The fabulous Michael Beel of Buoy Hairdressing in Wellington, gives us his snapshot of hairdressing life behind the catwalk. This is the second in the Catwalk Hair series for Prohairstylist!
Article by Leanne Cutler, Hair Shots 2 The World
What is your view of the ‘catwalk’ ponytail? Boring or exciting? How many different ponytails have you created?
The ponytail is a classic timeless hair-do and when done right can look strong and amazing! I love it scraped back clean high shine and smooth… The facelift ponytail. I have done many versions of the ponytail and have even flown to New York Fashion Week to work on a show that was “just a pony!”
Why do you think fashion designers commonly choose the ponytail?
As mentioned it’s a timeless and elegant style… I think it scrapes the hair off the face and off the necklines of the garments so that it draws attention more to the outfit and creates a more of a streamlined effect to the show.
Is there a place on the catwalk for more elaborate hairdressing? Which designers are doing this?
Of course there is… fashion shows I see are theatre… A chance for the designers to tell a story and create a mood of what they have created for the future season. And some designers rely heavily on Hair and Makeup to portray this. Designers such as Alexander McQueen, Dior, Romance was Born and World are great examples of this. I personally prefer these types of fashion shows as they are 7-10 minutes of pure extravagant fashion theatre!
If any, what are the limitations of catwalk hairdressing?
Well it all needs to be perfect… hair needs to be able to be strutted down the catwalk, go through outfit changes without being damaged and can’t be photoshopped and retouched. It needs to look great from not only the front but all angles. In photographic you can cheat a little and focus purely on what he camera sees… the back of the head can have clips showing etc but there is no room for that on the catwalk.
How far ahead do you receive the brief from the designer? What is the level of collaboration required between you and the designer?
Some times for a more of a dramatic show you can have a 6 week lead in time as you may need to source wigs, make hairpieces etc and sometimes you can receive the brief 2-3 days before hand. In saying that I have had the brief change on the day of the show halfway through doing the models hair! You need to be flexible , your part of a cog in the wheel of their story and its their vision and it’s your job to help make that vision come to life with a modern take using your hair expertise.
Who are the designers who have provided you with ‘career highlight’ moments?
Becoming Hair Director for WORLD was a defining moment for me. They are designers that like to produce a show that leaves the viewer gasping for more. Glamour fabulousness and colour are their strengths. Last year’s show was the closing of NZ Fashion Week that was filmed live for the finale of NZ Next Top Model. There were 24 models with 24 different strong hair and makeup looks consisting of lights under wigs, glittered victory rolls and finger waves and jewelled headpieces with gravity defying shapes…. a 12 hour call time for Hair and makeup and some of those girls needed it!!!
What is something that you would like to do for a fashion show that you have never done?
I don’t have a specific hairstyle that I am desperate to try out but I would kill to work on an Alexander McQueen show… I could then die a happy man!!