As I'm on the tube home for the Hair by Sam McKnight exhibition I open my notes to write down everything I have just seen and read whilst it's fresh in my memory. I saw it advertised and instantly thought to myself how little we think about hair in what shapes an image, I headed to Somerset House to shed some light on his untold story.
We can all be guilty of flicking through glossy magazines not noticing the names in small print who collaborated to make that image what it is. At times we know a famous face, the big shot photographer or maybe even the stylist (as the focus is mostly on the clothes), but what we don't often see is who did the hair. Well I would say a very high percentage of our favourite shoots are Sam McKnight. He has worked with Princess Diana, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga and more, I mean if your a Princesses number one hair dresser and stylist that says a lot about you and your talent. On top of that there are 190 Vogue covers under his belt and counting which is what makes Sam so special, particularly in fashion.
As I walked around admiring his work, words and wisdom I felt as if I was learning so much about what happens behind the scenes and his role in it. One quote I loved was "Hair is like a garden you can cut it and it will grow back". I for one can be very precious with my hair after asking for layers and they cut it in to a bob... say no more. That one bad experience has left me terrified of getting more than an inch off my hair, let alone experiment with dye or colour. It's the same with style really for the past four years I've kept it middle parting, straight with some subtle shaping around the face. I've recently mixed things up by reverting to my more natural curls every now and again with the help of my new Lee Stafford curler. Anyways going off on a tangent the point he was making is to step outside of your everyday, it doesn't have to mean doing something more time consuming. An example is Agyness Deyn, that famous bleach blonde pixie crop was Sam McKnight! Would I dare to chop all my hair off? Probably not but a cut can really change your look and her certainly showed me where a little bit of experimenting can take you.
Sam has nailed the done/undone look, that look we all dream about. To try and sum it up in to words, it's like styling your hair so its perfect but looking completely natural and effortless. I hope that makes sense, trying to be eloquent is not working in my favour. I would even go as far as saying it's his signature look and one that I can see why it's so popular. With imagery, video and mannequins there is a real mix of visuals to immerse yourself in. Plus sections with what tools were used to create the look which puts my one tangle teezer to shame. Very informative and useful though if you are interested in expanding you haircare kit.
Stationed at Somerset House I couldn't think of a more beautiful way to spend my Sunday. It's available to view until the 12th of March so you better get in there quick! If your not able to go I hope this post has given you a glimpse of what was on show. The exhibition was spread out over two floors, I spent around an hour there taking it all in before bringing my weekend to an end with a walk along the thames. Let me know what you think if you've been...