Thursday, June 23, 2011

5 Minutes With Peter Gray

Photo: Sølve Sundsbø
Hair: Peter Gray

Peter Gray is known for creating sculptural hairstyles for advertising and editorial in the world's premium fashion publications.
Gray is also an emerging director of innovative music videos and short films.

Q1. How did you get into hairdressing?

I went to an all boys boarding school and ended up cutting friends hair in order that they could avoid the school barber. The first haircut I ever did I cut the chaps ear, the second time I cut his hair a few months later I cut the other ear... fortunately this hasn't happened since!

From cutting pupils I progressed to cutting staff and even the headmasters hair. When a parent who owned the biggest salon in town saw my handiwork and invited me to be a shampoo boy in school vacations, the transition from an all boys boarding school to a salon full of women... became a gap year which turned into a career...

Q2. You are known for exceptional cutting and sculptural hair. What's the most adventurous look that you've ever created?

Creating 5 yeti suits, boots and waist length wigs for the Super Furry Animals music video Golden Retriever (which I also scripted) they then went on to use the costumes in their live performances for the next 12 months of touring.

Under wraps still: I recently helmed a campaign for L'Oreal Professioneel which comprised some of my most adventurous work yet, this is due for release shortly.

Q3. Your formative years were spent in Manchester during the Acid House explosion. What was that like?

300 days of rain per year created a fertile ground to cultivate and nurture my imagination and love of film, literature and music. Between the exploding music scene and club culture, amazing opportunities and influences opened which led me to the path that I am now on.

Q4. You've recently moved into directing music videos. Can you tell us about the 3 videos of Super Furry Animals singer Gruff Rhys.

Between a twisted sense of humour, a glut of imagination and the need for another creative outlet I came up with a series of completely different concepts tied together with character threads that are satires on certain societal conventions; a tele novella series on acid, brought to fruition with a fantastic team and a supremely addled and deranged editor: Billy Rainey

Q5. Give us a really off the wall anecdote/story. Something that not many people will know about-could be about anything related to your work in video or hair.

During a fashion shoot with a prominent celeb there was an uncomfortable moment as she was asked to remove a rather intimate body piercing as it was creating an 'odd' reflection on the image, she turned on set, removed it and handed it to me without missing a beat, and then accidentally left with me as a keep sake...

Honey All Over - Directed by Peter Gray

In the latest installment of director Peter Gray's Hotel Shampoo hallucinatory faux aspirational tele novela video series, Gruff Rhys plays a despotic honey manufacturer, who's fall into greed and decadence eventually leads to his dismissal as CEO of the Honey Cult board of directors. Gray takes aim at religion, cults, royalty and druids in one satirical video punch shot in Wales, London and the sickest recesses of his mind.

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