How to Easily Create an Avant-Garde Up-Do

For the final instalment of Session Kit's tutorials, we learn how to style special occasion hair worthy of the Prada runway

TextHannah TindleFilm DirectionGeorge HarveyPhotographic EditorHolly Hay

Session Kit is the home of fashion-led hairstyling essentials. Founded by Anna Chapman, a London-based session stylist and assistant in Guido Palau’s core team, the online store was born from the frustration of being unable to easily get hold of the best products used backstage for shows and photoshoots. AnOther has enlisted Chapman to produce a series of tutorials, demonstrating how to recreate editorial-worthy hair at home.

The special occasion up-do is a style often associated with the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O, and as such it runs the risk of appearing overly groomed and outdated, not to mention being intensely fiddly to execute. Anna Chapman, founder of Session Kit, has a solution to both of these predicaments; her avant-garde iteration of an up-do is not only worthy of a Prada runway, but also easy to recreate at home alone. “I just feel it’s something that’s missing,” she says of how methods for achieving complex editorial looks have skipped the consumer market. “There’s so much interest in what session stylists are doing backstage, but there isn’t any follow-up, unlike the way in which make-up has trickled down into the mainstream.” 

Chapman decided to take matters into her own hands, sourcing and stocking unusual products on her web store in order to make them accessible to both fellow session stylists and consumers alike. In particular the sought-after Geisha hair padding, a tool which is difficult to find due to the waning tradition in Japanese culture, can be utilised to create a wealth of structures and shapes, rendering it the perfect solution for a DIY up-do. Here, she demonstrates how to use it for an easy and ultra modern look that will turns heads at any wedding, christening or bar mitzvah.


  1. L’Oréal Professionnel Crêpage de Chignon
  2. Geisha Hair Padding
  3. Paris Pins – Style 3
  4. Mason Pearson Brush
  5. Paris Pins – Style 5
  6. L’Oréal Elnett
  7. Setting Net

Hair by Anna Chapman; Hair Stylist Assistant Pricilla Pilling; Make-Up by Bobana Parojcic using Nars; Model Julia at Next; Production Lock Studios.