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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.