Saul Taylor / March 25, 2019
Instantly recognisable for his laid-back attitude, unflustered approach and bald head and beard, Parisian men’s hair stylist Sebastien Bascle can be found jetting from show to show and styling up editorials for most Vogues, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire with some of the world’s biggest photographers.
Have you always worked for yourself?
I’ve been a hair stylist for 13 years now and I started in the classic way, at school, at the salon. I was in the army and I met a guy who introduced me to his uncle. His uncle was one of the famous hair stylists in the fashion industry and I was his assistant. I started in 1994. I’m French, I’m from Paris. I started to do all the fashion shows, like the famous ones in 1994 like Mugler, Montana, all the French brands. I’d been to Milan and got inspired and after I start to work for L’Uomo Vogue. Now I work for myself again.
Why hair in the first place?
I was a hairdresser in the army so I know the men’s haircut — flat top — everything is with clippers. I learned how to do a classic men’s haircut and it’s very important to know that. And after I just practiced, practiced, practiced for a long time.
Where are you based?
I’m based in Paris but I travel a lot. I work a lot in London and in Milan which I love.
How do editorial and shows differ?
It’s not a big difference, it’s just that there are more people to work with on a show.
How does the briefing process begin?
For my work you are entrenched in the world of the designer or the photographer or the stylist. I generally arrive in the morning and I see the collection and for me it is very clear in my mind. For instance, if it looks like 1990s mods or skinhead with the bomber jacket I influence the stylist to say, “Okay, let’s do some British haircut like Oasis.” Simple.
So, what about the pressure on the day?
It’s just a question of organisation. We have fittings and I know which guy I have to do the hair for the next day so there are no surprises. The creator of no stress is no surprise. Everything has to be controlled. It’s like a movie. When you do a movie you have to write your story and after that realise the script and this is the same. So we build for tomorrow and tomorrow will be easy. Not easy, because we have to produce, but everything is under control.
How many guys do you work on in a show?
It changes every time, so it’s going to be maybe 20, 22, 25 something like that.
What are the big trends at the moment in men’s hair?
It depends because it’s a different world now. They’re not trends per se, because if you look at Gucci there was a 1970s feeling, if you look at Valentino it’s different too.
So less about a trend and more about what suits the clothes?
More about the clothes than about the trend. Because you can have long hair like a surfer, you can have shaved hair. If you see shows now there are black people, Arab people, white people, a guy with red hair, a Chinese guy. This is the future. There is no line.
What about facial hair, like you?
You mean the beard? Me, I had my beard for a long time. Before it was very long but now everyone has the beard, but yeah it’s a good trend. But some designers like Yohji Yamamoto, he did a show with all the guys with a beard. The trouble is, the guys, the models are too young to have a beard!