We at STRUT24X7, were super excited when we Gabriel agreed to do an exclusive interview with us. Gabriel lovingly known as Gabby in the Indian film industry is the most experienced and sought after hairstylist. He is exclusively managed by Gunita from Anima Creatives. Here is a sneak peak into his expedition –
Gabriel Georgiou is an Australian born of Greek heritage. Gabriel has been making a name for himself more recently in Bollywood, styling hair for celebrities such as Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif to name a few.
Q. Tell us about your background. Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the beauty industry?
A. Well, I liked the arts and any form of creativity whether it be sculpting, painting, acting, fashion, etc. So it was definitely going to be something artistic.
Q. What inspired you to become a makeup/hair artist and who is your inspiration?
A. I was inspired by Julien D’Ys back in the day and inspired by magazine covers, editorials, fashion shows, music videos, and of course films.
Q. Who do you look up to in terms of their makeup/hair artistry in India and abroad? –
Q. When you first started experimenting with makeup/hairstyling did it come to you naturally?
A. I think so. I mean that’s what my teacher at college said to me that I’m a natural and I should go to London and finish my studies there. She saw something!
Q. How did you go about in your journey? Were you formally trained at a traditional beauty school?
A. I started having some work experience in a couple of Salons during my school holidays and then started my apprenticeship in Australia and finished with Toni&Guy in London where I also did my advanced training at the academy and worked up to being a Top Stylist. I also did a course in costumes, wigs, makeup & hair at Flagstaff College of TAFE in Melbourne Australia.
Q. Was there ever a specific moment when you remember feeling like you’d gotten your big break?
A. Yes, when I was asked to go to LA and work in Hollywood.
Q. How has social media impacted your career?
A. Not sure. I mean it’s great from the perspective that people from around the world can see what I’m doing in India and Bollywood and at the same time I can see and get inspired by the artists I like by following them. It hasn’t made a difference in how much I work per se but it has made my work more known to bigger audiences especially in India.
Q. When you are working with an actress in a film, what is the rapport like?
A. It has to be great! Films are tough! Long hours of work, not much sleep, and when it comes to hair, hair moves all the time you got to be on it! Then there is continuity, environmental factors, lighting, etc etc. You have to have a comfort and trust level with the actress and team you are working with day in and day out for months at a time and under pressure or tiredness. So yeah it’s important to have a good connection with the girl you are working with.
Q. Your favorite people to work with?
A. Just good people and good energy. If they are creative and good at what they do even a better bonus!
Q. How do you stay innovative?
A. I’m always inspired by observing nature, architecture, beautiful things in general.
Q. How do you keep up with the changing trends – the beauty industry is just as traditional as it is volatile in its trends?
A. Traditional will always be there. Then trends come and go in everything cycles, but there are always slight differences in how things are executed based on the current times and based on individual creativity.
Q. What are the 3 things you’d like to change in the industry?
A. I think in India there is a different sense of aesthetics and I feel that education is a big one. I’d like to see artists travel and learn from the world and experience the many different cultures and aesthetics which in turn open the mind and give an opportunity to expand creativity on all levels. Even though things have changed a lot in the past 10 years there is still a long way to go regarding fashion and beauty. I would like to see more creativity when it comes to images in magazines whether it be photography or hair or makeup or styling. At the same time, it is very tricky as our industries are about the money at the end of the day and there is a compromise in art/fashion so that it is safe or very commercial so that it is relatable to the masses and consumers, but isn’t it up to us as artists to guide or influence the masses to understanding different aesthetics? Art and Fashion are about creating and evolving. Another thing I would like to see is actresses being more experimental when it comes to hair and makeup not always wanting to just look safe because of what others are going to think or what is expected from the industries. Since fashion in India is heavily influenced by Bollywood and it’s a star system and they in turn influence the masses, it’s a domino effect, I would like to see actresses have more fun with it as it’s just like playing a part, another character. Our challenge then as makeup artists or hairstylists is to execute that in the best and most aesthetically pleasing or beautiful way possible. There is also a fine line between something looking great or not, or different but pleasing, or different and ugly. Once again that in itself plays on all the factors we just talked about as everything is Interconnected. I can go on and on but I’ll just stop here. It’s all very debatable.
Q. Tell us about your upcoming projects.
A. A few things going on. Best not to say too much until they happen. But to keep it short one project is inspired by my practice of Falun Gong (A spiritual practice of mind and body) so it is about creating images drawing on inspiration from Traditional Chinese Culture and the Divine. The project is intended to showcase the beauty of the practice but also to raise awareness about the ongoing persecution in China by the Chinese Communist Party. The second project is based on the diversity of Exotic Beauty. A collection of images and portraits of models and actresses over an eight-year journey working in the fashion and film industries of India.
Q. Any advice/tips/tricks?
A. Confidence takes you a long way and don’t be afraid to experiment. We never stop growing and learning and through experience, you will find your own take and signature on your style to do things and make it your own.
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring makeup/hair artists who are just starting out?
A. Just work hard, be eager to learn, and be humble and sincere.
Q. Where do you see the beauty industry in the next 5 years?
A. Hard to say! But hopefully better than what it is now.
Q. Who was your beauty icon growing up?
A. Many, Growing up with 2 cultures and born in the ’70s there were many great beauties like Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren, Isabella Rosellini, Brigitte Bardot, Aliki Vougiouklaki, Jenny Karezi, Madonna, Linda Evangelista, Penelope Cruz, to name just a few.
Q. Who are the beauty icons of the future?
A. I would like to think that beauty icons in the future will be not only beautiful externally but just as beautiful within, internally as well. That is the true beauty and makes the exterior even more beautiful. Good energy is most important. Unfortunately today there are a lot of fake people in the industry and what people believe and idolize isn’t necessarily the truth and Beauty Icons should inspire and be a positive example to help society move forward.
Q. What phrase or words are you known for saying?
A. Gorgeous!!! OMGoodness! It is what it is!
Q. Describe your most starstruck moment?
A. When I worked with my very first Hollywood celebrity Drew Barrymore in Sydney for the Premiere of the film “The Wedding Singer”