PEOPLE: Explore the dreamlike creations of Tokyo headpiece designer Takayuki Shibata
Interview: Emma de Clercq
Images: Takahiro Ogawa
Portrait Image: Saeho Kim
Special Thanks: Takayuki Shibata
Takayuki Shibata’s endlessly inventive approach to his craft has seen him make waves in the hair and fashion world. The Japanese hairstylist and headpiece designer, whose clients include FKA twigs and Ellie Goulding, regularly contributes to titles including Vogue, Elle, Dazed, L’Officiel, Tush and SHOWstudio. Whether working with hair, or creating an elaborate headpiece out of flower petals, he manipulates his given materials to create expertly crafted pieces which are dynamic and wildly beautiful.
Growing up, Shibata was originally on course to becoming a fashion designer, and would organise small independent fashion shows alongside a group of like-minded creatives. With limited budgets, he gradually became involved with all aspects of the production, branching into hair and make-up. “I didn’t have skills in that department so I just cheated the hair and make-up quality by creating headpieces with fabric, and graphic make-up which wouldn’t show up the fact that I wasn’t a professional” Shibata recalls. “After the shows, everyone told me how much they loved the hair and make-up, I got more compliments for that than clothes! One of my best friends suggested that I should think about becoming a hairstylist, and I was like ‘OK!’”
Shibata began his career at a hair salon in Tokyo, before moving to London to work with renowned hairstylist Peter Gray. In 2016 he co-founded PAPERS, an independent hair salon in Tokyo, where he leads the brand’s creative direction. We caught up with Shibata to discuss his recent inspirations.
Current favourite hair trend? Washed out colours. Especially if it’s not supposed to be / accidentally happened.
What is your most unlikely source of inspiration? Words. Every single word has meaning. The meaning forms beautiful shapes in my mind.
Whose hair, dead or alive, would you most like to get your hands on? British monarchs. I’d like to create a fashion story of all British monarchs on one page with super punk / crazy hair styles.
Any words of advice for aspiring hairstylists? Impossible doesn’t exist.
Sum up your relationship with hair in 3 words. Tom and Jerry, the American cartoon. Most of time we are chasing each other, sometimes we get along very well.