Putting together a shoot for an editorial cover is no easy feat. Creating a moodboard, choosing the right team and executing that perfect shot takes experience, time and creativity – something the team behind this month’s cover of Salon Business has in abundance. Created from a mutual collaboration between Salon Business and BaByliss PRO, and headed up by the hugely talented Richard Phillipart, this shoot takes inspiration from the fashion world, where beautiful hair, just is.
When not working behind the scenes at the likes of Richard Malone or at an editorial shoot for British Vogue, Richard Phillipart is busy tending to clients in his Cheshire salon, The Boutique Atelier. We asked him to take time out to create this month’s front cover and here’s what he had to say about it…
What was the vibe of the shoot?
We wanted to really reflect a fashion vibe rather than a hairdressing vibe. So our aim was to create really beautiful pictures that happened to have great hair, rather than hair pictures.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Working in fashion we’re just always looking at inspiration from lots of different areas – it could be magazines, books, art and film, it can be anywhere.
What looks did you create?
We created three main looks. The first one is a very 90s, early Kate Moss vibe, very relaxed, very youthful. We then built some braids into that, and then finally, finished off with something really sleek, masculine and swept back.
Which look were you most excited about?
Aesthetically, I really like hair that’s been lived in, that looks like it’s someone’s hair. So I think our first look, our really relaxed 90s look, is probably going to be my favourite.
Tell us about your vast expereinces as a session stylist.
I’ve been lucky enough in my session work to travel all over the world from Dubai to Paris to London, working on fashion shows, which is really exciting. But I also make sure that I bring all of that back to my salon. I’ve got a salon in Cheshire, The Boutique Atelier and it’s really important for me to be able to justify being out of the salon, that they have a reflection in the salon business.
How do you take inspiration from the Catwalk and bring it to a shoot like this?
It’s difficult to say a specific hairstyle is going to be trendy, it’s not really about certain cuts or certain styles now, it’s more about a feeling and a vibe. You have to really look at what the feeling of the season is; what the aesthetic is; what kind of direction things are going in. Do we want the models to look really expensive and really rich, or do we want them to look really relaxed and young? Next summer everything is going to be like we’re seeing today, very relaxed, very undone, natural textures. We’re going to be losing a lot of the polish we’ve had the last few seasons and just really building more of an earthly texture into the hair.
What would your advice be to other hairdressers looking to take the inspiration and parry it down in their own salons and their own work?
The fantastic thing about fashion is it works six months ahead of the regular calendar. We’ve just [in September] done the hairstyles and fashion shows that are going to be coming out in the summer of next year. This means you can take some time to look at what actually happened on the runways, what the hairstyles were like, and you can plan for what your clients are going to be looking to have in the summer of next year. That’s true whether you’re a colourist and you’re going to be looking at the colour of the clothes people are going to be wearing and how you can reflect that in the hair, or if you’re a stylist, and you want to know what kind of blowdrys; what kind of texture, people are going to be requesting next summer.”
How do you bring that fashion vibe into your salons and to your clients?
When I come back from fashion week, we’ll look at the season’s collections and everyone in our salon will pick their favourite collection and then we work together to work out what our three key looks are going to be. We then spend a few months making sure every member of the team can do them. So, if for example, we really liked the texture at Burberry, we would incorporate a Burberry blowdry into our blowdry menu next season, and make sure every member of the team can do it. We make sure it’s not just certain hairdressers in the salon that can do a stlye, but anyone, so that when we promote it on social media our clients can book in with any stylist and ask for that blowdry.
Do your clients love that you have such a strong link with fashion in your salon?
I think it’s really important for your clients to know you have an eye on what’s happening in fashion, whether you’re working backstage and you can relay that to your team or whether you’re just really aware and you’re following the magazines and what’s happening at fashion week. You can communicate that through social media, through an email blast from the salon. However you do it, it’s just really making sure that you’re the voice that people are coming to for what is going to be next.
How long have you worked with BaByliss?
A hundred years…I’ve been associated with BaByliss for most of my professional career. I started working with them more closely about 10 years ago so it’s been a really long time that we’ve been working with each other and collaborating on different projects. I’ve shot campaigns for BaByliss, I’ve talked at trade shows, shot videos and educational events, we work together at fashion week, they support me and my team backstage with the equipment and tools. There really have been some great collaborative projects together. One of the great things about working with BaByliss is the size of the portfolio of equipment that’s available. There really is a tong for every texture; a straightening iron for every movement you need to relax, and fantastic hairdryers with lots of diffusers and attachments available, that really mean my kit is ready for any hairstyle that I come across.
Are there any new innovations that have changed the way you work?
The Babyliss 9000 Cordless Collection has been a lifesaver on set. Sometimes we can do models’ hair hours before a runway show so having those cordless tools that we can just touch up those looks with is fantastic. It means we can be at fashion week, in the line-up, and we can make sure the models’ hair is perfectly finished and exactly how we want it to be, just before they walk on.