Due to the overwhelming success and popularity of our column in Professional Hairdresser, he has been invited to continue contributing to the magazine for another year. Each month we will bring you the latest editions to Warren’s work.
“Throughout my PH columns this year I’m going to explore the four fashion capitals – New York – London – Milan and Paris. My career takes me all over the world, and I’m fortunate enough to spend considerable time each year in all four of these cities, particularly during fashion week. So, lets start the year with home, my home, London.
I relocated to London six years ago when I was 21. I’ve worked extensively in Australia but was born and bred in Litchfield. I still haven’t managed to shake off the accent. I love going back home as it’s where my family and friends are but I always felt restricted working there. I couldn’t express myself properly through hair. In my younger years I was always wanting to do something new, something off the cuff and out of the norm….my progression as a hairdresser has come full circle because now I don’t always conform to ‘trends’ or try to do the most outrageous hair style in the salon. I simply do what fits that client, model or whoever it may be, best. Suitability, I think is a key word to describe London, this city made me a more rounded hairdresser. I still get that feeling when I get off the train at Euston, when I land at Heathrow….there is a buzz in London that compares to nowhere else. The quality of hairdressers in numbers isn’t beaten by any other city. This forces me to continuously raise my game. Being around like minded competitive people can only be a good thing. I’ve found that in the session world, all hairdressers know of each other, we all look at each other’s work and with some people I kick myself and think ‘I wish I’d done that’.
In the salon competition is a bit healthier because you’re all striving for the same goal to up salon turnover and ultimately up your salary. I first rocked up in London to work aged 18 with my good friend Simon Pritchard, my first professional shoot was shot by Anthony Mascolo for TIGI in Battersea.
I recall sitting in the car looking at the houses on my way to Nicky’s thinking I’m going to live in one of those one day, everything was so big! Different to what I was used too, I couldn’t stop looking out the window and what people were wearing, their hair, their style, everything. I was so inspired that day, I was like a sponge drowning in ideas and inspiration. Occasionally I think back to that day cause London didn’t daunt me, it inspired me. This is when I began drawing hairstyles (and I’m a rubbish drawer but Nicky is brilliant!). I was inspired by the architecture, the flowers in Regents Park, the girls in Camden. This city captured me immediately.
In the fashion circles it’s widely regarded that London has now replaced Manhattan as the coolest city to be in. What do I mean by cool, well a little more risky, off the cuff and more fun than New York. Of course, that is subjective and completely down to one’s opinion but I get that impression. Every city has its ‘suburbs’ which take on a different feeling, and London is no different.
Chelsea – There is young money in Chelsea where girls are going out all the time, it’s very dressy and well put together but there is a youthful aesthetic to hair in Chelsea. Lots of tousled hair, half up and half downs, nothing too structured.
Mayfair – It about the blowdry in Mayfair and the surrounding areas. We’ve had a salon in Mayfair for 21 years now and have become synomonous with the ‘Mayfair Blow Dry’ – think full head of velcro, heated rollers and a big bouncy blow out and you’re on the way to working out what the Mayfair blow dry is all about. Red carpet hair is also high on the list. A blow dry is the Mayfair way of life.
Camden – Here hair and style is grungier, off the hook. Anything goes and colour often plays an important role. Camden is all about making an independent statement, but that in itself becomes a ‘fashion’ so each suburb, even those that try to stand alone, create a subculture, an identity.
Probably newest to the scene is the Shoreditch/Dalston crowd – Hair is cooler, more music inspired and very on trend. If you are coming to London, then spend time here, it is a great source of inspiration. We often see trends coming from this area.
Primrose Hill is known for being the Kate Moss, Siennna Miller hang out area and they represent the area well. Hair is not as cool as Shoreditch, edgy as Camden or as done as Chelsea or Mayfair but always has an effortless style attached to it.
We see a lot of young designers begin in London, they are really supported by the British Fashion Council here who have worked hard to make London stand apart from its counterparts. Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson and Gareth Pugh are just some of the names that have come from London. This plays a major role in the atmosphere surrounding London, which impacts what we, see happening on the streets and in the salons.
Salons and hairdressers can find London a great source of inspiration. It would be fair to say the talent in this country does lie in London. I always felt I had to be in London to further my career and push myself. This is true for any of the major cities Milan, Paris, New York. The great thing about PH Live is that it exposes that London vibe up north in Manchester making it accessible to everybody.
In each city column I’ll divulge a few of my favourite haunts that are a must-visit during fashion week.
Place to be inspired; Just walking around. Honestly, whether it be Mayfair, Primrose Hill or anywhere in London. You can’t beat that buzz at fashion week so I’d say Somerset House specifically.
Place to eat: La Boddega Negra in Soho is a speakeasy restaurant/bar that deserves a visit.
Place to meet friends: Delfino’s in Mayfair
Place to sunbathe: I’m not one for sunbathing, bit boring but Hampstead Heath though if I was too.
Place to party: I’ve been hitting the The Box recently, that’s cool. It’s more about who I’m with though. When the lads come down to stay with me we hit it hard wherever we are.
Place for breakfast: Engineer, Primrose Hill
Place for late night drinks: I’m a member at Shoreditch House, which does the job. I also like the Mayfair Hotel and W Hotel.
Place with view: Hilton on Park Lane is nice for dinner overlooking Hyde Park, but nothing compares to The Shard, I’m friends with the Sellar family who were the developers so have been up a couple of times.
Place to unwind: The sofa in my apartment.
Place to stay: The Mayfair hotel for me is the best. Right in the middle of town, good bar, chic rooms
Place to shoot in: Spring Studio’s in Kentish Town”