While many hairstylists transition to virtual tutorials and styling sessions to help legions of women worldwide deal with the aesthetic realities of self-isolation, Sam McKnight has some poignant advice for our times: “Don’t cut your own hair! You have
enough stress,” advises the London-based editorial superstar who is responsible for the backstage hair at Chanel (Fall’s sublime, 70s-era French girl texture was his doing) and whose own eponymous line of easy-to-use stylers is a good investment for Zoom-ready, DIY adjustments. “There is going to be a crazy rush to the hairdresser’s,” McKnight predicts of that fateful day when social distancing regulations are reduced. For now, however, he is leaning into the house-bound hand that life has dealt us all. “I’m just trying to slow down, and be aware of the moment,” he says. “I'm getting up in the morning, doing about 45 minutes of exercise, a bit of cooking and cleaning, and then I’ll be in the garden.”
McKnight’s garden in North London, which he began working on 9 years ago, has become the stuff of Instagram legend of late, as posts of his hyacinths, peonies and some of the most exquisite tulips this editor has seen outside of a Miho Kosuda delivery frequently outperform runway content. Those tulips don't just happen, he insists. “I have made some...expensive mistakes,” McKnight says with a laugh, revealing that his green thumb is the result of gardening books, Google searches, and good friends, including the garden designer Jo Thompson who has been a reliable source for tips and tricks. “It’s always a work in progress, though,” he says modestly. Here, McKnight shares some advice for gardening neophytes hoping to get back in touch with nature as we all look for ways to stay grounded and calm during the coronavirus pandemic—whether your own piece of nature is a private yard, or a fire-escape window box.