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An intimate McKnight with Sam

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Most Wanted Legend Sam McKnight shares private viewing
of his exhibition with Creative HEAD

Session stylist extraordinaire Sam McKnight granted an exclusive and intimate audience with Creative HEAD readers as part of a private viewing of his exhibition at London’s Somerset House, Hair by Sam McKnight.

After fizz and nibbles in the Great Arch Hall, the audience was taken up to enjoy a Q&A with the Most Wanted Legend, hosted by Creative HEAD editor, Amanda Nottage. The special event, which was free for Creative HEAD readers, was in Sam’s words, “a way to show some love back to the industry” and inspire young talent coming through.

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“The story we tell in the book (and exhibition) is slightly chronological, peppered with hairstyle chapters,” he explained, detailing how he managed to whittle down his original archive of over 40,000 images while retaining a personal and cohesive thread. “But a key theme running through the whole thing is ’40 years of fashion’.”

“Being a hairdresser has brought me so much joy,” Sam continued, “and the exhibition is about that too. I’ve met all these people from so many different walks of life (and many of them I’m still really great friends with), I’ve got to visit places I would never have been able to go… all because I do hair.”

“It’s a fantastic skill to learn,” he added, “and it can open so many doors, but you’ve got to see that they’re open and you’ve got to go through.”

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As well as advising young session hopefuls to “be prepared to work hard and be available… otherwise someone else will be,” Sam was also keen to emphasise the importance of teamwork in the fashion world.

“It’s not a solitary act, what we do – it’s a collaborative art form,” he continued, “(but) I hope this exhibition helps show the hard work hair teams put in.

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Everyone then had the chance to walk through the extraordinary exhibition – the first such show for a hairdresser and what Sam hopes will be seen as real recognition for the hair industry and its craft. Installations included original pieces from Vivienne Westwood and Chanel, handwritten notes from Diana, Princess of Wales (with whom Sam travelled for many years) as well as personal Polaroids from locations and sets across the globe.

An enormous line gathered at the end of the evening to secure Sam’s signature on copies of his new book, also called Hair by Sam McKnight. Then guests left on a high, accompanied by a generous goodie bag from BaByliss PRO, containing a Titanium Expression curling tong.

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Keep your eyes peeled on creativeheadmag.com for more from our evening with Sam!

Hair by Sam McKnight is at Somerset House until 12 March.
The book, Hair by Sam McKnight, is published by Rizzoli and is priced £35.

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