Fashion exhibitions have become an integral part of museums’ cultural offerings, and date back to the early days of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, once helmed by American Vogue’s legendary Editor-in-Chief, Diana Vreeland. These exhibitions celebrate designers, photographers, models, and other well-known image-makers, and rarely shine a light on behind-the-scenes insiders who play a vital role in the making of some of the most memorable fashion images.
Sam McKnight—the Scottish-born hairstylist who began his career in the ‘70s—is one of these unsung heroes. He’s created hairdos for the likes of Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell, not to mention the late Princess Diana, whose cropped ‘do in a ‘90s shoot with photographer Patrick Demarchelier was his creation.
A frequent collaborator of Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel and Fendi, and lensmen such as Nick Knight, McKnight is finally getting his due with an exhibition at Somerset House in London. Hair by Sam McKnight will feature photos, runway images, personal pictures, outfits, and specially created wigs and hairpieces. In conjunction with the show, publisher Rizzoli is releasing a monograph of the same title with essays by industry figures such as Tim Blanks and Amanda Harlech.
Click on the gallery above to admire some of McKnight’s most iconic looks, including his work for various international editions of Vogue (he has contributed to over 100 covers of British Vogue alone).