A Greek hair stylist currently living in London, the work of Panos Papandrianos has been highlighted by some of the world’s biggest fashion magazines and when he sat down to talk to us, he dove into the elegant and polymorphic nature of hair as well how fashion has stifled spontaneity over the past few years.
By Efi Alevizou
#1. Tell me a few things about you. How did you get your start? How did London come into your life? What are some of the magazines you’ve worked for?
I’ve always been fascinated by how malleable and polymorphic hair is, there are so many shapes, shades and textures to be found. It’s a canvas within which you can do whatever you want. Turning back the clock, I remember being in my mother’s arms and her scolding me, because I couldn’t stop touching people’s hair. I remember playing around with techniques and colors, without even having the knowledge to do so, with my cousin being the helpless guinea pig. She started out with this head of fine, brown hair , which took on all sorts of colors and lengths. The rest of my family soon fell into the same trap.
With my father’s encouragement, which was rare at the time, I enrolled in a hairdressing school and I have to thank him for that. I started working in hair salons, but I was later sucked into the advertising world and eventually moved in the direction of my dream realm, that of fashion.
Ultimately, a need to leave Greece built itself inside me, to the point where my destination wasn’t even the issue. I decided on London as the ideal city for me, even though I knew it was a massive challenge and not just a professional one. I had to deal with the weather for a start! Over the past seven years, I’ve worked with some truly established titles that include the Italian, Russian, British, Japanese, Australian, Turkish and Spanish editions of Vogue, Popmagazine, Lovemagazine, Ten, i-D, Dazed and Confused, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, V Magazine, Numero, L’Officiel and many, many more.
#2. Could you provide us with your definition of fashion?
For me, fashion is a game between the dream world and reality, that affects and is affected by the social and historic events of each time.
#3. How does fashion differ from style?
Fashion is a passing trend, whereas style, if you have it that is, is forever.
#4. I read your name online next these words: “Britain’s golden scissors, from Victoria Beckham to Anna Vissi”. Your thoughts?
I don’t know how to respond to that. I’m kind of expecting a call from her Majesty, surely there’s a title involved. I obviously work very hard towards everything I do and so far that has done me well. I also consider myself fortunate to have worked with both of these ladies, since they are always open to changes in their image.
#5. Is there a massive difference between working with models and working with celebrities?
Oh for sure. With celebrities you have to deal with the image they want to project, whereas models allow you to work with the image that the creative team you’re working with wants to present.
#6. Can you highlight some of the major changes in the fashion world over the last decade?
In the past, fashion didn’t really have any limits of artistic expression, whereas over the last decade, perhaps due to the global crisis and the marketing trends, spontaneity and creativity have been stifled.
#7. Why isn’t fashion affected in times of financial recession?
Because if we consider fashion to be an art form, then the arts tend to flourish in times of crisis. Maybe it provides an escape from reality.
#8. Can fashion save the world and if so, how can it do that?
Fashion can’t save the world, but it can save a moment.
#9. What makes the fashion industry such a different area to work in, compared to other industries? Is it as magical as it looks?
The main difference the fashion industry has from other industries is that it gets so much attention and this elitist way of life is really highlighted. It’s a professional field where big bad wolves, snow whites, queens, evil witches and many, many little pigs try and co-exist. I think that any field of professional interest is magical, if you do something you love. Personally, I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.