Anthony and Pat Mascolo have been working together for over 25 years. Their enduring partnership is based on an absolute respect for each other and a mutual desire to constantly push their creativity forwards. Each of the pair enjoys working with young people; nurturing them and helping them fulfil their goals.
As a result, Bed Head Studio, their south London base, has become a 'hot-house' for ambitious young hairdressers, fashion stylists, makeup artists, photographers and video editors. To try and keep up with all the projects that Mr and Mrs Mascolo have in hand is a daunting task and, as a result, the most often displayed program on the office main computer is the organizer which shows a somewhat confusing time-line of differing shades to mark each team member's schedule.
When Anthony took over the role of TIGI Creative Director, he was unsure where it would lead him and certainly saw himself veering towards the business rather than the artistic side of the business. With this new challenge, Pat firmly believed that Anthony had to become even more creative and, in her own quiet way, encouraged and supported her husband as he grew into his new role. It was fortuitous that leaving his home one morning Anthony saw the offices right outside his entrance were vacant. Deciding to have a look inside he was gob-smacked when he discovered a space big enough for an office and photographic studio. Within weeks, Bed Head Studio was born and Anthony was back on track.
Anthony's passion for photography has enabled him to offer a great service to TIGI salons. The shooting schedule at the studio is one that most professional photographers would envy and as the demand has increased Anthony has expanded his team so that he now has a permanent 'retoucher' at hand and three photographers working with him, as well as a photographic assistant, video editor and video director. Where possible Pat works with Anthony to create the makeup looks for his shoots and the pair are able to offer the hairdressers working with them a wealth of advice and creative direction.
Pat has developed her own team at the studio. They assist her with the day to day administration and also organize model castings, assist with styling and makeup and help her maintain the constantly changing diary. Bed Head Studio has been open for nearly two years and already space has run short. Meetings often move to the nearby Ransome's Dock Restaurant, whilst Anthony and Pat have moved a lot of their own work into their home. Nigel, Pat's black half-Burmese kitten has decided he too wants to be part of the Bed Head team and so, yet another youthful creature has sneaked into their daily lives, slinking around the studio and demanding caresses from anyone and everyone.
So what is it like being the wife and 'muse' of the legendary Anthony Mascolo?
"We are very different in some ways, but very similar in others," Pat says. "I am much quieter, but then it would be impossible if we were both like Anthony. No one is as loud as him! I like to read and do the Evening Standard crossword, whilst Anthony is shouting about something, watching football and constantly on the phone. Anthony is very generous and very kind, always designing something or planning something. He has the ideas, but I tell him if I think they are good or not -and if they are good, then we'll work on them together."
How did you 'get together'?
"I was part of the Art Team and we used to travel together all the time. For a long time we were friends and then eventually we started going out and then got married."
How did you get into makeup?
"I had been on lots of photo shoots and always liked watching the makeup artists. Then when Anthony started to experiment with photography, I decided to learn makeup. One day I went out and bought a box, filled it up with makeup and started practicing. I found I had a real passion for it and soon after I decided to focus on makeup instead of hair. It still gives me enormous pleasure and really pushes me artistically. I am constantly on the look out for new ideas."
Do you create the makeup for all Anthony's shows?
"I really love to work with Anthony, but I also love my kids and during term time, I try hard not to go away. I do the makeup for all the important shows in the USA and for events like Salon International, but we have other makeup artists who work with me, both here in the UK and in the USA.
Each year I design the makeup looks for the collections and the shows. I do this with Anthony, Nick and Akos, our main hairdressers and Jiv our fashion stylist. We all work out ideas together and then the complete image for each section of the show gets photographed so that other people can follow the designs. Over the last 2 years we've become a very strong creative team and have a great buzz when we work together. Last year we developed an idea of an 'homage' to Helmut Newton. We first did a shoot for 'Culture' -an Australian magazine; then we recreated the looks for a series of shows. Each time we do this section in one of the shows there is a new development on the theme. That keeps the work exciting and fresh."
Anthony often refers to his wife as "Mama" - a term of endearment that shows, in a typically Italian way, that he holds her in the highest position of respect within his family. She is often seen at his side, but with such an outgoing personality for a husband, it is harder to know the 'real Pat Mascolo'. ...So, is she the real boss?
"Absolutely" says Anthony. "Let's face it, I have all the mad ideas, but if she doesn't like what I want to do, then she makes it very plain and it's often easier not to go ahead! We have a brilliant relationship. We share every aspect of our lives. Our family is very important to us and we make sure we have time for our kids and time for each other. At work she is a tremendous support. She really assesses the situation and I couldn't have gotten through the last few years without her help. ….And of course she's a brilliant makeup artist. She just gets on with it and every time comes up with some fantastic ideas. We are just the best team ever!"
So what projects are you working on now?
"Two years ago I was feeling pretty confused about my direction and I have to say, in some ways I'm quite surprised how everything has developed. But, at the end of the day you have to do what you know best and utilize that. In our case that means education, creating photographic collections and inspiring others."
When you began your role, working solely for TIGI, some people thought you were going to move to the USA. Was that in the equation and how do you work with the team there?
"We have a home in Dallas, but it was never in our mind to live there. Our children go to school here, Pat's parents live here and we like the buzz of London. I go to the USA regularly and Bruno and I speak every day. We spend time there on the summer holidays and usually do our main photo collections there, but it's not where we're at, especially creatively. I've got my own agenda here and I like that, but I also welcome Bruno's support and he equally likes to have my bit of creative input. I think a bit differently to the others around him."
So what's next for you?
"I've got a lot of work to do making sure that we offer salons the absolute in support, education and image. My idea for Bed Head Boutiques is coming to fruition and our retail sales of both hair products and cosmetics is going exactly how we want it too. I want to make the buying of products from the professional the norm and the choice of the public.
My other focus is education and training. I wasn't planning to develop an education program; I thought I'd done all that, but that was probably a bit stupid on my part as I firmly believe if you don't keep learning then you die! We've got so much we can teach others about and we love sharing what we know. I'm the worst person at keeping a secret, so if I've got a new idea then I want to tell everyone about it.
We're planning to expand our education here in the UK, establishing a base near Bed Head Studio. We've already opened a 'state of the art' school in southern Italy with a multi-lingual international team and the courses there are constantly booked up.
Nick Irwin, my European Creative Director and Akos Bodi my Educational Director are really strong in leading all the other hairdressers. I'm very proud of their creative and technical ideas. They do most of the work for the major shows and are increasingly becoming the front men. In fact, it has got to the point where I know I'm not actually needed - the shows will be good without me! With Pat, I'm concentrating on making the image amazing. We've shot some fantastic pictures recently which really reinforces the product usage."
So are you two cooking up any other ideas?
"Always!" Anthony smiles. "In fact we really are 'cooking up' a new idea. We've got so many photographers who want to work with us, we're launching out own photographic agency and it's called 'Bed Head Oven'."
Do they have plans to calm down and lead a quieter life we wonder?
They both look at each other…"We've got plans to have a very long summer holiday this year and we really want to push other people forwards and take a step back ourselves, even though we'll always be there supporting our team, but they are only plans…Anthony is one of those people who likes to change his mind!" Pat says.
As always Anthony has to have the last word!
"There are some things I'm sure of….we've just bought the apartment next to ours and I'm having a lot of fun redesigning the space, so that's keeping me busy outside of work. But I want to see Bed Head and Catwalk become globally recognized brands, so we've got a lot of work still to do, before we retire to our Caribbean Island and laze on the beach all day."
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