When Karl Lagerfeld sent his models down the catwalk for Haute Couture on January 26th 2016, their hair, executed by session stylist Sam McKnight, was the star attraction. Dubbed ‘the croissant’ these tightly and precisely constructed architectonic 1940s giant rolls at the back of the head, heralded in a new era of very chic, very polished, sculptural hair. McKnight’s hair statement resonated far beyond the grounds of the Grand Palais where the collection was shown. And here at michaeljohn it’s signalled the start of a bold new era of dressed hair, updos, bridal and special occasion styling. Since then there’s been a 25% increase in demand for updos in the salon and the stylists are all busy perfecting their own couture-inspired versions. “Fashion has become much more sleek and elegant than it was before,” says Max Coles, michaeljohn’s Creative Director. “Very shiny hair has come back, very well done and very neat. Especially that last Chanel show everything was so sleek, so neat and so polished: it was beautiful. We try to recreate this kind of idea.”
michaeljohn’s expert salon team offer all kinds of permutations of the Chanel Couture look as well as updos of all varieties, buns, and French plaits. What’s more the team are happy to teach clients how to execute these styles at home themselves. “We can do pretty much everything,” confirms Coles “if you remember going back to the past, Breakfast at Tiffany’s this kind of style, all the women were very dressed up and the hair as well, we’re going back to this, its very feminine and women feel great about it because they really stand out, instead of messy and casual and greasy looking.”
Bridal hair and special occasions – from cocktail parties to full on grand balls – offer a unique opportunity for women to go to the hairdresser beforehand and have a bespoke session tailoring their hair to make the perfect entrance. “We’re looking at trends going into evening and also wedding hair,” continues Jay Rapata Senior Artistic Director in the salon. “There’s been so much half up half down since the Royal Wedding so we are now seeing something a bit more dressed and that’s where the salon comes in.”
Colour is also key to the Chanel Couture look. “It was all the natural shades, particularly the brunettes,” says Debbie Bhowmik, Lead Signature Colourist at michaeljohn. “It’s a big departure from the ombre, the dip dye for a colourist its beautiful shiny hair and it kind of enhances what a client’s got.” The rise of the brunette, from the Duchess of Cambridge to Chanel Couture’s model of the moment Kendall Jenner is a phenomenon Bhowmik is enthusiastic about. “He used a lot of brunettes at Chanel Couture and its nice to see brunettes rather than always blondes in a show. The natural brunettes are coming through, without the caramel lights, we don’t have to try to make it blonde or something that it isn’t.” According to Bhowmik the shine that was so critical to the Chanel look can be achieved by regular colouring and in between glosses. “You don’t always need to come in when your roots need doing, you can come inbetween for treatments and that will keep your colour going longer.” Depth-charged colour and beautiful lucent hair isn’t difficult to execute for an expert and the stylists and colourists at michaeljohn will help you achieve this look with the minimum of fuss.