Tomihiro Kono

When we saw this beautiful series of headpieces by miliner and hairstylist, Tomihiro Kono, photographed by Sayaka, and created for those wonderful musical rarities, The Irrepressibles, we wanted to find out more.

Can you explain your view on the relationship between art and hair?

My experience as a hair stylist has been 12 years so far. I spent so much time on hair cutting and styling. I found it very interesting to create hair almost like a sculpture. I work as a hair stylist for fashion, music and art but I can work flexibly depends on client.

Tell us about the head pieces you have created in these images for the Irrepressibles?

The Irrepressibles are a band with 10 members in total and the title of their performance in London and Paris was ‘LIGHT AND SHADOW’ so I made them inspired from the idea of light and shadow. I wanted to play material and texture and we have to think about lighting and position of instrumental and space for position for each person. And very important things is character – I needed to bring out character each person has .

Why did you chose a nude model to showcase your collections?

She is my best model to wear my head pieces I think. I found her on the street around shorditch then we start working together since. Because I can concentrate just head balances which is more important for me to make it art. Nude is most beautiful thing I believe and also what is good about it is its simplicity and beauty. I’m just thinking head balances with human body.

Some of your pieces are quite dark, almost controversial and sometimes erotic, for example the spiked Dominatrix head piece that covers the wearer’s eyes.

I find beauty in the darkness rather than something which is just simply beautiful/pretty. It has more depth. Like human being, things always have both dark and light side. I want to express something like that.

You moved to London in 2007. How have to adjusted to living in the UK?

Things has not been as easy as it sounds. It wasn’t really escalator life I’m still surviving. But I believe the reason why I could have adjusted to my lifestyle now is that I have been making experimental head pieces and shooting a lot with my partner / photographer Sayaka who came to London with me. We’ve been working together as artists since we both were in Japan and that’s why I have more work than other people. I think it helps a lot being both an artist and hair stylist when I’m in fashion industry. People respect and interest in my work.

Do you miss home? Is you latest photography project, ‘Japan- Avant Garde’ a comforting reminder?

Not really. people are so creative and friendly here I’m almost have no time to think i miss home now. The project is not really a comforting reminder for us. What is very interesting is that when we were in Japan, we never thought of making art work influenced by Japanese culture. We used to be influenced by European culture and history. But now that we are outside japan and we feel like Japan has mysterious beauty in their culture. Japan Avant Garde is still an ongoing project.

Finally, considering you have covered almost every creative media there is, what’s next for 2010?

Well, Theo Adams company are planning to do premier show from 30th November and then a world tour and I’m directing hair and head props. I’ve also been looking for a strong designer who would like me to make head pieces for LFW. I think we can make very strong conceptual show together. I want to be pioneer as a hair and head prop artist in fashion and art industry. Because I’m not just hair stylist and not just milliner. There are so many possibilities. For example, START in Shoreditch have asked me to do their window displays, so I’m also looking for any new things that can use my skill.

For more information on Tomihiro Kono see For information on The Irrepressibles see

words by Rachael Adams

all headdreses by Tomihiro Kono

photographer Sayaka

hair Tomi (

model Georgia


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