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EXCLUSIVE: Meadham Kirchhoff Womenswear A/W12

Hairstylist James Pecis gives us the lowdown on his work for the London designers

PhotographyMorgan O'Donovan

Inspiration for this show is gathered from many areas, but all of these pieces create the world in which Edward and Benjamin live in. When entering into their studio, you are really entering into the land of Meadham Kirchhoff. We looked at pictures of the performer Divine and classic Peter Linbergh Vogue covers – the boys wanted to find a balance between the freaks and what is still beautiful, they wanted to create a beautiful freak. We looked at walls covered with references of color, fabrics, pictures, stickers, fur, and some very detailed drawings which the boys do. They're very specific about the details of each individual character we create.

Working with Benjamin and Edward is completely different from other shows I do. We meet up a month or two before and start the creative process. I look at where they are taking it and what they want to say. Once the idea begins to solidify, I move forward with the production. I have an amazing team and we spend days together huddled around a large table eating nuts and playing with hair. Every piece needs to be unique.

You can never plan for everything but you can try. If everything is too mechanical and sterile, then you would loose the element which is Meadham Kirchhoff: spontaneous, emotional, and honest. I had this seasons hair divided into three key looks and then subdivided from there to make them individual. My favourite look from this was the "granny" which were wigs that we set, coloured, backcombed, styled, and lacquered with Bumble extra strength holding spray. The backs of these wigs were chopped off to expose a panel of glitter up the back.  it had an appropriate twisted element – in a classic way...

Meadham Kirchhoff is one of my favorite shows and not just because I get to do fun hair. I'm inspired by the spirit of the boys and what they are saying. Benjamin and Edward live in their own world within the fashion industry and have always followed their heart in everything they do. I have worked with them for eight seasons now and I'm continuously challenged by their ideas and inspired by their ideals.

Behind-the-scenes photography and video stills by James Pecis.