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Iconic hairstylist Sam McKnight has just revealed in British Vogue's “Vogue Visionaries” YouTube series that Princess Diana’s legendary short hairstyle was actually just a bit of a joke at the beginning.
The Princess of Wales only decided to make her memorable crop a permanent fixture after McKnight faked the short look with a tiara, when he was prepping her hair for a portrait shoot in the early 90s.
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“The first time I met the Princess of Wales was on a shoot. This leggy blonde comes bouncing up the stairs and sticks her hand out, smiled, and made us all melt. It was Princess Diana,” the hairstylist, who has since worked with the likes of Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista, says.
“She wore a tiara and I made her hair look short under it,” he continues. “I faked it a bit. We laughed so much and she was very funny. At the end of the day, she said, ‘What would you do with my hair if I just said do anything?’”
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To which, McKnight says he told her he “would cut it all off and start again”.
“So she said, ‘Well, why don't you just cut it off now?’ So I cut it off, and we never looked back,” he fondly remembers.
This spur-of-the-moment decision shaped Diana’s look, right up until her untimely death in 1997.
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Before McKnight spontaneously snipped off her lengths at their meeting on the photoshoot, Diana favoured a fluffier, bouffant style – very 80s. But after the cut, she gained more of a 90s-era business glam look.
Interestingly, McKnight was also the man behind Emma Corrin’s The Crown hair. Though he says he wasn’t initially sure he was the right person for the job.
“It felt weird, but actually it was a pleasure and Emma was a pleasure, and I was quite taken by how alike Emma was to Princess Diana in her looks,” he says.
Since working with Princess Diana, McKnight has focused most of his time on working with top fashion houses like Chanel, Burberry and Tom Ford. He also retains some celebrity clients, so who knows, maybe he’ll create another iconic look for a royal.
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