Fri, 03 Jun 2011 16:58:36 GMT

All about fashion backstage - from stylist Ambika Pillai

Long before a fashion show comes under the arclights, a team of hairstylists and makeup artists is on the job, meeting designers, attending fitting sessions and working on dummies, says Ambika Pillai. But the celebrity hairstylist rues that people backstage don't get their due.

All about fashion backstage - from stylist Ambika Pillai

"The seniors are very tolerant towards newcomers. Also, I just don't want them talking or chewing gum, etc., on my chair. If they have any sense, they would behave. It's necessary to keep wits around them and not bug and irritate the old timers," she said.

Handling celebrities is not an easy task, but Pillai said: "Models have no say whatsoever about their look for a show. The look is decided beforehand by the designer and myself. No changes happen on the day of the show and that's where I put my foot down. Also, I don't tolerate tantrums from anyone."

Pillai wanted to set up a salon in her home state, but fate had something else for her in store.

"I intended to equip myself with a degree in hairstyling, learn the latest techniques and go back to Kerala to start a salon. But life had different plans for me. The course included both hair and beauty, and I wasn't inclined towards facial, waxing or any beauty-related activity.

"I discovered I had a natural talent for handling hair. So I stayed in Delhi and joined a course in hairstyling. Makeup came up much later in life," said Pillai who has salons at Hotel Qutab, Ansal Plaza and in Punjabi Bagh.

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