anthony turner styles the hair of a diverse generation
Working with i-D fave Willy Vanderperre on The A-Z of a Generation, Anthony Turner can’t put a hair out of place…
The youngest fashion creative to be signed to the incredibly selective New York agency Art Partner (he was 29 at the time), Anthony Turner broke through the veil of pursed lips and side eyes and had the elite at his feet asking him to coiff their tresses. Starting off at Toni & Guy in the Midlands - where he's from - for a bit of cash in hand, Anthony went on to assist legendary hair stylist, the mononymous Guido, before building up his own portfolio that includes the likes of Dior, Victoria Beckham, Vogue and, of course, i-D. For our latest video, Anthony teamed up with regular collaborator Willy Vanderperre to create the A-Z of a Generation, styling up the locks of 26 boys and girls with the coolest dye jobs, under cuts and dreadlocks on the street.
Tell us a bit about the the A-Z of a Generation shoot…
I think it's important to point out that although the premise of the shoot was hair, ultimately what I wanted to do was celebrate individual style. I've just moved back to London from New York and although I'll always be a huge fan of New York, I had almost forgotten just how crazily diverse London is in so many ways. The people that Willy shot and filmed for the A-Z of a Generation literally walk around like that day in day out. It's a lifestyle to them. There isn't anywhere else in the world you get that level of creativity and diversity.
What was your first job?
Vogue Paris with Mikeal Jansson styled by Anastasia Barbieri, the model was Sasha P. It's still one of my favorite stories I've ever done.
What hairstylists did you look up to when you started out?
Guido and Julien Dy's. Although very different, they both take their work to the extreme and I love that.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Finding myself surrounded by incredibly inspiring people. Everyday I go through a creative process with brilliantly creative minded people. I feel at home. That's incredible.
Have you ever had any hair disasters?
I was training at Toni & Guy and my family were brave enough to let me practice on them. Once I lobbed my Nan's hair off and made her look like Johnny Rotten. It wasn't exactly what she had in mind.
Would you say you have a trademark style?
I'm a big fan of real hair, hair that has a touch of naivety about it and a certain degree of something homemade about it. I relish in the mistakes people make with their hair and try to incorporate that into what I do on shoots and shows. There is something so beautiful about imperfections. It has a certain tenderness to it.
What inspires you?
I could write a whole book on what inspires me, it's so broad. I'm inspired by everything from old ladies in my hometown of Cannock who still tease their hair in the same way they have been for 30 years, to a grumpy kid on a bus with a floppy fringe, to robots in a computer game. I find inspiration absolutely anywhere.
Do you still draw?
All the time. It's my meditation, it's how I relax.
Do you prefer doing shows or shoots?
Both satisfy me greatly but I must say that after a month or so of frantic energy at shows it's always nice to go back into the controlled environment of the studio on shoots.
Which were your favorite shows to work on this season?
It's impossible to single any out. Every designer I work for I find inspiring and they all manage to push my work into areas that I might never have thought of.
How should we all do our hair to be on trend this summer?
Peggy Lipton, Jane Birkin, Joni Mitchell, that seventies nonchalant cool girl hair is very of the moment.
Who are your favorite models to work with?
Lara Stone, Sasha Pivovarova, Mariacarla, Kate Moss...
Whose hair would you love to get your hands on?
I'm not quite sure... I've already worked with Winona Ryder and I had been dying to work with her for years and she did not disappoint. I completely fell in love with her. I just love working with people who give me goose bumps... Who wouldn't?
What era would you like to see come back because it had the best hair?
That's interesting because I think we are in a time now that fuses every single era ever known. I can walk down the street or go into a bar and see a bit of 40s, a bit of 50s, a bit of 70s, and so on. It's all here right now, like some mad dressing up box. There are no rules anymore.
What are your top hair tips?
The less you think about it, the better it always is.
Who are the hairstylists to watch today?
I really like Duffy's work and he's a genuinely lovely guy!
Who does your hair?
Anyone who's around when I have the time.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me is a really gorgeous flower, but when you look closely you notice a fly on a petal. Would you still consider it beautiful? I would probably find it even more beautiful and it would excite me that others would still be trying to answer the question.
Text Felicity Kinsella