A Conversation with

Ben Skervin

You抣l be hard-pressed to find a magazine that doesn抰 have Ben Skervin抯 credit in it. In the past year alone, his handiwork has appeared on the covers of both Vogue Russia and Vogue Germany, as well as on the pages of i-D, Harper抯 Bazaar and The New York Times Style Magazine. Aside from his fashion work, Ben is also responsible for getting Keira Knightley, Kate Bosworth and Rachel Weisz red carpet-ready.

When we spoke with the New York-based stylist, he shared his favorite fall looks, which Oribe product he can抰 live without, and a few hints about what抯 next on his radar.

What prompted you to get into the industry?
When I was 15, one of my teachers at school got me tickets to a big London hair show. That's where I got the application forms for Vidal Sassoon. 

Is there such thing as a typical day for you?
If I抦 doing a magazine shoot, my day will start around 9 a.m. I抣l arrive with my massive bag of tricks. There抣l be a quick meeting about the concept, then we抣l start hair and makeup. There are usually eight to ten looks and sometimes a cover. I like to start with the cover, if possible, so everything is nice and fresh-looking.

I also often do press days with an actor. These tend to start super-early, as they抣l usually appear on a morning TV show. Arriving at their home or hotel at 5:30 a.m. is not unusual. We normally have two hours for hair and makeup before we go to the TV studios. Once finished there, we抣l do a day of press in a hotel. This is when my poor client sits in a room and is interviewed by several different people. It抯 not easy to keep saying the same thing over and over, so I try to pop in and make them laugh. Finally, we break in the afternoon to get ready for the red carpet premiere. 

One tip to transition from day to night?
A low bun or ponytail is a great way to switch up your look for the evening. Both looks are timeless and classic. 

What inspires you?
Club kids, old movies and 1940s and 50s Hollywood glam. I try to go to exhibitions, and I have lots of photo books. 

Which hair product do you swear by?
Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray.

What抯 your favorite hair trend for fall?
Slick, high, shiny ponytails and buns, as seen at the fall 2011 Louis Vuitton show.

How do you adapt to different nationalities and hair types?
I look at all hair as the same. I guess I'm lucky; I'm half Jamaican, so I grew up knowing how to deal with all types of hair. I never had that fear that other stylists have. 

What have been your most exciting recent projects?
I went to the Venice Film Festival with Keira Knightley and Marisa Tomei and the Toronto Film Festival with Keira, Marissa and Rachel Weisz. I also did the October cover of InStyle with Katy Perry. It抯 quite something.


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