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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    Diana Remembered

    Diana, Princess of Wales died 15 years ago today. I was her hairstylist from 1990 until 1997 and travelled to many places all over the world with her, styling her hair for countless iconic images.

    She took me to refugee camps in Pakistan, a leper colony in India, orphanages in Hungary; she wanted her team to be aware the job that she loved and did best. Her care for others was and is an inspiration.

    It is a joy and an honour to remember Diana, and my small roll in her life, and I am grateful to have been included.

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    Kate Moss for Mango

    The latest campaign images for Mango’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection have just been released. The campaign features Kate Moss in the latest collection and was shot by photographers Inez and Vinoodh. Sam styled Kate’s sunbleached mane giving it a sexy, tousled texture which she tossed and flicked for the camera… with a helping hand from Sam and a large polystyrene board used to waft the hair for a more dramatic wind effect!

    To watch the backstage video of everyone at work click here.

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    London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony

    At the London 2012 Olympic closing ceremonies British designers were showcased by nine of its top models Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Stella Tennant, Karen Elson, Lily Donaldson, Lily Cole, Georgia May Jagger, Jourdan Dunn and David Gandy all wore clothes by top British designers Alexander McQueen, Vivien Westwood, Jonathan Saunders, Stephen Jones, Burberry, Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane, Paul Smith and Erdem.

    I wanted to create hairstyles for each individual model that were glamorous, modern and powerful and be able to stand up to the unpredictable London weather.

    I’ve known Kate, Naomi and Karen since they were teenagers and I’ve worked with Vogue Fashion Director Lucinda Chambers and Make up artist Val Garland for many years so there was a great family atmosphere back stage. The moment the supermodels graced the world stage was fantastic, with each model transported into the arena behind a huge billboard of themselves shot by Nick Knight and featured in the September issue of British Vogue. It has bean a fantastic Olympics and I was honoured to be asked to be a part of the British Vogue section.

    View Vogue’s closing ceremony gallery here.
    View Vogue’s Olympic fashion shoot gallery here.
    View Sam Mcknight’s magic backstage at the closing ceremony here.

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    British Vogue September Issue

    Sam recently teamed up with photographer Nick Knight for September’s Vogue cover shoot, featuring a debut cover appearance from model Karlie Kloss.

    For the shoot, featuring clothing from Jonathon Saunders, Sam aimed for a glossy, clean modern take on 70s Charlie’s Angels.

    Click to Get The Look.
    Click to see more about Vogue’s September Issue over at

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    Chanel Couture A/W 2012

    For Chanel’s A/W 2012 show, Karl Lagerfeld decorated the Paris’ Grand Palais as if his guests were encased within an indoor garden party; teaming wickers chairs, plates of macarons and Camellia bushes with a beautiful ceiling that had been painted to look like the sky.

    The ‘New Vintage’ theme saw beautiful kaftans, floor length gowns and updated takes on Coco Chanel’s classic tweeds hit the runway and the hair and makeup followed suit.

    For the makeup, Peter Philips included a swash of silver/blue eyeshadow and a modern, blockier take on a 60’s liner above and below the eye and complemented this with a rosy cheek.

    For the hair, Sam opted for a modern and cool style; placing each model’s hair within specially crafted ‘snoods’ – delicately knitted nets in black, soft pink and white with beaded embroidery and sequins, that were placed over hair that had been rolled and smoothed under at the nape of the neck. At the front, the models’ hair was then placed in a centre parting and left natural and loose around the face, so that it moved as they walked.

    For the finale, Sam created something much more dramatic for Lindsey Wixson (who walked the runway in an extravagant white, high necked tweed and feather wedding gown) piling her hair high on her head in twists and embellishing it with feathered Camellia flowers, akin to those that adorned the dress and decorated the venue.

    See the full collection at here.

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    If The Shoe Fits – Mulberry A/W2012 Campaign

    Check out Sam wearing the props for the recent Mulberry A/W12 Campaign in the Blackheath Forest, Surrey!

    Tim Walker shot the enchanted ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ themed campaign and photographed model Lindsey Wixson in the coming season’s collection, surrounded by giant creatures and towering trees.

    Disclaimer: At no point did Sam don the full creature suit nor did he appear in disguise within the campaign itself…

    To the full campaign in all its enchantment visit here.


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    Chanel Paris-Bombay 2012 Métiers D’Art Collection Campaign

    Having shown the Paris-Bombay Pre-Fall collection back in December 2011 in Le Grand Palais in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld once again drafted Sam in to help him create the official ad campaign for the collection.

    The recently released campaign features models Daria Strokous and Baptiste Giabiconi, wearing items from the Indian-inspired collection, all of which were styled by Carine Roitfeld in a Parisian bar setting. Sam opted to recreate one of the styles he executed for the runway show for the campaign shoot, taking inspiration from Sadhu holy men and Rajasthani princesses with piled up dreads bejewelled with ornate hair accessories that were perfectly set off against Peter Philips dramatic makeup.

    Click here to see the full collection of behind-the-scenes campaign photographs.

    Click here to see the Chanel Paris-Bombay 2012 Métiers D’Art Collection Runway Show.

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    The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited

    Today marks the New York launch of Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld’s new book The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited.

    The book celebrates the effortlessly chic and timeless black Chanel jacket and the legacy of the brand’s founder Coco Chanel. It comprises of images shot by the Lagerfeld himself and features over 100 celebrities, actors, singers and models all wearing the jacket in their own individual style.

    Sam worked on the hair for the shoot and styled stars such as Sarah Jessica-Parker, Charlotte Gainsborough, Tilda Swinton and model Daphne Groeneveld to name a few.

    The book, which was initially launched in Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens in Tokyo in March, accompanies an exhibition which will be shown in New York from 8-15th June 2012 before it heads to London this Autumn.

    Watch the fabulous “Making Of” video and spot Sam at work behind the scenes with Karl Lagerfeld and his team.


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    Chanel Cruise 2012-13 Collection

    Sam and the team travelled to the latest venue for Chanel’s Cruise show for 2012-13; the impressive and sunny grounds of the Palace of Versailles on the outskirts of Paris.

    Karl Lagerfeld described this latest Cruise Collection to on the day: “It’s Coco rock, not rococo. It’s serious revolt. It’s not at all 18th century. It’s very rock. You can hardly recognise the girls.”

    Sam opted for two contrasting styles in one for the hair in order to, as he put it, “take the punk rebel, over-the-top attitude of Marie Antoinette into the future”.

    The hairstyles were almost worn as hats themselves with savage cut, bob-top wigs laid over low ponytails – all of which had to be pre-dyed by hand and individually cut in shades of black and faded, dusty pink, grey lavender, pistachio green and blonde with standout roots to ensure that each wig was bespoke and unique to the model. Each model’s ponytail was then adorned with a huge pastel or black satin and tulle bow below the faded cut bob-tops to achieve the futuristic Antoinette appeal that Karl and Sam had envisaged.

    Read more about the show and see the full collection here.

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    Chanel A/W 2012

    Karl’s collection was a layered look with clean lines and architectural proportions.  There was a lot going on with a feast of colour and texture, and crystal and gemstone embellishment, so in contrast the hair was slicked straight back and pulled into shiny straight ponytails – strong and sexy, it was aerodynamic hair.

    See the runway shots at
    See the show video