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Hair Trends

[whitespace] Nicky Clarke Hair He Is: London hair stylist Nicky Clarke wants to be recognized not only as an artist, but also as a personality.

From runway to reality

By Diana Rupp

The London-based stylist Nicky Clarke has coifed royals, movie stars and runway shows for such top designers as Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and Givenchy. A celebrity in his own right, this hair stylist guru has become Britain's answer to renowned hairdresser sensation Jose Éber. Voted 1998's most newsworthy male worldwide by the salon industry press, Clarke has made frequent television appearances in the UK, including a cameo as himself on Absolutely Fabulous.

"To be recognized not only as an artist but as a prominent personality is extremely rewarding to me," says Clarke. "I have always felt that it is important not only to have a creative edge regarding current styles and trends, but to also maintain a solid visage within the minds of both the media and the general public."

Currently on a U.S. tour promoting his hair-care line Hairomatherapy, Clarke gave his last word on this year's hottest hairstyles to SF Metropolitan when we caught up with him at the Hotel Nikko.

  • Curls. "Done properly, curls are so pretty. And they go perfectly with designers like Chloë who are doing soft, fluid, ghostlike dresses."

  • Color. "Chunky, skunky stripes are tired. Now we're using a technique called smudging, where you put bright, intense color on the roots and then fade it out toward the ends, doing only small amounts of hair at a time. It adds texture and movement without being able to see where the color is coming from. We've done it on Kate Moss and for a number of shows."

  • Bangs. "We seen a strong emphasis on bangs. Everything from short and very, very blunt to soft and wispy."

  • Crop. "Suddenly all these people who are known for long hair, like Sharon Stone, are doing short, Parisian looking hair, and it really works."

  • Shine. "For Versace it was very clean, sleek, shiny, straight hair with little silver barrettes. It has a minimalist relevance and a touchability. It's very much a '90s thing. Because we've already seen so many seasons where it's been sleek hair, sleek hair, the question has been, Are we ever going to get away from it? But to be honest, there's something really appealing about it."

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  • From the June 15-28, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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