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Kevin Murphy took a trip through time in his styling of the designer series at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, creating eclectic hair designs that were variously inspired by the Victorian Gothic era, 50s greasers style, a 1940s Southern European Gypsy look and a 70s bohemian festival vibe. Following on from his French Baroque inspired runway show that opened the event, Murphy and his team of Session.Stylists kept the audience on their toes with unique embellishments and vintage concepts made modern for the wealth of designers on show.

Designer Runway Show 1 on September 2nd thematically channelled a Victorian Gothic revival, in a beautiful look comprised of a wispy ethereal braid embellished with a key. This delicate style perfectly suited fashion looks by designers including Anaessia, Aurelio Costarella, Carla Zampatti, Dom Bagnato, Gwendolynne, Jasongrech, Nicolangëla and Michael Lo Sordo. The romantic look was cleverly detailed, playful and innovative, with classically inspired styling that enhanced the soft, feminine fashion looks.


“I was inspired by Caraviggio’s interpretation of Judith and the Victorian Gothic revival and Melbourne has such a variety of those buildings. We used a key in the hair to add a touch of the ornate and unexpected,” Hair Director Kevin Murphy explained. “There is a slight nod to the 40s in the shape of the hair, but the silhouette is very small and wispy.”

Michael Lo Sordo (2)

Murphy’s second look, for designers such as Alice McCall, Carly Hunter, Kahlo, LIFEwithBIRD, Lui Hon, Manning Cartell, Neo Dia, Willow and YB J’Aime’s in Designer Runway Show 2, couldn’t have diverted further from this premise, inspired by the slick greaser look of the 1950s. The edgy ensembles and feminine silhouettes created by the designers were perfectly complemented by a retro-inspired pulled back, wet look that had plenty of intricate detail at the back of the hair. This was accompanied by a dark, bold lip that made it even sultrier.


“I was inspired by the shapes of the 1950s greasers and the fresh look when hair is pulled back and wet in summer,” said Murphy. “The clothing is a mix of toughness and femininity and I wanted the hair to reflect that, with a pulled back look, with pieces falling out.”

Alice McCall 300

Murphy’s look for Designer Runway Show 3 again employed historical references, motivated by a 1940s Southern European Gypsy aesthetic. Suiting the chic, refined tailoring and elegant silhouettes of esteemed designers Akira, Arthur Galan AG, Calibre, Christine, Jason Brunsdon, Megan Park, Nevenka, Nicola Finetti, Thurley and Yeojin Bae, the hair styling employed structured waves to complement vibrant prints along with bold, orange lips and smokey eyes.

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“I looked at the hair of the Southern European Gypsies in the 1940s, and while I didn’t want the look to be too nostalgic, I wanted to emulate the humble silhouette of a Gypsy woman with a simple shape and the use of braids at the nape area,” Murphy explained.

Runway 3 backstage021

Murphy finished his conceptual trip through the eras with a contemporary look for Designer Runway Show 4 on the 5th of September. The relaxed, bohemian look had a messy, festival aura, an effortless finish to modern, bright designs by Above., Leonard St., Búl, Chorus, Gorman, Kuwaii, Limedrop, Livia Arena, Matcho Suba and Tettmann.Doust. Taking elements from boho hair styles of the 70s and 80s, Murphy modernised the look to suit current trends. The final fashion looks were completed with fun, heart-shaped sunglasses and a colour palette of vivid and clashing hues.

KM MSFW 4 (2)

“This look was inspired by the emergence of festival dressing. Festival has become a genre and has its roots in hippie,” Murphy said. “The idea behind the look is a young girl who puts her hair up at the beginning of a festival but as the day goes by she lets her hair go.”


In a diverse portfolio that delighted Melbourne’s fashion obsessed, the KEVIN.MURPHY session team created a historical hair showcase that was one for the ages.

Get Look One:

STEP1: Prime the hair with STAYING.ALIVE to even out porosity
STEP 2: Prep the hair with HAIR.RESORT Spray, and divide hair into four even sections
STEP 3: Using a large curling iron, create a slight bend in the hair
STEP 4: Create a middle part and loosely braid each side of the hair
STEP 5: Sew the loose braids into a tight style, finishing with a fishtail braid that meets in the middle nape of the neck
STEP 6: Finish the hair with SESSION.SPRAY, SUPER.GOO, and SHIMMER.BUG


Get Look Three:

STEP1: Prime wet hair with SHIMMER.SHINE for a hydrated surface
STEP2: Prep the hair with HAIR.RESORT Spray and BODY.BUILDER
STEP3: Pull the lower section of hair away and separate into two low ponytails at the nape of the neck
STEP4: Use a large curling tong on the top sections of hair to create a combination of wavy, straight and messy texture
STEP5: Secure the hair with clips as it cools down to set
STEP6: Braid the ponytails, then roll the braid into a coil securing to the nape and sewing tight with thread
STEP7: Finish the hair with SESSION.SPRAY, pulling a few wisps of hair out at the front for a textured finish

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