Alex Barron-Hough first met Anthony Mascolo when he accompanied his mother to the salon for her hair appointment with ‘the man himself’. It wasn’t long before Anthony was also cutting 6-year-old Alex’s hair and throughout the ensuing school years, continued to keep the young boy’s hair ‘school-cut perfect’.
Fast forward 11 years, Alex deferred a place at university in the hope of getting some experience in marketing and PR, so he wrote to Anthony (several times actually) to see if there might be an opening at Bed Head Studio which had very recently opened. Anthony offered Alex a 3-month trial and the rest, as they say, is history.
Alex admits that getting a job with Anthony wasn’t at first the ‘creative’ role he’d dreamt of achieving. From sweeping floors to carrying bags, he accompanied Anthony wherever and whatever he was doing. But of course, that was the best way to learn. Within a short space of time, Alex was modelling for Bed Head, assisting Anthony on shoots and, having been handed a camera by Anthony, began shooting backstage images of hair shows.
For Anthony this was a very normal process. He had got into photography after his wife, Pat, bought him a camera for his birthday. Soon the pair were doing test shoots at every opportune moment, with Pat doing the makeup. As Anthony famously has said: “I didn’t know the rules, so it was easy to break them”. More importantly, the couple were able to achieve the finished looks they’d always hoped to create, but had rarely achieved with other photographers.
Just as Anthony had always been supported and nurtured by his own brothers, he now encouraged and watched Alex progress. Over the years, Alex has regularly shot backstage at international fashion weeks, has been photographer, with Anthony, on every major TIGI shoot, as well as producer of each collection. His work has become his obsession, a trait Anthony understands only too well as his own creative and obsessive nature testifies. And strangely, Alex also developed a passion for hair, without any desire to ever pick up a comb or scissors. In recent years hair has truly become his life, since his marriage to Christel Lundqvist (now Barron-Hough) last September. Like Anthony and Pat, Christel and Alex obsessively create imagery together to promote Christel’s award-winning STIL Salon.
This week, Anthony and Alex talked together on Instagram LIVE, about their relationship, their work and their love of hair imagery. Here we share a selection of favourite images referenced by the pair, including one from Anthony’s 1987 Silhouette Collection, that inspired a recent Total Concept shoot with the TIGI Creative Team in New York and their most poignant portrait shot of the wonderful Vidal Sassoon.
As Alex says: “I’ve loved the challenge, I’ve loved the scale, I’ve loved the process and I’ve loved capturing moments.
“I remember this shoot only with affection” says Alex. “Anthony and I were in Chicago, Illinois, and shot the cover story for Mary Rector-Gable and BTC Magazine, I believe it was 2014. I was lucky enough to meet Vidal Sasson a few times with Anthony, and he was such a warm and giving man. He made everyone feel so at ease and comfortable. Personally, working on this shoot with two legendary icons was a very special memory for me; two of the biggest names in hairdressing together. I feel honoured to have been a part of it.”
An icon not just in hairdressing, but photography too. Here, Anthony Mascolo shares a few highlights from his photographic archives.
Transient Collection, 1992
“We actually shot this collection in our flat in London. As a hair picture, it really captured sexy commercial hair and it’s a collection I still love today. It was shot at a time when Pat and I were shooting lots of images and it was a true collaboration between us.”
Catwalk Collection, Miami, 2008
“We shot this image in Miami, and had put hair extensions into the model’s hair to add lenth. This shot captured a moment. As I was shooting, the breeze lifted her hair. I pressed the button and captured the shot.”
“Pat and I were playing with graphics a lot when we created this Graffitti collection. I like the fact that the cut is a Bob, but the effect is avant-garde.”
“It’s very hard for any photographer to choose just a couple of images as their favourites” explains Alex. “There is so much sentiment and reflection attached to every image, and the moment it captured. It is constantly evolving too, as with everything. We have many favourites for many different reasons but, that being said, these are currently just some of the images that most stand out.”
Carla Keating (Andrew Collinge) BHA Finalist Collection, 2018
“To me, this image shows true perfection in the craft of hairdressing, especially in cutting. The cut was literally perfect, and hasn’t been tidied up or retouched at all. The hard perimeter lines are married with a softness, and a strong sense of style. This was echoed through the style of lighting and photography. A very powerful hairdressing image.”
Collaboration with Stil Salon, 2019
“This was a technically very challenging shoot. I had been working with Christel on the creative treatment and concept of the shoot for a while, and I had wanted to shoot through an amazing light refracting material called OLF (Optical Lighting Film). I was first aware of this material after seeing it being used in a very different way at an Iris Van Herpen fashion show in Paris that TIGI were supporting about 5 years ago. I was also experimenting with shooting through prisms. I love exploring new techniques and ripping up the rule books. This is a collection I am personally very proud of and I love creating looks that will challenge people’s thinking to how the look was achieved.”
TIGI World Release, Dallas, Texas, 2013
“This photograph fills me with emotion, and I believe captured something special from a very special event with the tapestry of TIGI’s history of world class live events and shows.
I often get very emotional at the end of a show, especially when it has meant so much to not only the audience but the full team behind the scenes and onstage that have spent months carefully creating and crafting these spectaculars. I remember thinking on my feet, and jumping up onto the stage and running behind the models to get this shot. Sometimes images are emotive and for me, this is definitely one of them.”