In these celebrity-obsessed times, how strange is it that a Ball attracting top tier celebs, designers and beauty gurus barely makes a blip on America’s radar? More importantly, how does an annual event that’s gone on for twenty years fall under-our-radar? What is this event you ask? The Life Ball in Vienna, and for two decades it’s raised millions of dollars in the fight against AIDS/HIV. Each year a theme is offered to captivate the mood of the times and for the May 2012 festivity “Fire” ruled the celebrations. This Ball is unlike no other, at its core its mission is to raise money and spread awareness in the fight against AIDS. However, this charitable enterprise, has morphed into a magnet for fashion and beauty talents. For hairstylists it’s a virtual playground for envelope-pushing.
At the head of this collective lies Danilo Dixon. For both aspiring and experienced stylists “Danilo” –as he’s often known—is a hair God. Gwen Steffani, Lady Gaga…you name it he’s works with them. He’s a known visionary and those working under his lead at the Life Ball often feel privileged.“When Marjorie Clarke and I were asked by Danilo to do Pamela Anderson’s hair for The Blonds show, oh my God, it was an incredible feeling to have him trusting us. The photo of her travelled the world,” said stylist Nina Butkovich-Budden. Butkovich-Budden was one of the ten stylists selected to be a part of Danilo’s 2012 team.
Although for many it’s not their first time working this event just ask Gregory Alan, “Working on the Life Ball is like a gigantic hive, swarming with talent. Each [person] with their own uniqueness and skill,” said Alan, a stylist of six years who got his start working at his mother’s salon. Alan along with his other cohorts were part of the hair team responsible for the army of models, fashion deities and celebrities gathered together on this one night. In the past names such as Roberto Cavalli, Angela Missoni and Vivienne Westwood have all partaken in the celebration. This years’s celebration was no different as Naomi Campbell, Antonio Banderas, Bill Clinton, Alex Wek, Karolina Kurkova and countless others all came out for the cause where the hair causes as much of a stir as the fashion. All of these stylists are industry vets with an army of celebrity clients to back them up.
However, year after year they still return to the Life Ball, a source of so much inspiration and worthy cause.