Hair by Sam McKnight
Final week

Hair by Sam McKnight

Transforming Fashion's Greatest Icons
02 Nov 2016 – 12 Mar 2017
Full price £13.00, concessions £10.50
(including £0.50p booking fee)

Mon, Tue, Sat & Sun 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.00) Wed–Fri 11.00-20.00 (last entry 19.00)

Embankment Galleries
South Wing

A major exhibition celebrating Sam McKnight's remarkable 40-year career from the late 1970s to the current day. 

"one of the most important image makers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries"

The New York Times

Sam McKnight has been instrumental in helping to create some of the most iconic images in popular culture from Princess Diana’s short, slicked back style to Madonna’s Bedtime Stories album cover and Tilda Swinton channelling David Bowie. McKnight’s work traces a vast array of movements and hairstyles, from nostalgic to androgynous, romantic to sexy, red to platinum, cataloguing the transformative nature of hair within the image.

He has worked on countless fashion editorial shoots (including over 190 Vogue covers), advertising campaigns and catwalk shows with supermodels Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, and with international fashion designers Chanel and Vivienne Westwood. 

Hair by Sam McKnight is the first exhibition to contextualise the wider cultural significance of hair and the role of the session stylist within fashion.

Kate Moss by Nick Knight, Vogue UK, September 2000. Courtesy of Nick Knight
Kate Moss by Nick Knight, Vogue UK, September 2000. Courtesy of Nick Knight
© Alexei Hay, Trunk Archive
© Alexei Hay, Trunk Archive

"The minute that Vogue hits the news stands, the beauty team braces itself for the inevitable calls: 'How can I get in touch with Sam McKnight?'"

Anna-Marie Solowij, 'A Cut Above', British Vogue, 2006

"Sam McKnight, whose flexible fingers and sharp scissors have produced the runway hair for numerous key brands, from Prada and Anna Molinari in the 1990s to Fendi and Chanel today, is an image-maker in his own right."

Lou Stoppard, SHOWStudio
Film credits: Matthew Donaldson, Mastered, Eamonn Hughes. Edit by Nova Dando. Music by Lou Hayter and Nick Phillips/The New Sins


Hair by Sam McKnight catalogue © Gareth Powell
Hair by Sam McKnight catalogue © Gareth Powell

To coincide with the exhibition, a major publication also titled Hair by Sam McKnight will be published, with texts by Tim Blanks, Alexander Fury, Amanda Harlech, Nick Knight, Camilla Morton, Anna-Marie Solowij, Jerry Stafford, commentary by Sam McKnight and featuring images spanning his entire career. Richly illustrated, the book features photographs by leading fashion photographers and styles commissioned by Vivienne Westwood, Balmain, Chanel and many others.  A unique reference and style bible that offers a glamorous tour through the past forty years, the book is published by Rizzoli and priced at £35.00.

Don’t miss the Hair by Sam McKnight pop-up exhibition shop with signed books, vintage magazines, postcard sets, exclusive beauty products and much more. A selection of exclusive items are also available at our new online shop.


Fashionably Late talks in partnership with THE OUTNET.COM take place on selected Tuesdays. These boutique-style evenings feature some of the master hairstylist Sam McKnight’s key collaborators; themselves industry icons, discussing their experiences and giving a glimpse behind the scenes of the world of high fashion & beauty. Each Fashionably Late event includes a complimentary drink, a talk in our intimate 60 seat Screening Room and exclusive access to the exhibition.

Late openings of the exhibition on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings until 20.00.

Lates supported by

Sam McKnight, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner... at Balmain during Fashion Week | #VogueFollows

Exhibition curated by Shonagh Marshall with exhibition design by Michael Howells.