Oamaru hairdresser Gabrielle Docherty will be winging her way across the Tasman in September to represent New Zealand as a finalist in a top competition.
She was recently named one of 10 New Zealand finalists in the Wella Trend Vision Awards.
Miss Docherty, who owns Estella Hair Studio in Tees St, was selected from more than 100 entries.
She was required to come up with a hair design for her model for a photo shoot, which featured her interpretation of this year’s theme – winter/autumn.
“ … I was inspired by the fashion coming through, like the heavy knits and leather.
“I was really pleased because this year I kind of did something which was really, really strong and I knew they would love it or not like it . . . I went with my heart and followed my own thing.”
Last year Miss Docherty made the finals but missed out on an award and this year she was confident.
“There’s not as much pressure … it’s a bit more exciting. It’s about having fun and putting myself out there, I guess.”
At the awards in Melbourne, she will have the opportunity to speak with the judges one-on-one.
“There’s really good positive criticism that comes out of that,” she said.
“You can take that criticism and put it to work at the salon.”
Miss Docherty said her model and assistants were excited about a “free trip to Melbourne”.
“I’m going to soak up the atmosphere with my fellow competition, because I know a lot about them. I’m representing Oamaru, I guess, and showing that coming from a smaller town doesn’t really matter,” she said.
Miss Docherty grew up in Oamaru, and studied and completed a hairdressing apprenticeship at St Clair’s Zaibatsu Hair Art, Dunedin, where she also spent four years in a management role.
In 2011, she worked and travelled in Ireland, before opening Estella in 2013.