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Bridal Hair

April 26, 2019

Bridal Hair

Oscar de la Renta’s exclusive event with Quintessentially

Bridal hair
wasn’t a speciality 20 years ago. Most hairdressers were, and still are terrified of dressing hair or putting hair up. They simply don’t have the breadth of training and it doesn’t come to them with the robotic cut ‘n blow-dries delivered in most salons.

Fifteen years ago a promoter put on a small Luxury Wedding Show at the Landmark Hotel. At the time, the only wedding shows were mainstream events at places like the NEC with £5 tiaras on sale in baskets by the entrance.

I agreed to help with this nascent event primarily because I saw it as a good training ground for our young team of stylists. They too had some fears of hair-up and few had close experience of catwalk shows. The pressure of a catwalk show forces you to work quickly and work to perfection, as it is all displayed, judged and photographed on the catwalk. Your initial work in the morning may have to sustain 20 dress changes over the head by lunchtime each with only 20 seconds in between to check and redo the hair. This was trial by fire for the young team.

After two years this grew into a much bigger opulent event called The Designer Wedding Show held at Battersea Park. This exhibition of bridal heaven around the central catwalk displayed just about every luxury item you could salivate over for your wedding. Beautiful vintage Rolls Royces, mountainous cakes, the finest hairdressers – us of course, exquisite stationery, specialist photographers, captivating jewellery, stunning locations to hire such as Blenheim Palace, opera singers and entertainers, dreamy 5 star honeymoon resorts, a chance to test out the latest BA First Class seat, etc. My own daughters featured on the catwalk as bridesmaids until they grew too old to be considered cute by the choreographer. That was only about 7 or 8 as I remember.

And of course it was the perfect place for bridal designers and those who wanted to launch themselves into this growing market such as Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang. I led a team of about 8 stylists at the early events. Condé Nast Brides Magazine took over the show about 7 years later with Brides the Show and with our strong team of around 15 Bridal hair stylists we had established ourselves at the forefront of this specialist niche.

Jenny Packham’s stunning event at The Ritz

Designers such as Jenny Packham, Matthew Williamson and Sassi Holford were launching their own bigger events and we were on hand to look after the hair at these shows too.

When Oscar de la Renta teamed up with Quintessentially to launch his sumptuous range, the Michael Van Clarke Bridal Team were there, along with a supporting cast of Tiffany and Cartier.

At the same time our salon bridal business grew and grew. We were sending our talented bridal stylists to all corners of the globe. More than once we would have three separate weddings on the same weekend so we emphasised that Brides book early to get their chosen stylist.

Lamphane perfects one of several looks over the 3-day Italian event

Another of our favourite clients, Rosie the Londoner, organised a stunning wedding on an Italian island in Lake Garda. Phillipa Lepley provided the beautiful bridal gown. Sumptuous flowers were by Nikki Tibbles.

Essential Products

It’s at these high-pressure events that our professional performance products really come into their own. Take the humble Holding Spray in our 3’’’More Inches range. It’s another of our can’t-do-without products for events. ‘Tut tut, a hairspray’s a hairspray’, you may say. And if you were comparing all the rest with each other I’d probably agree.

But a great holding spray absolutely must:
1. Deliver a fine mist that stays invisible and dries quickly so it doesn’t spoil delicate chignons.
2. Not make the hair sticky or dull.
3. Have flexible memory so the hair still moves and doesn’t look like a helmet.
4. Brush out and leave the hair re-workable.

Simple you may think. But our 3’’’More Inches Holding Spray ticks all the boxes and we haven’t come across a competitor product that doesn’t fail on one or more of those absolute essentials. And these are the performance features we need for all our clients at the Michael Van Clarke salon too.

All our products in the 3’’’More Inches range are developed through rigorous scientific research and thoroughly tested in the salon, on the catwalk and the photo studio before launch. Some have been tested in baking hot arid deserts, freezing Wyoming winters and sea salt-ridden desert islands. We need to trust that their performance is second to none because your hair is too important to us.

Michael Van Clarke

Ps Notice I didn’t say up-do once

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