by Leanne Cutler, Hair Shots 2 The World
Alee Benson of Alee Benson Salon in Manila was a Science-Commerce graduate before discovering his passion in hairdressing. He set up his salon in November 2005 and his reputation for session work has just boomed!
In October 2008, his first session job was doing hair for FHM Philippines. Magazine. From there, he has done session work for Philippines Fashion Week, and editorials for Philippine Tatler, Mega, Metro, Lifestyle Asia, Illustrado, Metro, Good Housekeeping, Preview, Playboy, Maxim, and local newspapers (Philippines Star Newspaper, Manila Bulletin, Philippines Daily Inquirer) as well as numerous print ads, billboards, and tv commercials.
Here he shares his thoughts on catwalk sessions in the seventh and last of our interview series…
What is your view of the ‘catwalk’ ponytail? Boring or exciting? How many different ponytails have you created?
I find it boring as well as exciting in a way that ponytail is the most basic hairstyle. But my experience as a hairstylist for the Philippine Catwalk is that we are challenged to create a more dramatic look. There are a lot of twist in doing ponytails. I can create as many as I could imagine considering how each goes with the designers creation.
Why do you think fashion designers commonly choose the ponytail?
Basically, it’s the easiest and basic hairstyle. It’s neat and it doesn’t contrast with the designer’s obra maestra [sic - masterpiece].
Is there a place on the catwalk for more elaborate hairdressing? Which designers are doing this?
I don’t think so. Anywhere, in the world most designer’s always go for the basic - but well, as a hairstylist, it is our task to create a twist in order to be creative. A new look each time.
How far ahead do you receive the brief from the designer? What is the level of collaboration required between you and the designer?
A week or two at the most. We are get informed through email. The designers mostly go directly to the stylist of the show, and we are informed through them.
Who are the designers who have provided you with ‘career highlight’ moments?
Local designers – Michael Cinco and Rajo Laurel.
What is something that you would like to do for a fashion show that you have never done?
Everybody has a dream job and I guess one thing I want to experience, is to be able to do hair at Paris Fashion Week. That’s my dream!