Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE JUL-AUG 2017 Contents “Good taste is something you
already know and have an opinion
of. When it comes to something of
bad taste, you have to think about it,
it’s interesting,” suggests Eugene.
Eugene explained that, once bad
taste has made its mark, a plan
is formulated before a series of
mistakes make the magic.
an idea and then I make mistakes ...
and I tend to go with them, they lead
me down a path which I’m happy
to go down. Mistakes are meant to
happen, don’t be scared of them,”
A process perhaps heralded best in that still-cloned Narciso
Rodriguez look on Carmen Cass, 2004.
“Sometimes, something will present itself, and it’s just right.
Fashion is about moments – when a moment presents itself you
should never shut your eyes, it’s really great to just be open and let
it happen,” said Eugene.
“Things are never accidental, it’s just that we think they are.
You need to know when to recognize that.”
And that’s why the likes of Prada, Maison Martin Margiela and
Yohji Yamamoto enlist the relevance and interpretation of Eugene,
because he’s lived - he looks to the unusual, the unspoken, and he
makes the mistakes that lead to what fashion is all about, what it
lives for, the ‘moments.’
There’s also the serendipitous gift of growing up in London’s
punk rock era - all hail the Queen (Vivienne Westwood).
“Designers like to work with me because I’ve lived and
experienced eras such as punk rock, I bring a wild card to the
equation. Nothing in my life has ever been planned.”
Like many a hairdresser we know, school wasn’t really Eugene’s
jam. He was great at drawing, but that was where it ended, so he
headed to Hair College, then to a barbershop and finally, Trevor
Sorbie. After a series of magazine jobs with titles such as i-D in
their earliest years, Eugene landed Prada, and as the story goes,
land Prada and you’re pretty much set.
Although that wasn’t, and has never been the mentality of
Eugene. It feels as though the notion of ‘being set’ is one that
would never occur to him.
“Every job I do, I think I’m going to get fired from, every job I
do, I treat it as my last ... I’m scared out of my wits,” he says.
Perhaps it’s this scarce humility that ensures Eugene remains
at the top of his game. For the fear of getting fired, he’s constantly
pushing himself, exploring outwardly and inwardly, what’s
next, what’s interesting - where can I take this, how does it
relate to hair? This as opposed to the arrogance of having ‘made
it.’ Surprisingly, one shoot for VOGUE Australia doesn’t mean
And then there’s that little thing called integrity – the quality
linked directly to passion.
“I’m not someone who flits arou nd from designer to designer,
it’s really important to me that I have respect for what they do.
Yohji and Galliano are my favourite at the moment, they make
clothes that should be in a museum.”
Eugene broke what we’re sure were some people’s glamour
fantasies about the session world in Paris and Milan. Hair and
makeup tests for two days each, fittings for three days – call time
9am, finish time 2am.
And then there’s the shifting personas, perspectives and
processes of each, highly evolved designer, or client. Here, Eugene
referenced his work with Anna Demeulemeester.
“Anna will show you the music and then the clothes, the music
element is very important to her and there is always a certain
anger in her work which translates to the hair,” said Eugene.
“With session hair, you have to have an opinion and really listen
take on board the designer’s ideas – they’re clients, consider who
they are and how you feel about them; their lifestyle, size, sense
“With hair, you’ve got to be really instinctive, it’s not a piece
of paper or a laptop, it’s part of a person. A wig is like a piece of
clothing; like an accessory,” he says.
So how does one get on the Souleiman session team – how does
a passionate stylist earn their ticket to technique and insight
“I seem to attract a certain type of person ... I don’t have anyone
on my team that doesn’t like doing hair.”
Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many put their
profile before their passion. Not here, not Eugene Souleiman.
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