Models are gathered backstage at Saks Potts AW23  show

Exclusive: Gwyneth Paltrow was the '90s hair inspo for Saks Potts' show

By Josefin Forsberg

Photo: Frederik Kastrupsen

For hair stylist Cim Mahony, sleek '90s hair was the north star for the models of Saks Potts' AW23 runway. Here, Mahony gives Vogue Scandinavia a rare glimpse behind the scenes while preparing for the show

This season, Saks Potts set out to really put on a show. Inviting guests to the famous Tivoli Gardens concert hall, co-founders and creative directors Catherine Saks and Barbara Potts kicked off proceedings with literal fanfare: the Tivoli Guard orchestra lining the aisles in full regalia and playing an overture for the show to come.


What followed was a celebration of family in all its forms, literal and figurative. The garments – all suited to family-centric activities – had nostalgic ties for the designers: driving to Potts’ summerhouse in the north of Copenhagen, listening to songs from the late '90s. “Our brand is so personal,” Potts told Vogue Scandinavia's print editor Allyson Shiffman ahead of the show “It’s Saks Potts, it’s our last names.”

Creative directors Catherine Saks and Barbara Potts have just finished their speech ahead of the AW23 show

Photo: Frederik Kastrupsen

Lookboard backstage at Saks Potts AW23 show

Photo: Frederik Kastrupsen

Models gather backstage before the Saks Potts show

Photo: Frederik Kastrupsen

Furthermore, hair stylist Cim Mahony received a mood board consisting of group photos of families around the world and "nothing else." "At the fitting we had a discussion about what family means to all of us and in particularly Barbara and Cathrine, having both recently had babies for the first time," Mahony shares. As usual, the Saks Potts cast was a diverse group of personalities, with friends, influencers, artists and models counted in the line up. "This time some even brought their kids on the catwalk," Mahony notes.

When interpreting the moodboard for the collection, Mahony drew heavily on references that are deeply rooted in the DNA of Saks Potts. "The late '90s and early '00s, women like Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler and Amber Valletta who all at that time embodied a youthful elegance," he counts off. Women who have been imprinted into the two designers' minds. "It was a time before social media when big events like the Oscars and the Globes carried more mystery to them," continues Mahony. "When stars tried to create beauty looks that were designed for lasting image building, not a quick Insta flash."

Models get their hair done ahead of the Saks Potts show

Photo: Frederik Kastrupsen

Hair products and Dyson tools are laid out for the hair stylers backstage at Saks Potts AW23 show

Photo: Frederik Kastrupsen

Model wears braids in a bun backstage at Saks Potts AW23 show

Photo: Frederik Kastrupsen

As for achieving the look, Mahony relied heavily on Dyson's Corrale straightener. First the hair stylists backstage used the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and Protein spray from Less is More and a round brush for "a little lift at the roots," as Mahony puts it. "Then we ran the Dyson Corrale straightener through the hair, leaving the body at the roots intact, creating a natural glossy effect on the lengths." Finishing off with the supersonic using the flyaway attachment, baby hairs were kept in place with a spritz of Oribe's superfine hairspray and the sleek '90s 'do completed.

"Some models we put the hair in a classic bun and some we left free flowing," Mahony continues. For very curly or afro hair the texture was left natural, with some models getting their hair braided. "For Afro and braiding techniques we had expert Samtwo fly in from Paris," says Mahony. "She was in charge of our brilliant braid team."

Below, from backstage, Mahony talks us through the process behind the no-fuzz, frizz free styling and the products that you can snag to achieve the look yourself.

Watch Mahony delve into the hair of Saks Potts

Hair & Visuals production: Cim Mahony & the Studio Cim Mahony team using Dyson
Make up: Rikke Dengsø
Photography: Frederik Kastrupsen
DOP: Emile Sadria

Get Saks Potts' sleek '90s 'do courtesy of Cim Mahony

Supersonic hairdryer


Corrale Straightener


BN1 Popular Hairbrush

Mason Pearson

Pulse Brush in Grey


Protein Spray 150 ml

Less is More