Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

Sam McKnight is not just a hair stylist, he creates beautiful wearable art that is unique, eye-catching and beautiful. When I was in London for London Fashion Week back in February, a retrospective exhibition called ‘Hair’ was top of my list to see. It spans the work of Sam McKnight over the past 40 years and featured iconic fashion photographs, couture garments, wigs, hairpieces and film and audio installations all from his career. This is certainly not just an exhibition showing photographs of his work – it truly gives an insight into his work through the decades, and how he has shaped our perspective on some of our celebrity icons.

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

We all know how much better most of us feel if we have a great hair day and I think that the art of creating work like Sam does is not recognised in the manner that it should be. It is truly transformative. His creations have been worn by some of the world’s most beautiful and well-known women and it was only when I was going through this exhibition that I realised just how much he has been involved in the fashion and celebrity worlds over the last number of years to curate some wonderful collaborations.

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight The New York Times described him as  “one of the most important image makers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries”.

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

If you are not familiar ith Sam McKnight himself (as he not one who I have seen crave to be in the spotlight), I am sure that you will be familiar with his work with Princess Diana and created her iconic slicked back bob, he also created the look with Tilda Swinton channelling David Bowie and Kate Moss’ trademark ‘done/undone’ look. He has created over 100 Vogue UK covers and over 190 Vogue covers internationally, and styled models, stars and musicians ranging from Linda Evangelista to Cara Delevigne, Cate Blanchett to Uma Thurman, and Lady Gaga to Björk!

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

He is very well known and respected in the styling/fashion circles and his work is quite simply legendary. Sam has also worked with some of the fashion legends of the fashion industry as well – from Karl Lagerfeld and Dame Vivienne Westwood to word renowned photographers such as Nick Knight and Patrick Demarchelier!

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight Floralesque 13

Kate Moss has said: “I love working with Sam…. Not only do I know I am going to have fabulous hair…. It’s usually our only time to catch up… We laugh all day long.” {via}

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

I felt quite honoured to see some of his wig work up close and personal and especially loved the ones in the above exhibition – the colour, texture and overall vibe was very romantic but dark which was intriguing. Oh and did I mention that the mannequins are dressed in Vivienne Westwood archived outfits from 1993-2015 – could it be any more perfect!

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

I also enjoyed seeing some of the private photographs and archived accessories of his previous work. It gave us a great insight to his work and we also got to enjoy some amazing editorial shoots and behind the scenes footage. Certainly not something that you get to see every day! The exhibition was also laid out into sections – for example, there was a section of the Vogue covers he has done and another dedicated to the late Princess Diana. It added such a dynamic feeling to the entire experience.

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

And these shoes… LOVE

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

And then there was the Chanel. There were stunning behind the scene photos, backstage passes, Karl Lagerfeld’s own sketches and then also an exhibition of some Chanel pieces (swoon!), and we also watched some Chanel runway shows in a mini-cinematic room as well.

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

The exhibition was wonderfully curated by  Shonagh Marshall and the detail that she included was just breath-taking. I was debating sharing this since the mixed-media exhibition has ended but decided to for two reasons; (1) if you ever see this popping up again I hope that you go (2) I thought that fans of his spectacular work might enjoy the review. I would highly recommend checking out Sam’s website and Twitter. And if you are a fan of hair and flowers – his Instagram is just beautiful.

Celebrating Legendary Hairstylist Sam McKnight

 

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