Somerset House: the chosen venue for Hair by Sam McKnight, the exhibition celebrating images and examples of Sam’s work from the late 70s through until today. Walk through the historic venue’s Embankment Galleries and take a guided tour through Sam’s world. As one of the first session stylists to carve out a career for himself solely in fashion, the exhibition presents an archive not just of Sam’s work, but of the fashion industry as a whole, with editorial shoots and catwalk looks as well as behind-the-scenes footage, private photographs and archived accessories from throughout the years. Grouped in thematic sections: you will find, for example, two rooms, each dedicated to the fashion houses of Westwood and Chanel respectively, and each with mannequins dressed in pieces from various looks from throughout the seasons and complete with specially commissioned wigs and headpieces. You’ll also find a section dedicated to the late Princess Diana, with fond mementos of hers and Sam’s friendship, as well as a room showcasing the 100+ Vogue covers that Sam has collaborated on – which, by the way, is more than any other stylist. Taking a journey through the Sam’s archive wouldn’t be complete, though, without a dedication to his more recently discovered passion for photographing flowers, images of which close the Somerset House experience. To see Hair by Sam McKnight is a truly immersive event and it’s almost not enough to go once, because go multiple times and you will see something each time that you didn’t notice in the previous instance. It’s the first exhibition of its kind to recognise hair for its transformative power in some of the most iconic images of our generation.
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