Backstage gurus ready for capital fashion week

Busy time: Olivia Wild and Michael Beel are the gurus behind Fashion Week's hair and make-up.
Busy time: Olivia Wild and Michael Beel are the gurus behind Fashion Week's hair and make-up.

The gurus behind hair and makeup at Wellington Fashion Week need to work together seamlessly.

So it's helpful that makeup director Olivia Wild and hair director Michael Beel are good friends.

They researched ideas separately when Beel was overseas then discovered they had images of the same looks from different angles.

"We're always bouncing ideas off each other. Hair and makeup works side by side," Beel said.

Wild is the makeup artistry tutor at Weltec and Beel is the creative director at Buoy hair salon. They met when Wellington Fashion Week was conceived.

"Our first meeting was in the Matterhorn and we sat down and worked out how all this was going to take fruition," Beel said.

Wild said she was scared of meeting Beel.

"I had such a crush on him; it was like meeting a celebrity. I couldn't really speak properly and now we're really good friends," she said.

Wild said she was a big fan of the amazing hair styles he designed.

"I just love his hair. He's my hair-o."

Fitting in Fashion Week preparation with their fulltime day jobs has been stressful, but they said they were more relaxed about it this year.

"What I learnt from last year is that there are some fabulous hairdressers in Wellington and I'm excited to play with them again," Beel said. "And also, don't sweat the small stuff. Last year we focused a lot on the nitty-gritty bits, but this year I know it all comes together on the day."

Wild said they had a great team in place. "We're all supportive when it comes down to crunch time. We're really passionate and it's our little baby."

The pair have easily found enthusiastic team members from Wellington's tight creative community.

Wild has recruited former and current students.

"Sometimes you can be so condensed in the classroom and the students lose sight of why I am teaching them a certain way. Then they get to be there and it all comes into place."

Beel's team will mix locals with experts from afar.

"Our hair sponsor Sebastian is bringing over hair directors from Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland."

Despite all their hard work, they will not get to see their creations on the catwalk with the music and lighting until reviewing footage afterwards.

"We have to be standing there making sure everything's perfect because if something doesn't look right it's our heads that roll, not team member number eight who did that look. The buck stops with us."

The Wellingtonian