My style: Beck Eleven

00:54, Sep 03 2012
Beck Eleven
GORGEOUS: Beck Eleven with her glamorous birthday up-do.

The earthquake left Press columnist and feature writer Beck Eleven homeless and tangled in an insurance morass that would have most people tearing their hair out.

But the indomitable Eleven decided to put hers up instead and celebrate turning 40 in style. Zest tracked her down at Surreal Hair and Beauty to find out how her stylist, Gemma Lawrence, turned long and straight into Hollywood glam.

And while we were there, we prised a few more style secrets from her.

Beck Eleven
NEEDLE AND THREAD: Step by step on the way to a new look.

What inspired the "up do"?

I've been living out of a suitcase for 18 months. Draping clothes over a chair is the closest I get to a wardrobe, so I've concentrated less on clothing and more on personal grooming. I get the occasional spray tan; I'm addicted to permanent eyelash extensions and NARS lipsticks but my hair is my crowning glory. I let Gemma experiment with any shade of red because I trust her. I was excited about my 40th birthday this month and I wanted something special, so she told me about a technique of stitching the hair into place.

Can you describe the process?


My hair is thick and weighty but it can be sewn up. There isn't a bobby pin in sight. The thread is made of linen so it doesn't break and the "needle" is thick and blunt so no chance of a pierced noggin. The lack of bobby pins mean you can't see any indents and your hair isn't further weighted by the pins.

It's unbelievably solid and you can trust me on that because I've tested it in a strong southerly wind and on the dance floor.

Not a hair out of place.

How would you describe your style?

I'm pear-shaped so I have to work around those curves.

I'm usually found in dresses and although I know black is slimming, I'm drawn to bright colours. My favourite dress is green and my favourite skirt is orange. Unless I'm going somewhere special, I tend to spend weekends looking like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards.

The best style advice I ever heard was . . .

Go shopping with a friend, a second opinion never hurts.

I'm always grateful for an honest retail assistant because going home with something you're not 100 per cent happy with is such a downer.

What will you never wear?

Anything 1980s-inspired.

You simply cannot get me anywhere near a batwing sleeve.

What's your opinion of today's woman?

Strong and busy.

Today's man?

A bit like yesterday's man but a day older.

What song always gets you on the dance floor?

Chuck Jackson's I Only Get This Feeling. I've got an old soul when it comes to music.

What's your comfort food?

A gutsy puttanesca pasta made by my friend Ruby. I can't seem to find one in any Christchurch restaurants, so if any readers see puttanesca on a menu they should let me know.

Do you have a favourite treasure?

No. I've always been quite unsentimental about material things. My treasures are my friends.

When did you think 'I shouldn't be doing this'?

The minute I started answering this question so I pressed the delete button.

If it had been up to me . . .

The whole marriage equality thing wouldn't be an argument. It would have happened years ago.

The Press