Somerset House to stage exhibition on Sam McKnight

This Wednesday at Somerset House opens the first exhibition to focus on the role and career of a master hairstylist within the fashion industry.


Somerset House

The subject of the exhibition is Sam McKnight, one of the industry’s most influential hairstylists. In his remarkable 40-year career, from the late 1970s to the current day, he helped develop the images of Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, and worked on hundreds of fashion editorial shoots, ad campaigns and catwalk shows.

In addition to shooting over 100 covers for British Vogue, the fashion hairdresser created styles for a host of international designers from Chanel to Vivienne Westwood. He was also responsible for creating Princess Diana’s signature cropped hairstyle.

‘Hair by Sam McKnight’ will feature pieces from Sam’s extensive archive including photography, magazines, catwalk and behind-the-scenes footage, private photographs and full outfit looks as well as commissioned wigs and hairpieces. 

Curated by Shonagh Marshall, the exhibition will explore the creative process behind the craft of hair styling within fashion and the relationships between McKnight and key collaborators. It will also track changing styles through time, looking at hair from a new perspective and contextualising its wider cultural significance.

The showcase is supported by a book by the same name, ‘Hair by Sam McKnight’ with texts by Tim Blanks, Alexander Fury, Amanda Harlech, Nick Knight, and commentary by Sam McKnight. Published by Rizzoli, the book is priced at £35.

Nick Knight said: “Sam is really one of the true greats of hairdressing! He has total mastery over his craft and combines that with an enthusiasm and commitment to push the boundaries of fashion. The affection, admiration and devotion he has for the models he works with, makes his presence on my shoots so valuable. Nobody else can make those women feel as special as Sam does.”

The exhibition will run from 2 November 2016 until 12 March 2017. 

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