Last night Creative HEAD hosted the first ever The Coterie: In Session Men at RIDA in Haggerston, East London, a very special evening combining barbering demos and insight from Jody Taylor, reigning Most Wanted Male Grooming Specialist, and supremely skilled Liam “The Barber” Campbell.
Leading style and grooming journalist Lee Kynaston, who writes for titles including The Daily Telegraph, Stella and Mr Porter, hosted the evening, which was sponsored by BaByliss PRO. First up was Jody Taylor who got to work creating a “suggestion” of a mullet, showing how the much maligned hairstyle can be reinvented for 2019.
“I’m creating a ‘70s-inspired shape, but it’s very now,” Jody explained. “I don’t want it to look retro, like a glam rock caricature. We want a flatter shape through the sides and not too short on top, to avoid it looking like Rod Stewart! I want people in the future to scare me with their haircuts because they don’t want to look like their parents”.
Next, Liam Campbell shared his story from beginnings cutting hair in the British army to working as lead barber at Mills in the world’s biggest Primark, in Birmingham. As he chatted, Liam showed off his techniques creating a loosely contoured look reminiscent of the gentlemanly footballers of the past.
When asked by Lee what his most essential item is, Liam explained his love for salt spray. “It’s such a versatile product,” he said. “People will pay £400 for trainers, but when you suggest spending £22 on something for their hair, they don’t want to. As a barber you should act like a doctor, prescribing what people need to create a look.”
Jody’s second look was influenced by the curly curtains worn by model and poet Sonny Hall, but Jody explained that he likes to let his clients’ looks to spark inspiration. “It’s easy to just go on autopilot, but when someone comes in with really unique style, I go with that and it pushes me,” said Jody. “Things that look a bit wrong can look great on very cool people.”
The theme of imperfection was also present in Liam’s second look, the Indie wave, which again proved the enduring influence of football on barbering. “This cut is ‘70s football, Panini stickers and George Best. I’m leaving in pieces that look a little bit wrong,” he told the audience.
“If you tried to round everything off too much, it would end up too bouffant – avoiding that is the key to getting it right,” he continued. “You need a series of disconnections to break the haircut up.”
And to round off the night, Lee set the famous In Session challenge. Both Jody and Liam were given just three minutes to style up a storm and present their translation of a bedhead. Jody’s sweaty, worn in style was a catwalk-worthy look, but it was Liam’s dented, pushed-back interpretation that won the audience vote.
And after all that, it was time for guests to grab a final drink and chat about their favourite looks before picking up their free gift, generously provided by sponsor BaByliss PRO.
The Coterie: In Session
Monday 15 July
7PM until 10PM