Interview with Nina Butkovich-Budden part 1.

A while back, in a previous post, I stumbled upon Nina Butkovich-Budden, a hairstylist whom I greatly admire. Her work is placed somewhere between the past and the future. I admire her so much that I decided to stalked her via various social networking sites to get an interview. This is the outcome of when you get a chance to talk to your hero. This interview is part 1 of 2.

I wrote this article for The Hub Magazine.

I discovered your work while perusing the endless photos from London Fashion Week … the hair you did for Marko Mitanoski is amazing. How did that collaboration come about?

I was in Croatia with Issidora - my partner in crime - and we were both "dying" of flu, and as one does we were in front of the TV watching FTV when all of a sudden this amazing vision appeared! It was a show Marko Mitanovski did for Belgrade Fashion Week. I was in awe of his design aesthetic and decided to find him straight away. I Googled him and found him on Facebook. I proceeded to tell him I wasn't a stalker and that we should work together. I invited him to London and asked my friend who owns a talent agency to sign him up and bring him over. He accepted the invite and within four months he was chosen for Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s "Ones to Watch’, and as they say –the rest is a history!

Marko Mitanoski’s clothes are “other-worldly”, what was the inspiration for the antlers?

Marko's clothes are something else and as a whole feel quite dark, structured and almost gothic in shape, which required equally magnificent structured hair. I was thinking along the lines of trees and branches and then one morning I woke up with an epiphany – the antlers! I began researching and my eye caught the site of an incredible Scottish deer. I suggested it to Marko and he loved it! The first prototype was a challenge. The structure was created by my friend, the sculptor, Julie Elgar, who managed to manipulate chicken wire into antlers. I used hair to make them bearable for the models to wear. They were very wobbly and heavy at first, but now we’ve fine-tuned them using a much lighter base.

I saw Lady Gaga wearing one of your antlers, how did that come about?

Oh, that’s a cool story. We got approached by the fabulous stylist Nicola Formichetti (who is the senior fashion director of Dazed & Confused magazine amongst others), who is also Lady Gaga's stylist He asked us to supply him with a couple of pieces from Marko's collection for the Q Magazine photoshoot. We took a chance and custom made a pair of antlers for Lady Gaga that we included with the costumes. Little did we know that fashion photographer Nick Knight was going to use them for the ‘Put Your Paws Up’ interlude on her Monster Tour! I have a lot of respect for Gaga wearing all the young designers’ clothes and giving them a platform for success… Formichetti is a genius at discovering all the new talent out there.

My research tells me you were born in Croatia; did you start your hair career there? And did you always have an interest in hair?

Yes, I was born and raised in Zagreb. After the war I decided I needed to change the ambience and moved to London. Over there I attended the Art school, but I got bored and decided to save the animals of the planet and enrolled to become a veterinary surgeon. Fortunately for the world of vintage hair I hated it and realized it was a bad decision, so I left.

When did you have a “hair-epiphany”, or when did you realize you wanted to become a hairdresser?

In the early 1990's I approached my friend Dorees who is the owner of a prestigious London hair salon and begged her to take me on as an apprentice. After a year of learning and numerous tantrums I was able to cut a perfect Nancy Kwan (film actress) bob created for her by Vidal Sasson in the 60's – which was my goal. Once I was able to achieve that, I was ready to hit the world of Haute Coiffure.

How did you start out in hairdressing?

Cutting hair with nail scissors.... local punks, Goths and alternatives were guinea pigs and lots of friendships ceased there hahaha!

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon...

Special thanks to Rachael from creative-idle.