’t decided on the finished look yet! I met Toni’s mum and sister, they were amazing. He is so down to earth and I can see where he gets it from. It was his dream to do a show in Paris, so it really felt like we were all part of something very special. We were briefed on the final decided look in a secret location, underground somewhere in the city. We had 32 models and four hours to complete it, so then I worked with the head stylist, Darren to do the final touches. Doing this I really felt like an asset to the team, we found a great rhythm and that was definitely a highlight. 


What was the brief for the show?

We were told it was ‘Tomboy Heiress’. So, edgy It girls who are cool and laidback, but glamorous. Think, Alexa Chung – she embodies what he was after. The hair was undone and very textured, a sort of contrast to his gowns. We used a lot of gel and blasted, tonged and shook the hair so it gave off a ‘I woke up like this’ feel. The show had a bit of an ‘80s edge too – big glasses!

What’s the difference between salons, editorial and catwalk for you?

Being in the show, I think the biggest difference is that it’s so much faster. In editorial you get a lot longer with your model, but it’s a lot harder to make them look amazing (the camera reveals all! And you don’t get all the angles). In salons, clients generally want what they see on the catwalk but a more palatable version. Catwalk is dictated by the clothes and you’ve only got 30 minutes to make an impact for their 10 second walk.

What was your favourite individual look in the show?

There was one girl I loved, she had the total look. She was just a bit different to the other girls, with shorter hair and really striking features. But, I just love Toni’s work in general. It makes it easier as a hairdresser because sometimes the clothes don’t make sense, but for this show it was all a very clear story being told and I was able to help bring that vision to life. 



Hey Andrea, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. We just wanted to find out a little more about you and any styling thoughts or tips you may have, plus you’re off to Vietnam for Wella’s ‘Making Waves’ program in September, this year! Amazing project to be involved with. Can you explain to us alittle about this program, your involvement and what you will be achieving during your time over there for Wella?


I have been selected by Wella / Unicef to be one of eight mentors from around the world to take part in this fantastic initative again. I am representing Australia and New Zealand when I travel to Vietnam to educate vulnerable young people in life skills and hairdressing training. I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity to use my knowledge to give these teenager's the chance to build a better future.

I'll be collecting t-shirts and pens to take over with me, so please feel free to drop in any donations to the salon before the 1st September.


So, how long have you now been with the PORTFOLIO Mona Vale salon?

It will be 5 years in November


What is your role at the salon?

I am an Executive Stylist and a member of the PORTFOLIO Art team. I also spend some time each week helping to coach my colleagues in their development in the industry.


Can you tell us a little about your training and what aspect of hairdressing you particularly enjoy focussing on and/or specialising in?

I was lucky enough to train in London with the Wella and Tigi Academies and went on to achieve a degree in colour and diplomas in Salon Management with Wella. I love all aspects of hairdressing, but my passion is in creative colour and upstyling.


What is the number one product (for your clients) in your arsenal that you couldn’t live without each day at work?

Wella have launched a new range of styling products called EIMI. The whole range are my new go-to's.


Any cutting tips, or quick tips for home hair maintenance? What advice would you give when in a rush to get out the door each day?

My tip this season would be to add a blunt fringe to freshen up your style and give you an instant new look. I also use a dry shampoo (from home) called 'Dry Me' from Wella. Its great for creating texture and volume in the hair, as well as refreshing unwashed hair.


Any funny or humorous stories whilst working in the salon?

So many to tell, but one in particular that springs to mind; was when a particularly flamboyant stylist who was working for me (in the UK) phoned me one morning to tell me he couldnt come to work that day. When I asked him why, he explained that he had worn his Cuban Stacks out to a club the night before and had a blister on his little toe.  You can just imagine my answer to that...!


What advice would you give to someone looking to get into hairdressing for the first time?

Be prepared for alot of hard physical and mental work, long hours and little pay - but the rewards outweigh it all. Its a fun, creative and fast-moving industry to be in and you get to make people look and feel good 10 x times a day.


What (musical) artist do you have on repeat at moment? Which song?

'This Girl' by Kungs vs Cookin' On 3 Burners. Its such a happy feel-good song and reminds me of my best friend in the UK, who I miss immensely...


If you could spend three months anywhere, where would the dream destination be?

Touring Australia and New Zealand. I really feel I have found paradise here in Australia.


Whats the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?



Describe your ideal man in three words?

Honest, respectful and ambitious.


If you could raid any woman's closet, who’s would it be?

Kate Moss. We are the same age and she is always on point!





We're very proud to announce that each of our PORTFOLIO salons placed extremely well in this years TrendVision 2016 awards [ presented by Wella ].

Four of our senior stylists; Elissa Dominish, Andrea Moxey, Samuel 'Maverick' Wark and Stefano Silvestri seriously wowed the judges across various categories, with Crows Nest's Elissa to advance as a finalist [ and hopeful winner??? ] in the yet to be announced final draw of the competition.

Enjoy below, some examples of each entry into the competition from Andrea, Sam and Stefano.

[ PS. we can showcase Elissa's amazing work, once final judging has taken place. Stay tuned! ]





ANDREA MOXEY'S [ MONA VALE SALON ] FOR TRENDVISION 2016. HER INSPIRATION? "...to make the hair feel luxurious, tactile...like a precious material"



Being in a studio over the course of a 16 hour day tends to send people a bit crazy. The boys [ Sam and Stefano ] lighten the mood

Makeup application to Andrea's model

Andrea Moxey and her muse

Everything you [ don't ] see in the final product


Hey Stef, just wanna wish you a BIG, WARM WELCOME to the PORTFOLIO Crows Nest team and follow up by asking you a few quick questions; so that our readers can get to know you a little better, prior to their appointments. Would that be cool?

100% - lets do it!


Tell us, how long have you been with the PORTFOLIO Crows Nest salon now?

Just over 2 weeks and im seriously loving it!


What is your role at the Crows Nest salon?

My role is to be a Senior Stylist for the salon.


Can you tell us a little about what your training and what aspect of hairdressing you particularly enjoy focussing on and/or specialising in?

I started my training in hairdressing back in England in 2008, beginning my career as a competition hairdresser and winning first place (several times) in bridal-hair categories, which made me fall in love with hair ups from very early on in my career. So up-dos are always my favourite thing to do!


What is the number one product (for your clients) in your arsenal that you couldn’t live without each day at work?

Treatments! Kerastase Fusio Dose is incredible. It's a product that instantly improves the condition of the hair. Clients are just loving it...


Any quick tips for home hair maintenance? What advice would you give when in a rush to get out the door each day?

Dry shampoo. Most people stay away from it (because they think it's for dirty hair) but it saves you time with a hair wash. And another benefit, it will give your clean hair some volume, as well as changing the texture of that soft, floppy hair.


Any funny customer stories whilst working in the salon (names withheld)?

Hmmm, not lately. Give me some time and Ill be sure to let you know...


What advice would you give to someone looking to get into hairdressing for the first time?

Invest in comfortable shoes - hahaha. Because being on your feet 9 hours a day can be painful at the beginning (don't worry you do eventually get used to standing all day).


What (musical) artist do you have on repeat at moment?

Okay well, Drake is my guilty pleasure at the minute, however I'm actually into all sorts of music genres...even a little reggae. Ha!


If you could spend three months anywhere, where would the dream destination be?

I have a long list of places I'd like to see. If I had 3 months i would probably head back to South East Asia as I still haven't seen much of Thailand? But I also have Brazil on my list - I'd love to go to Rio...saying all this; I've not seen a massive amount of Australia yet, so I should probably just start here. Hahaha!

Whats the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Check out the view! I have a stunning view of the harbour from my apartment and I'm still in awe that I live in such a beautiful part of the world.


Describe your ideal man - in three words?

It's important for a guy to have a good smile, be kind, hard-working and most importantly be funny! All women love to laugh - not 3 words I know. Sorry...


If you could raid any woman's closet, who’s would it be?

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Her outfits are always so on point. And I love her hair too!!!



Making waves as a hairstylist is no easy feat and Stefano Silvestri is no slouch when it comes to earning respect as one of the most highly-talented male hairdresser's to come out of Sydney.

Stefano has earned his stripes in the past 18 months with various accolades; ie. assisting Caterina Di Biase for her entry into the Ssh! Australia event, whilst solidifying his position as a (Men's Category) Finalist for the Australian Hair Fashion Awards and also just recently; an Australian Semi Finalist [ along with PORTFOLIO Crows Nest salons Elissa Dominish and Samuel Maverick ] in the CREATIVE VISION category in Wella's prestigious TREND VISION 2016 competition.

With a feature that's long-overdue for such a talented human; lets gain a small insight into the talent that is, Stefano:


Name: Stefano Silvestri


Age: 25 years


About Me: Hairdressing runs in my family, with my own career path following in the footsteps of my brother who owns his own salon. Hard working, fun, with a true love for what I do. Cutting hair is my passion and curating my style since 2010.


I’m an Advanced Senior Stylist at Portfolio Hair Mona Vale; where I work in a relaxed and easy-going environment. I'm continually learning and truly appreciate the opportunities to learn and continue to evolve my passion for hair and my industry.


I take influence and inspiration from the hairdressing idols that surround me, including Angelo Seminara whose work pushes me to be the best I can be. My former colleague Emiliano Vitale also has played a large role in my career; encouraging me to translate my emotions into hair creations.


In the past year I have had some amazing opportunities to learn from globally-revered hairdressers and educators including Dario Cotroneo/DCI Education, é SALON and private training with Emiliano, cutting & colouring duo of Mazella & Palmer, with various education sessions from WELLA Education.

Im also proud to be an AHC Youthworx member and was very happy to be a crew member for the 2014/2015 Ssh! Australia events.


I look forward to taking hold of more opportunities in this industry, with one day being recognized as an influential hairdresser.



Here at Mona Vale, we're super proud to introduce you to our salon coordinator; Ebony who has recently added a highly beneficial (yet limited) service to our business, in the way of hair extensions.

Benefits of hair extensions:

Add colour and vibrancy to the hair: looking for a pop of bright colour or to add subtle highlights to the ends of your hair? Adding lighter or darker extensions to the bottom half of your hair allows for vibrancy without having to actually dye the natural hair.


Hair extensions mask split ends: dying hair can easily result in split ends over time. Extensions allowed for these to be concealed.


Add volume: having thinner hair than you would prefer is something most girls and/or women deal with. Extensions instantly add volume to increase the healthy aesthetic of your hair.


Add length: as long or as luscious as you like! The sky's the limit.


Unlimited hairstyles: upstyles, downstyles, braiding, or even looks straight from Australian Fashion Week...whatever your fancy, we can create something original and stunning.




Ebony's Extensions specialise in MicroBead & Tapes, using AAA Quality European Remy Hair products. Available exclusively at our Mona Vale Salon. Re-tightening and adding volume using extensions are available too.


For further information about Ebony's Extensions, or to schedule a personalised free consultation please contact our Mona Vale Salon on 02 9997 1343 or via monavale@portfoliohair.com.au


  • Full head (100 strands): $510.00
  • Half head (50 strands): $410.00


  • Full head (40 pieces): $550.00
  • Half head (20 pieces): $450.00

(examples of client work)




How long have you been with the PORTFOLIO Crows Nest salon?

Im so lucky to be part of the Crowie team now, for a little over 2 years (with a mini few months off for mum life).


What is your role at the salon?

Actually, ive just been lucky enough to be promoted to Salon Manager (laughs, excitedly)!


You specialize in both hairstyling as a senior stylist for PORTFOLIO - can you tell us a little about what your skill set and how it differs from the other staff?

Well, its no secret that im a bit of a hair nerd! I specialize in colouring - as i've spent a good 12 years obsessing over my "blondes" - since i was trained-up to be meticulous and a little bit of a perfectionist. I was actually a Northern Beaches based hairdresser for a good decade; therefore blondes made up the majority of our clientele...and hey, i do love a good foil! But i seriously love a challenge too...a bit of an old-school foiling tech head meets freehand artist, when it comes to colour.

Hairstyling wise...? Well, being the hair nerd that i am, i spent one of my Sundays off this past month doing an advanced cutting course. I thrive on training and learning more...or working on the skills i already have! I love doing all hair types and just love having my clients trust me enough to let me do a good old chop.


What is the number one product (for your clients) in your arsenal that you couldn’t live without each day at work?

Oh! That's hard! I actually probably have a top 4! Eeeekk, hahaha! My all time go-to has gotta be the SP Lux Oil. I use it 3-4 times a day...wet, dry - especially when i feel a clients ends are dry. I just can't go a day without it...


Any quick tips for home hair maintenance? What advice would you give when in a rush to get out the door?

Being a time poor mum i love a quick getaway. I always do three shampoos and then a treatment on my hair. Treatments are so much more instant these days. Gone are the days of leaving it on for 3-5 minutes, so i use it like a conditioner.  Then, because my hair's cleaner (due to the three shampoos applied) my blowdry lasts longer...and using the Keratin Thermique by Kerastase it probably cuts down my blowdry time by about half. FYI - the more time you spend on your hair, the longer the style, or blowdry lasts.


Any funny customer stories whilst working in the salon (names withheld)?

Oh easily - one of the funnest is when one of my clients...comes in still drunk...and obviously is always a lot more confident in her hair decisions and her banter (with me). Obviously being more keen for a change with her hair too. I really, thoroughly, enjoy watching her sobering-up process over the course of a couple hours, and then realization of what shes requested for her hair overhaul...she usually does this once a year. Somewhat hilarious!


What advice would you give to someone looking to get into hairdressing for the first time?

Do it!! This job has been so rewarding. I've been lucky enough to work in fantastic salons with inspiring teams, even managing to travel Australia for work seminars. I love that a machine can never take away from the art of hairdressing. It takes compassion and skill. Its so personalised. Creative and fun, yet still a hobby for me - going on 12 years strong.


What (musical) artist do you have on repeat at moment?

Oh, there is three at the moment that get played on repeat during my drive to work. They pump me up and make for a great day:
'This Is What You Came For' Calvin Harris
'Cant Stop The Feeling' Justin Timberlake
'Sorry' Justin Bieber (eeeek, i know...yeah im a Belieber)


If you could spend three months anywhere, where would the dream destination be?

Europe, France and Greece mainly. Ahhh, to be young again and back on a Contiki hey...many great memories...hahaha.


How would you describe your personal style?

Well, even my husband and kids would be able to answer this: black with alot more black and many, many accessories (how else do you liven up black?) and ever-changing hair...


Whats the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

These days? Its a feed for a chubby-bubby. Totally worth the 5am starts!


Describe your ideal man - in three words?

Chad Michael Murray - hahaha, that's three words technically...(oops, sorry hubby)


If you could raid any woman's closet, who’s would it be?

And be them? Easy one, Blake Lively.



Our staff go through rigorous training. We ensure their skill set's reflect what we consider a high standard. Therefore meet Bianca Dowling; a senior hair technician at our Mona Vale salon, who has just recently evolved her offering here at the salon as a professional makeup artist.

Enjoy reading the following spotlight:

Hey Bianca, just wanted to take a minute or two of your time for a few quick, rapid-fire questions for a feature on the journal. You game?

Hahaha sure. Always.


Ok, here goes: How long have you been with the PORTFOLIO Mona Vale salon?

I have been with PORTFOLIO Hair for seven years this past Christmas.


You seem to have a great energy about you and just constantly moving. What's your role at the salon?

To provide cuts, colours and styling (as one of the salon's senior hairstylists) to all my clientele, whilst ensuring a relaxing and enjoyable experience.


You specialise in both hair + makeup for PORTFOLIO - can you tell us a little about what you offer with the makeup service within the salon?

Absolutely. I offer makeup services to suit all of my clientele; whether it be for a wedding, special occasion or to help compliment a new hair style. I only provide the latest quality products, sanitised tools and always a relaxing service to make the client just feel a million dollars...


What is your number 1 product in your makeup kit that you couldn’t live without?

I couldn't live without my 'Anastasia Beverly Hills' brow pomade!


Any quick tips for applying makeup at home? What advice would you give when in a rush to get out the door?

For quick and easy makeup looks when youre in a real rush I'd recommend applying a shear foundation or tinted moisturiser, with a bit of bronzer (on the cheeks) and mascara (on the lashes). This will freshen your look without too much work.


Any funny customer stories whilst working in the salon (names withheld)?

Oh, there's always several great stories on a regular basis. That's part of the fun of this type of job. We once had a lady who showed up for an appointment which she had accidentally booked through another salon - just adamant it was us. She was so embarrassed after we showed her the confirmation text we sent her earlier in the week. It was all in good jest.


What advice would you give to someone looking to get into 'Hair and Makeup' for the first time?

Realistically, just do your research on salons to train within, as well as colleges to attend. I was lucky enough to have such great staff at PORTFOLIO take me under their wing, to guide me to be the hairdresser I am today.


Which artist do you have playing on repeat at moment?

Drake and his new album! I love his music (haha)


If you could spend three months anywhere, where would the dream destination be?

Hmmm...a toss up between either Greece or New York. Both are just amazing destinations for different reasons.


Whats the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Cook a big breakfast. I love my food!


Describe your ideal man in three words?

Funny. Affectionate. Supportive.


If you could raid any woman's closet, who’s would it be?

Ahhhh - i'd just love to raid Amrezy's closet. She's a makeup artist in the US and has the BEST clothes!!!



When a client writes to us, be it good feedback or constructive criticism, we always take note...And once in awhile, we just get great little letters of appreciation, like this beautiful piece last week:

I would just like to offer some feedback on your Mona Vale salon.

I was just walking past your salon on Tuesday (26.04.16) and decided my greys had got the better of me. I wandered in to be greeted by what I think is your receptionist (lovely young girl with very red nails). I had no appointment and no prior knowledge of your salon. The young women gave me an appointment and my hair was done by a beautiful young lady “Amy”.
From the moment I walked in Amy Lewis was professional yet extremely personable. She did a PERFECT colour on my hair – I really don’t pay much attention to my hair and usually do home dyes.
Amy recommended I have a treatment – which she did after she had shampooed my hair.
Amy is an absolute credit to your salon – I shy away from hairdressers as they tend to talk too much. AMY is 100% BY FAR the best hairdresser I have ever had – and I am 41 so I have been to a few. AMY AMY AMY – I will be recommending her to anyone who wants to know.
Rebecca B.

Love it! And if like Rebecca, you'd like to make a booking with Amy Lewis (and with glowing reviews like this, who wouldnt!?!) please don't hesitate to contact the salon via (02) 9997 1343.

Thankyou in advance.


Welcome to the #PORTFOLIOhair journal. We aim for this online diary to be updated on a regular basis showcasing the styling talent (at both our Mona Vale and Crows Nest, Sydney salons), as well as advice, tips and maintenance for all hair types.

This week, we would love for you to meet one of Crows Nest's next-gen stylists; Sam and learn a little about him, whilst also getting some great advice.

But please...keep your tongues in ladies! Its only a quick interview. You'll just have to make an appointment to hear from the man himself.

Read on:

Age and full name please, sir?

25 years. Samuel Maverick Wark

Tell us, where have you worked before? And where did you train/gain your apprenticeship?

Trained at the Anthony Lipari salon (now, PORTFOLIO Hair Crows Nest). I also had a quick stint at a barbershop to gain more men's cutting skills, than returned to PORTFOLIO Hair.

What lead you to get involved with the world of hairdressing?

Mostly the girls (haha) - but seriously, it's just a passion i've always loved since playing with my first Barbies ;)

PORTFOLIO Hair is about forward-thinking and directional hairdressing, where we take ideals and cues from classic styles and redefine with a modern interpretation. What are some of your favoured colour & cut techniques?

I still love ombre/balayage colouring, and I think there is so much more we can push with this technique to reinvent it. And I actually love all precision cutting.

So, 2016’s Wella TrendVision competition is going to be pretty darn huge! We know you’ve spent quite some time preparing your entry (under PORTFOLIO Hair's submission) this year. Can you tell us a little about your submission Sam, what you wanted to achieve and your inspirations behind it?

The look I've tried to create this year is based on a heroine from a Dystopian future. I know that's vague, but you will just have to wait and see...

Ha - thanks. Keep everyone guessing hey!?! What would be your main piece of advice for any younger people wanting to become hairstylists?

I would say go for it! You're going to become part of an amazing culture that gives back as much as you put in.

Any likes and dislikes outside of work? What gets your goat?

Likes: surfing and beers (after a busy Saturday on the floor). Dislikes: vague Facebook posts. As in when people post stuff saying something along the lines of "I hate when people do this..." yet they're really just referring to one person in particular. Just hating whilst on social media is lame in general!

Yeah man I hear you. Ok, lets take it back to a positive note - Music; what are you currently listening to?

Haitan/Canadian DJ and Producer; Louis Kevin Celestin aka KAYTRANADA

Thanks Sam. Best of luck with TrendVision this year. We know you can make it into the finalists!

Thankyou. Yes, I really hope so. Would actually be a dream come true.


For a fresh new look that's easy to style and even easier to wear...just chop it all off!!!
But seriously, a texture bob w/. undercut looks great, is sophisticated, edgy and mature without much effort or upkeep. Rock the 'just out of bed' look! Embrace a messier style!

This is Hayley, proudly showing off her new cut by our talented Alice (at the Mona Vale salon). And coloured by our newby staff member; Laura.