Sam McKnight is one of the most accomplished and well-respected hair stylists of his generation. His name is synonymous with modern, sexy hair - whether it's in magazines, on the runway or the red carpet.

He's won countless awards but perhaps the biggest accolade is the longstanding creative collaborations he has maintained with some of the best names in the business - Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight and Mario Testino; Karl Lagerfeld/Chanel, Vivenne Westwood, Balmain and Fendi to name just a few.

In the fleeting world of fashin imagery Sam's permanence is fixed in some of the most iconic images in modern history - Princess Diana's short, slicked back style, Agyness Deyn's bleached blonde crop, Madonna's Bedtime Stories cover, Cate Blanchett getting her Oscar, Tilda Swinton channelling Bowie, both Lady Gaga and her male alter-ego Jo Calderone plus countless covers and editorial stories of Kate Moss and all the supermodels.

The longevity of Sam's carrer career - over 30 years - provides a fantastic back-catalogue of references to bring to his work and it is this and his search for the new that keeps him so in demand.

SHOWstudio - Sam McKnight Interview

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Design & Production by M/A
News Editor Jessica Hogan

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    Mugler A/W 2013

    All aboard for the latest instalment of the Mugler show, inspired by the sophistication of air travel in the Sixties (fashion trivia: did you know that designer Nicola Formicetti’s mother was an air hostess and one of his muses?). Taking Nicola’s cue, Sam created a rounded, aerodynamic-shaped dome on the head to echo the shape of the hats and hoods in the collection, which was fittingly shown in an industrial hangar-like space. As an added bonus, music maestro Michel Gaubert created a soundtrack of jets taking off. Next destination? Balmain.

    Watch the official video of the show here

    Read the show review on Style.com here

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    DSquared2 A/W 2013

    Hats off to DSquared2 for bringing Milan fashion week back in time with Forties, Jazz-inspired show. With models looking like they were fresh out of Bugsey Malone, eyes were treated to metallic bronze cream shadow courtesy of make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, whilst Sam created similarly glossy hair which was swooped up into a sleek ponytail, and tied just in the middle of the head (the base of the pony was wrapped with a single piece of hair for a chic alternative on a hair band) to allow for one of the collections’ head pieces to sit perfectly on top. And all that jazz…
    See Sam’s guest blog on Vogue.co.uk here
    Read the review and view the collection on Style.com here
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    Iceberg A/W 2013

    Another show, another ponytail. The first one at DSquared2 was sleek, glossy and transported us to the Forties, but this time at iceberg, Sam opted for a side-swept, mussed-up version with attitude. Inspired by the bright pop colours, exaggerated shapes, chunky knits and cool leather trousers in the collection, Sam explained that he wanted to create “minimal, youthful, textured ponies to give the girls a cool air of nonchalance”. Who doesn’t want to be this girl?
    Read the show review on Vogue.co.uk here
    See more pictures from backstage on Elle.com here
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    Fendi A/W 2013

    The punk trend has carried over into Milan and with Fendi never failing to deliver when it comes to fashion theatrics, this season’s punk rockers were absolutely no exception. Sam’s “braided mohawks” were accented with coloured fox fur headpieces designed by Karl Lagerfeld to add a graphic element to the 3-D French braid that “ran like a seam down the centre of the head”. Teamed with deep purple-stained lips, the creations of make-up artist Peter Philips, London punk has truly come to Milan.

    See Sam’s backstage blog for Vogue.co.uk here
    See the full collection on Style.com here

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    Paul Smith A/W 2013

    Paul Smith is one of the pillars of the British Fashion industry, and so the beauty look needs to sum up quintessential British style. Cue low side-parting, mussed-up texture and effortlessly cool attitude. To achieve the look, Sam prepped models’ hair with a medium hold styling mousse, and then lightly tonged the lengths of hair with large barrelled tongs for undone, loose waves. Do try this look at home.

    See the complete fashion looks on Style.com here
    Read the show review on Vogue.co.uk here

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    L’Wren Scott A/W 2013

    For the L’Wren Scott show in London, Sam was reunited with his friend Bobbi Brown, both of whom began their careers in New York in the Eighties. For the show, Bobbi created a natural, fresh-faced make-up look, whilst Sam whipped-up, aerated, brushed out-curls in the style of American Vogue Fashion Editor, Grace Coddington. Piling on wigs and wefts, volume was key here, but to keep the look sophisticated, hair was pulled back off the face and decorated with a Stephen Jones head piece. Seventies style is back in full effect!

    See the show on Vogue.co.uk here
    See the backstage beauty report on Harpers Bazaar here

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    Clements Ribeiro A/W 2013

    Sam has worked with the team from Clements Ribeiro for many seasons now, so he knows instinctively what designers Inacio and Suzanne want from the hair for their show. “They loved the small head shape last season, when we created short, boyish bobs”, Sam explains, “so for this season we kept that same illusion, which is young, fresh and easy”. To that end, hair was twisted up into chignons that were flat at the back, bringing the ends of the hair forward to be used as a choppy faux-fringe. Combined with the graphic prints in the collection, and bold metallic eyes by make-up artist Sarah Lucero, the look is cool, strong and still very feminine.

    See Sam’s guest blog for Vogue.co.uk here
    Watch the entire show on London Fashion Week’s official You Tube Channel here

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    Moschino Cheap & Chic A/W 2013

    Say hello to the biggest trend emerging for the new season: punk. Seen here at Moschino Cheap & Chic, and as the name might suggest, it was most definitely a chic take on the trend. “I am calling this punk couture”, announced Sam when describing the mussed-up knots he was tying backstage. “They are a little bit spiky, a little unfinished, but still beautifully feminine”. Three models were treated to a flash of pink extentions for an extra rebellious effect, but the best part about this look is how easy it is to recreate: “twist and tie hair into a knot with a thick black elastic band that is deliberatly visible – it’s super simple”, Sam explained. Who ever knew punks could be this pretty?

    Read Sam’s guest blog for Vogue.co.uk on the look here
    See the whole collection here on Style.com

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    Mulberry A/W 2013

    It would seem that the Mulberry girl has grown up… Gone are her playful plaits, ruffled and undone after a night out on the tiles (as seen last season),  and  instead her hairstyle has taken a turn into the more beautiful, refined and ladylike with these sophisticated blow-dries that oozed health and luxury. “We wanted the girls to look more polished than other seasons”, explained Sam. “This was real life hair, with an expensive-looking twist”. Accordingly, it was middle-partings all around, a smooth blow-dry that was then finished with quick tonging to bring a slight bend into the hair for a natural waves. The look was then topped up with a bit of Supremo Magic Move balm to make it look ever-so-slightly lived-in, before the lengths were tucked away into the big collars and roll-necks on offer in the collection. Super chic.
    Take a closer look at the collection on ShowStudio.com here
    Get the backstage low-down on Mulberry’s very own blog here
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    In Vogue

    It’s a bumper issue of British Vogue this month, with a triple whammy of Sam’s styling involving, a cover shoot, plus two main fashion editorials. ‘Chasing Cara’, shot by Mario Testino and styled by Vogue‘s Fashion Director Lucinda Chambers, sees cover girl Cara Delevingne sporting a mod-Sixties side-parted style, whilst the hair in ‘Orient Excess’, another Lucinda, Mario and Sam collaboration is centered around short shiny black bobs on models Sui He, Sung Hee Kim, Ji Hye Park and Fei Fei Sun. For the ‘Cut To The Chase’ shoot, shot by Craig McDean with fashion styled by Jane How, Sam created more of a slick, well-oiled, cool look on model Iselin Steiro. Not that we are counting, but that is 34 pages back to back…
    To see the whole ‘Chasing Cara’ shoot, click here
    For the ‘Orient Excess’ story, click here
    See more of the ‘Cut To The Chase’ look here