MAKING THE STARS BEAUTIFUL IN AUSTRALIA
Society and academia can have all of the nature vs. nurture arguments they like, Lauren Mackellar knows the truth; it’s both and neither. That is to say, the determination of the human spirit supersedes all factors. Mackellar is an admired and envied hairstylist to the stars in Australia who is from a small town that neither embraced or was deeply interested in high fashion or the hair and beauty that walks hand in hand with it in the entertainment/celebrity world. Alexandra (in north-east Victoria, Australia) did have one young tomboy who found herself suddenly obsessed with magazines from a young age though, and was definitely interested in the more “girly” stuff like hair and makeup. When a popular TV series filmed just across the fence of her family’s yard, it planted the seed of interest in film and TV that would set Lauren upon the course to become a hairstylist and working with the actors on these types of productions. Besides giving her a ringside seat to the entertainment world, the journey had given her a number of bucket list experiences that are very far from the calm and somewhat mundane childhood she knew.
Part of what makes her so adept and dealing with and understanding the entertainers she works with is that a stylist at Lauren’s level is called upon to be highly creative herself. Working with the most admired and photographed entertainers means that the styles Mackellar creates are highly publicized and often imitated. It’s both part of the job and something that she finds flattering. While you can learn the techniques of hairstyling, innovation and improvising are not things that can be taught; they must be possessed and honed. Creating something beautiful comes from the inspiration and the intuition from the artist, whether it be a painter or a stylist such as Lauren. It is completely individual to them and it’s what results in a prolific body of work.
Mackellar describes her own personal style as a focus of effortless texture that veers towards unexpected femininity. The realistic presentation of hair is important to her and hair should always be flattering, even if it's on the edgy side. The most successful and well-known stylists are those whom develop a signature style; it's what sets you apart from everyone else in the industry. However, Mackellar affirms that it is essential to retain versatility in one’s approach so that your work may evolve as a member of the community. Ultimately you're an artist, and all of the most iconic artists in history have a distinct personal style which is unique to them while still being aware of the work of others. One of the most prevalent and modern ways to become immersed in the hairstyling community is via social media. The quality and diversity of content available to other professionals as well as the general public through images, videos, and tutorials informs many individuals as to what's available from professionals and even how to style their own hair at home. Although Lauren works with many celebrities, there’s nothing exclusionary about her creations.
Australia’s biggest television award night is the Logia Awards (similar to the American Emmy Awards). For seven years now, Mackellar has used her talents to create hairstyles for these well-known artists at the Logies. Her very first Logies experience was with Dena Kaplan (Honey 3: Dare to Dance, Soul Mates, Flight of the Conchords). It worked out so well that Lauren also ended up as hair stylist for Kaplan’s stylist Jules Sebastian (musician Guy Sebastian's wife) in a major vote of confidence in her abilities. Lauren has also worked for Ariel Kaplan (of Neighbours, Australia's longest running TV Soap) which would lead to her work relationship with the show’s cast. Other clients for the event include actress Georgia Flood, Scherri-Lee Biggs of Miss Universe and numerous TV hosts and publicists from around Australia).
When not creating hairstyle for massive TV award shows and events, Mackellar finds herself in the world of high fashion. At the Dior Gala (held in Melbourne), Lauren created a daring hairstyle for actress Mavournee Hazel inspired by the runway. Mav and Mackellar were a perfect combination to attract attention as they both are fond of pushing the envelope. It's Lauren’s contention that it is essential for her to step out of my comfort zone in her work. Working with someone such as Mav who also believes that risks are worth the potential triumph made the two women a winning combination. Her styles for events such as the Dior Gala earned Lauren a nomination for Best Celebrity Hair Stylist in Australia (MyStyler.com).
Everyone deserves to feel and look their best but major events such as those previously mentioned place the entertainers whom Mackellar works with under intense scrutiny from the media and public and by proxy, Lauren’s work. She reveals, “I think the general public probably imagines that the job of a hairstylist is glamorous and exciting. While there are definitely elements of it that are, the majority are not. It’s physically demanding in that you tend to be on your feet all day. Because you spend a great deal of time working very closely in someone's personal space, you need to be good with communicating. It requires an understanding of all different types of people and personalities. You need to know how to deal with that even if you don’t feel like it. That being said, Lauren quickly confirms that her life as a hairstylist is everything that little girl in Alexandra dreamed it would be and so much more.