THE owner of an Ellesmere Port salon has been honoured to style hair for a luxury British fashion house as part of London Fashion Week.

Richard Phillipart, owner of The Boutique Atelier, travelled to the capital with three of his local stylists to fashion hair on behalf of Mulberry.

It was familiar territory for Richard, who started working backstage at the age of 26 after winning a national competition with L’Oreal Professional. He won a two-year mentoring programme with the brand and was mentored by Trevor Sorbie amongst other leading industry names.

It was working backstage at Graduate Fashion Week where Richard was spotted by one of the hairdressing bookers for London Fashion Week, and the rest was history.

Ten years later and Richard’s many high-end photoshoots appear in magazines across the globe such as Vogue, ELLE, Harpers Bazzar and many more. He has been in high demand to style hair for runway shows across the world including styling hair for Chanel, Balenciaga, Dior and Vivienne Westwood.

He said: “The national lockdowns not only affected my salon in Ellesmere Port but put a stop to all of my external fashion work with travel cancelled.

"Fashion week as we knew it ground to a halt with shows and presentations turning digital. It just wasn’t the buzz of backstage that I love so much, filming the shows in advance with strict Covid rules in place and social distancing taking away all of the fun and camaraderie of a live show."

Mulberry teamed up with designer Richard Malone to create a limited edition collection. Having designed the hair for five of the designer's previous collections, the two Richards teamed up again to create the models looks for the spring/summer 2022 runway collection.

Richard added: “For the inspiration for the models looks I have been thinking a lot about the pandemic and the effects that has had on the hairdressing industry, how the lockdowns have shaped and changed the world in ways we never imagined.

"I wanted to take this thought and apply it to different industries, thinking about these industry's and the hair that appears at them, what was it about that hair I missed the most. For the SS22 Mulberry x Richard Malone show, I looked to nightlife. Where has all the fashion been worn? What life had it lived? What life had the garments created though the pandemic missed?

"The grandeur and open space of the V&A Museum, where the show took place, what was the antithesis of this? Nightlife! Sweaty, grimy places full of people all squashed in and living life.

"I thought about what my favourite thing about hair in this instance and it wasn’t the glamour of the big blow drys at the beginning of the night, my favourite thing about nightlife hair is that 4am, dishevelled, sweaty, squashed, fingers run though it hair.

"So that was where I went with the look, 'individual characters leaving a club with hair full of a life lived and fun had'."

The show took place at the Victoria and Albert museum in London’s Knightsbridge, where the Raphael Court had been taken over for this London Fashion Week event.

As the owner and creative director of The Boutique Atelier, Richard has always had a heavy focus within the salon on the education, opportunity and growth for all members of his Atelier.

Having a team of 25 hairdressers from across the country who regularly work for him at events and photoshoots, Richard also takes members of his Ellesmere Port salon to experience these parts of the industry. This season, working on Richard's backstage team, were local stylists Rosie Dooley, Shea Morris and Sarah Linley.

As well as working backstage helping to create the runway hairstyles for some of the fashion world's top supermodels, as a surprise Richard arranged the team from The Boutique Atelier to sit on the front row of the runway and watch the catwalk show in person.

Rosie and Shea got to hobnob before the show with celebrities and the who’s who of the fashion world.

Stylist Rosie said: “This was my second time getting to work backstage for Richard at London Fashion Week, but having the chance to sit front row is something I will never forget! As well as the fabulous fashion and experience I got to meet one of my idols Jade from Little Mix!”