Fashions week's hair guru prepares

ELLE HUNT
Last updated 07:00 04/04/2013
hair
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ

HAIR TODAY: Wellington Fashion Week hair director Michael Beel says the key to a successful show is preparation. He has just come back from London Fashion Week, where the look is "groomed and slick".

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"Making it work" is the long and the short of it for Wellington Fashion Week's hair director.

Michael Beel is leading a team of nearly 30 hairdressers, and has liaised with all 40-odd designers to ensure the event goes smoothly.

"If [the designer] says, 'I want a messy beehive', we reference a lot of versions of that, do a couple of trials, and come up with a new look.

"If the designer has completely no idea, we'll go from key words about their collection and what they've done in the past, and come up with something together."

Beel and a colleague created two looks for the group shows, which are on tomorrow and Friday. Each features up to eight designers.

"We've split the girls into a really strong, dramatic look and a softer, more bohemian look, so that way we cover both bases and ... keep them all happy."

He says some fashion houses like their models to all look the same, which can be challenging when working with different hair lengths and textures, and others like points of difference.

"We don't have the budget to have lots of hairpieces and extensions, so we work with what we've got ... It's just about making sure the girls look all the same."

But it is easy to ensure consistency if you have a good team, he says.

The key was to have a good debrief at the start and then be tough throughout the day. "

high-pressure environment means things can go wrong on the day, but the key is preparation.

"Everyone has a kit that weighs about 30 kilograms on them at all times, so if that product's not working, they can pull something else out."

Beel has designed the look for headlining label WORLD, showing tonight at Odlin's Plaza.

He describes it as "a nod to 1920s, Great Gatsby, rolled around in glitter and sequins".

"You just keep getting bigger and bigger, and the finale girl has [everything but] the kitchen sink on her head, which I love."

One look he is "over" is the messy top-knot bun.

"It's had its day. Have you come from the gym? Are you at work? What are you doing?

"I've just come back from London Fashion Week and it's all about being groomed and slick."

How will that go down in Wellington?

"With the wind, probably not so much, but start as you mean to go on."

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- The Dominion Post

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