Photography by JEFF PETRY, ODETTE SUGERMAN, GEOFF BARRENGER
Anyone that has been behind the scenes at a fashion show knows the chaos associated with its production - half-naked models scrambling for their next outfit, people with headsets yelling directions, make-up artists frantically retouching and hairstylists teasing and spraying for that perfect runway look. Yet when the models hit the catwalk it is a seamless work of art, all of which can be accredited to the talent behind the curtain. In the midst of chaos it's just another day at the office for the talented Tania Becker. Becker's career affords her a jet-set lifestyle with assignments at the most high-end events. One week her work takes her to Hawaii for a Sports Illustrated shoot, the next she's in New York at the Victoria Secret Fashion show.
Becker's love affair with hair began in the 80's - an era known for its bigger than life dos'. During high school she was dating a stylist and admired his passion for the art. The wide-eyed `apprentice' assisted her then boyfriend and picked his brain whenever possible. "I remember a show he did in a night club where one of the scenes was the 80's song - Madame Butterfly - and we laid the model down on the ground to create her larger than life wings made out of hair! I was hooked!" Immediately after high school Becker attended Raymond`s Hair Academy and it has been a whirlwind career since.
The stylist's first surreal moment was when she and her business partner were invited to New York Fashion Week to assist a show for Heatherette. "We didn't ask twice, We bought plane tickets and showed up at their door in the East Village. Hi we are here! Put us to work! On the plane ride home I was frantically writing notes. I learned so much from the best in the industry and was vibrating with inspiration. I still feel the same way at the end of every show season!" The biggest challenge of Becker's career? The vast amount of talent here with very few paid jobs. The would-be fashion hair stylist knew to further her career she had to continue working in New York or Paris. She does enthusiastically add, "I'm such a Vancouver girl! I'm happy to be based here and continue my freelance work part-time".
As co-owner of Mood's salon in Yaletown, Becker manages and leads her team while in Vancouver. As a part-time freelance hairstylist under one of Vancouver's top artist agencies, Nobasura, she's off to work with some of the industry's `big rigs'. This allows the Vancouverite to bring those perspectives back home. Inspired by a great work ethic, her dedication to her craft is unparalleled. "I'm a big believer in the apprenticeship model. I'm continually inspired by the hairstylists I work with internationally. They have gotten to where they are from years of hard work and I have been lucky to have those skills passed on to me through assisting them".
This February Tania Becker is headed to New York, London and Paris to hit up the fashion week circuit and work for the some of the most coveted designers in the business. What's next for this sought-after artist? She's not sure. "I'm not much of a goal setter. I'm just really happy doing hair. I love my freelance work. I love the team at my salon. If 2011 repeats itself, I'm happy!"
For bookings and agency portoflio go to http://www.nobasura.com/tania-becker. To see more of her work go to www.taniabecker.net.