Roman Sys from Brooks & Brooks talks about his Paradigm collection which, due to rising costs, he shot on his iPhone.

Stylist, image maker and visionary, Roman Sys is a stylist at the iconic London salon, Brooks & Brooks. Always keen to push boundaries and create new visually striking collections, Roman was forced to get creative with his latest collection Paradigm. Due to shoots becoming just too expensive, he reached for his iPhone instead… and got busy with his collage skills! 

The process  

Some people have a fixed process; they know the motions they need to go through to produce the results. For others, it’s different altogether. My creative process is not fixed at all! I’m inspired by everything and nothing at the same time. If I’m harvesting references from outside sources such as literature, art, nature, or music, my approach is very neutral. I will overlap images and text and sounds to fit my own mindset. More often than not there is an internal feeling I express subconsciously or consciously in my work. That excites me most – the idea of leaving the work open for interpretation and not being so literal.

Roman Sys

Roman Sys

The moodboards 

My boards work like mind maps. Sometimes it’s hard to explain ideas when you’re in the thick of it and your mind is in creative overdrive. Creating a board that makes sense can take anytime between a week and a month. I find that when I overlap images, there is often more than just one feeling I’m conveying, it’s never singular. I can read between the lines of the imagery that I have collected; this helps me to find my perspective and ground the ideas that are flowing in my head.  

I don’t necessarily create the boards directly for a project or collection. I will just create a board to understand where I am and then it goes in the cupboard! I might decide to work with it for a project, or it will be reworked into something else. A cool thing happened when Sally and Jamie Brooks asked if I would contribute to the salon art for our new Brooks & Brooks home at Great Queen Street. I created an A1 board of collage, ink and paint with gentle textures that was an exploration of ‘familiar feelings and potential’.  

The vision 

My vision extends beyond what I produce creatively but is interwoven into the work I create and how I choose to capture it. I want to promote accessibility and cultivate a starter-friendly industry. Therefore, what I frequently create is artistry without excess. Image making is how I would describe my process; I street cast my models, and I’m inspired by them. This is my starting point and they influence the project. Everything I’ve done is based on collaboration. There is something about creating in the moment and then capturing it on an iPhone that allows me to have full creative control on the project. This bridges the gaps of high standard imagery, affordability, and accessibility.  

Mini-series – Paradigm  

The definition of paradigm is the current example of a system or idea. With this collection I wanted to shift our mindsets away from what we have seen before. I wanted to combine my hair work, my photographic style and collage together for something that feels totally DIY, yet with moments of interest and curiosity. I wanted the process to be the result, it was a last-minute urge to just do something. It was quite amazing to me how the clippings I had collected and the photos of textures and colours I had taken (that I would later go onto rip up and use in the collage) had this relationship with the hair work I had created.  

This collection was shot completely on my iPhone, to inspire and encourage other people to create for the love of it. I decided to collage over the images after I had taken the photos. I hadn’t planned the collage around the photographs in advance. I like to leave some things down to instinct, which allowed for the process to feel authentic. 
No apps or Photoshop were used to produce the collage/artwork. I created the collage around the image then scanned it to create a digital copy. It was important for me to bring the contrast of the instant digital element of iPhone photography with the tactile physical application of collaging over the printed images, and then using ink and paint to produce variation in the texture.  

Hair, creative concept, collage and photography: Roman Sys at Brooks & Brooks. 
Make-up: Ivory Raine  





Session stylist Richard Phillipart shares all about his debut show as a hair lead at Paris Fashion Week. A character study of each individual model, prepare to take notes.

Team Phillipart

Team Phillipart

Take one award-winning session stylist, 11 members of Team Phillipart and one unmissable opportunity to work at Paris Fashion Week, and what do you get? A hotbed of creativity and a true character study of each individual model and their hair texture at ABRA A/W24. In a show which marked Richard Phillipart’s debut as a hair lead at Paris Fashion Week, the 27 models who walked the runway with beautifully enhanced hair is testament to Richard’s attention to detail and true craftmanship.  

Chosen by Richard as his season highlight of A/W24, he says: “this was the first Paris Fashion Week show for Team Phillipart and a milestone in my career. Being asked to design the hair look my first Paris runway was a fantastic start to 2024.”  

The show itself centred on the theme of “Celebrating the extraordinary in the ordinary and the irresistible beauty of everyday femininity”. Models were treated as individuals with the beauty of their natural texture enhanced and celebrated. Longer hair was styled with a clean centre-parting and left cascading down over the shoulders, allowing it to move and catch the wind as models walked the runway in Paris. Shorter hair was swept to the side with an equally relaxed, nonchalant vibe. 

Taking place in Rue Philippe-de-Girard, models walked a runway which was styled to look like the backstage dressing area. The set compromised clothing rails, and packed full of bulging black ABRA garment bags and shoe boxes, alongside hair and make-up stations which split the runway in two. The areas included brushes, tools and products from MYORGANICS, which were meticulously placed by Team Phillipart to give the illusion the team had been working on these stations to create the looks just moments before the audience arrived.  

Richard Phillipart backstage at ABRA

Models backstage at ABRA. Photography by @_valentinrusso. 

Model backstage at ABRA
Richard Phillipart backstage at ABRA

Hair how to

All models had their hair prepped by cleansing and treatment with Supreme Shampoo and Miracle Mask, which was great for adding intense nourishment to the hair without weighing it down. 

Hair was drenched with Ocean Spray to add a pliable texture and hold. Sections of hair were twisted in opposite directions and dried with a diffuser on high heat/low power to enhance and control natural texture and waves. Where needed, Supreme Oil, Hydrating Glaze, Curl Revival or Smoothing Lotion was used on the mid-lengths and ends of model’s hair to tame, refine, or enhance textures as required. 

Hair was then rope braided and pinned to secure, which helped set the natural waves while models were in make-up and rehearsals. It also prevented frizzing or dropping of the texture. 

Finishing touches included the Water Moulding Wax, which was first warmed up in the hands and then smoothed across the parting to tame fly-away hairs. Strong Hold Hydrating Hairspray and Restructuring Shine Spray were used to set the look, which was then brushed out by Richard moments before the models walked the runway to create a clean, fresh bounce in the hair. 

Video by @saladxxdays.





Promotion – Schwarzkopf Professional

Gossip Girl meets grunge was the aesthetic for the KNWLS A/W24 show at London Fashion Week. 

Mustafa Yanaz

Mustafa Yanaz

Bringing an Upper East Side flair to the runway, the inspiration behind the KNWLS A/W24 hair look was to follow a chic New Yorker on her journey from one party to the next. Mustafa Yanaz took the helm as lead hair stylist, delivering his alternative, cutting edge to match KNWLS’s bold fashion statements. Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault, the duo behind the brand, are known for their assertive interpretation of femininity, blending elements of danger and allure. The brand adopts a rugged, practical approach, crafting garments that serve as protective armour while redefining contemporary women’s fashion.

“I didn’t use any brushes or combs,” said Mustafa backstage. “I always do everything with my hands because I want it as natural as possible. For the KNWLS look, imagine an Upper East Side New York girl with beautiful hair, she’s going to her second party and ties her hair in a knot – she looks like she’s partied already – but her hair is still shiny and healthy.”

Hair was tied in a knot at the nape, with strands escaping at the front to frame the face. Undone texture with an underlying chicness, the result was equal parts cool and sophisticated. The main product used backstage was THE MOUSSE from SESSION LABEL from Schwarzkopf Professional, which Mustafa applied on the roots, and a little bit through the ends for grip. At the end, he used THE FLEXIBLE, which Mustafa describes as a “really great hairspray.”

He adds: “I work in session styling, and it’s really important to have the right products backstage and that’s why I use SESSION LABEL – they’re beautiful products for every hairstyle.”

SESSION LABEL from Schwarzkopf Professional is a comprehensive, professional styling range that is specifically designed to meet the varied demands of session stylists. With fourteen versatile products – each with a multitude of benefits developed to help hairdressers truly #CRAFTTHEDIFFERENCE – SESSION LABEL empowers stylists such as Nick Irwin and Mustafa Yanaz to achieve any look, texture, or finish required for the runway and beyond.

Find out more about SESSION LABEL from Schwarzkopf Professional.

Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault,

Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault, founders of KNWLS

Quick-fire questions with Charlotte and Alexandre

Describe the KNWLS aesthetic. Is there something that represents your work aesthetically and has that changed throughout your career?
Charlotte: There are four things which sum up the brand – sportswear, craft, corsetry, and alternative culture.
Alexandra: We’re trying to create a new wardrobe for the woman of our time – a woman who lives both digitally and physically. We aim to subvert the idea of femininity through counterculture or taking old ideas and transforming them into new ones.

C: It’s always über-feminine but with an edge.

What were the top three references for this season’s collection?
C: We were inspired by power dressing and ’80s glamour, as well as understandable luxury, because that’s where we’re trying to take the brand.

A: We wanted the women to be kind of ready for anything. We had a lot of weight on our shoulders at the end of 2023, then we were quite hopeful for 2024 but it started with a chaotic energy, so we were trying to get women ready for this. That’s why there’s reference points of utilitarianism or snakeskin and camo – like a form of armour and protection.

Where do you look to for inspiration?
C: Everywhere and anywhere! I often get really inspired by objects and materials, as well as vintage clothes. I feel like Alexandra is quite inspired by culture and music.
A: We spend a lot of time on Instagram and seeing the girls wearing the brand. Even the girls around the studio wearing it, or friends and other people, it’s a thing that people maybe didn’t have that much access to in the past. Now it’s always bombarding us. So, the diversity is quite inspiring.

 We adore your signature pieces, such as the iconic separates, but how do you feel this collection has evolved from the last?
C: It’s just about refining and elevating the image of the brand and appealing to a broader audience. In the past, I felt like the brand had been associated with youth and appealed a lot to a younger generation, but this season it’s more elegant and refined.
A: I think the goal was to make it a bit more familiar as well, a bit more understandable as to what people perceive as luxury, using cashmere wool and more bold colours that are understandable to a wider audience. It is more mature – we’re growing up as well. There’s always going to be this connection with youth but we also wanted to show that power, strength, control and being confident is not exclusive to the new generation that’s connected online. It shows that KNWLS can appeal to different age groups, different cultures and different body types… it doesn’t matter who you are. It’s about power and strength.

You’re collaborating with people all the time. How do you stay true to your boundaries and personal style?
A: Every season we try to change it up, so that the clothes become recognisable to what the brand represents. Hopefully this is what has made it possible to bring in people, and that they understand it, in their own way. They understand the language of it. You know, like, Mustafa just got the brand.

Video by Tom Gorst and Alex Barron-Hough

KNWLS runway

What has the creative process been like working with Mustafa?
C: He was amazing to work with. He’s such an icon and it was an honour to be able to get to work with him. I felt like he just brought that kind of alternative grunge edge to the collection, which brought in more of that KNWLS energy. He really got it from the offset.
A: He’s very sweet. Immediately he said ‘let’s chat on WhatsApp. I’ll send you some tests!’ He’s the first hairstylist we’ve worked with who has brought in people and tested things beforehand, then sent us pictures. He was very involved and excited about it. It’s not a last-minute thing where you must decide in the hair test in 30 minutes. He already tested things out – some things didn’t work, some things worked. So, it was quite amazing working with him.

There have been some incredible accomplishments in your career to date, but what has been the one standout moment so far?
C: Probably the collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier or dressing Doja Cat for the Grammys – she epitomises who the KNWLS woman is, and it was a pleasure working with her and her stylist Brett. Jean Paul was a big milestone for us, because he was such a huge inspiration growing up, and is one of the designers who inspired me to want to do fashion design. That was a ‘pinch me’ moment.





Celebrating 40 years of London Fashion Week, Mark Hampton led the hair team for Fashion East at the A/W24 show, which saw both Johanna Parv’s and Olly Shinder’s collections showcased under one roof.

Fashion East has a reputation for giving a voice to young fashion creatives, steering the conversation, and highlighting the most innovative new names, with inspirational ways of spotlighting their work across Fashion Week. 

Flying in from Hollywood, working alongside two different designers and co-ordinating a hair team for two shows seems like no easy feat, so we caught up with session and celebrity hairstylist Mark Hampton backstage at London Fashion Week to find out just how he works his magic. 

Creative HEAD: Firstly, what does 40 years of London Fashion Week mean to you? 

Mark Hampton: It means it started before I was born! But it also means heritage. I trained at Vidal Sassoon – his connections with fashion were so deep. For me he was the first person who transcended fashion and film and art. His inspiration for Bauhaus and cutting Mia Farris’ hair for Rosemary’s Baby were things that made me go ‘wow! This is where you can go with this job?’ 

CH: Is that what sparked your interest in taking your session work further? 

MH: Yeah, and then working with Guido. I could see the industry from the true creative perspective that it should be. 

CH: So, how do you navigate working with two designers for one show? 

MH: I have a lot of ADD so I don’t think it really matters for me. I enjoy it more; I like the diversity and the challenge of trying to pull off two shows (normally we do three!). For me, it feels more like a show, the atmosphere is better because there’s less focus on one specific thing and there is more of a vibe.  

CH: How do you keep the vibe positive and the team calm? 

MH: Good assistants! My first assistant Clare [Hurford] is a legend – she really helps me with the production, separating the team and finding the strengths and weakness to play in our favour. When you’re doing two shows, the hair is very different. Olly’s show is predominantly guys, so you need barbers and people who are strong in cutting, whereas Johanna’s is more about styling, so you need people with a different mindset. 

CH: How have you approached the hair looks for Fashion East? 

MH: I think London is more about selling a character instead of selling clothes. For example, with Johanna’s collection, the clothing has a big focus on streetwear and functionality but on a very elegant level, so the hair must really reflect that character. You want to get into their psyche, what would they do if they were wearing these clothes? Did they have their hat on? Were they cycling and took their helmet off, and what would their hair look like? I think it’s important for Johanna that the person that wears her clothes looks like she could have done her own hair.  

CH: We heard you’ve been using the Supernova Pro… 

MH: Yes, it’s so fun! It’s so nice to have something that really works! And the fact that it’s professional means it’s going to do what I need it to do. 

CH: How did you use it on the looks for Fashion East? 

MH: We’ve straightened a few of the girls’ hair. On some of them that already had straight hair, we added a bit of texture as well. Then after I did the chignon, I used the straightening iron to accentuate some of the straighter pieces. 





Independent colourist and educator and global ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel Paris, opens the door to her new studio in Horsham.

What was the aim of the space? 

I was looking for a space that felt like me aesthetically and would give me the freedom to run my day how I wanted without the responsibility or pressure of leading a whole team. I wanted to create a space that I enjoyed being in and felt like home. I’m all about a calmer and slower pace of life, so the furnishings and colour palette needed to reflect that.  
I plan to use the space not only to run a column for my clients but also to create content and online education. I do a lot of brainstorming, admin, meetings and content creation for my education courses, so I also wanted to create a space I enjoy being in to do those administrative tasks. 

What advice do you have for independent stylists starting their studio-style salon?  

Give yourself sufficient storage. It sounds very dull, but it’s often the bit that gets forgotten. I’ve learnt my lesson from having a salon before, and it’s even more important in a small space! If you want your space to look aesthetically pleasing, you are going to want areas to put stuff away like products, colour, ring lights, towels, so more storage is a must.
Invest in good quality salon equipment like cutting chairs and basins but do shop around for all the other furniture and design. These are the parts that will bring character.
Make sure you choose a colour partner that you not only love using on your clients but is easy to order and the quantities you want. You want a brand that can support you. I work closely with L’Oréal Professionnel Paris and having a good relationship is key to making your space work. 

How does your one-to-one approach work in practice?  

I can see up to three clients daily depending on their chosen colour service. When renting a chair, you often will need to pay a daily rate for the chair and or give a percentage of your takings. Depending on whether you need to rent or pay for the space will factor in how much you take home. 
With my studio, my outgoings are less than when I work freelance from a space, allowing me to do fewer clients in a day. However, offering a one-on-one experience to a client most definitely opens up the possibility of adding a premium to your pricing. 

How will you be marketing your space to potential new clients? 

All my marketing has been on social media platforms; videos of the space and hair have been great to grab the attention of potential new clients. It gains the most reach. However, recommendations from existing clients will always be at the top of the list when attracting new clients.
When clients take selfies in the space, I get them to share on social media. If people see the vibe of the space and match with it, they are more inclined to book as the recommendation has come from a friend. 

What do you have planned for the future? 

I’m launching the podcast The So Lovely Hair Show alongside my co-host, Ollie Blackaby from The Hair Salon in Brighton. We’ll be recording from the studio, intending to offer real-life, open and honest staff room chit-chat, covering a variety of topics and challenges that freelancers, creatives and the hair industry are faced with.
My career has had many ups and downs, and I genuinely believe that the hard times have made pivot in new and positively life-changing directions. Discussing my struggles and how to overcome them with friends and colleagues is what has got me through, so I hope to bring a bit of that support, honesty and inclusivity to our industry. I’m also working on an exciting project with L’Oréal Professionnel Paris which will be launching in March so watch this space!