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What I’ve learned… about taking the jump into session styling at Fashion Week

Founder of SliderCuts, Mark Maciver, is used to working with high profile clients in his East London barbershop. But for AW19 he made his first foray into Fashion Week. He shares his insight on the jump…

Working backstage for Louis Vuitton and Burberry was a great experience. It’s quite fun and exciting, but tense at the same time. You get to meet lots of different people from around the world, as they fly people in for things. When you see all the people they’ve brought in from different countries, you see they’ve tried to bring together the best of the best. It’s good to know your work has been recognised on a larger scale. These guys have the budget and search power to find the best of the best so for them to hire me, it’s a great honour and affirms what I’ve been doing in my approach to barbering.

In terms of approaching looks, it was quite a similar process at both the Louis Vuitton and Burberry shows. Preparation involved co-ordinating and prepping my team to make sure they were ready. I was booked for the job, then I brought my team to cover afro hair. Once I arrived, I set up our tools and got our stations ready. I then reviewed images of the models we were cutting. It’s good to know what’s ahead so you can mentally prepare what you’re going to do. Once I’d seen the photos, I began figuring out how to achieve the look and style brief we’d been given.

I didn’t realise how much of a big deal it was when first going into it, but I’m now starting to see the magnitude of it all. A highlight for me was definitely doing the Louis Vuitton show in Paris. The head designer, Virgil Abloh, was there, the sun was out, there was this feeling in the air, and you could sense something iconic and ground-breaking was happening. Everyone was excited. I got to speak to Virgil as well. I’d seen him a few times over the day and wanted to say something to him but didn’t. Then at one point we were walking towards each other, so I just said to him “thank you for what you’re doing for the culture”, and his response was “we’re doing it together”. That was a great moment for me.

I already knew this before but working on the shows just reminded me how much detail goes into producing them. Every single thing is thoroughly thought about. Even down to the length of someone’s hair or whether or not they’re going to get a shape up. And this is just me in hair, so much more is considered for make-up, wardrobe, the walk, the music. So much goes into a show that can last anything from five mins to 20 mins. It goes to show the finished product looks simple, but the process never is.