R.I.P. VIDAL SASSOON
Vidal Sassoon died yesterday at the age of 84, but he will be forever remembered for his trademark and revolutionary sharp bowl haircuts which instantly made short hair fashionable, and finally freed women from sleeping in hair rolls, or from spending hours getting their hair done into unpractical beehives.
“My idea was to cut shape into the hair, to use it like fabric and take away everything that was superfluous. Women were going back to work, they were assuming their own power. They didn’t have time to sit under the dryer anymore.” He said in his interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1993.
He was the first hairstylist to become a celebrity in his own right and his most famous clients are women who shaped the imaginary of the swinging London in the sixties. Many of those women are hands down some of my favourite style icons E-V-E-R !!!
1) PEGGY MOFFITT: the “FIVE POINT” haircut.
Peggy Moffitt you rock my world! - Model and actress, she was an outstanding personality in the 60’s fashion scene: her unique look was made immediately recognisable by her sharp asymmetric bowl haircut that became known as the “FIVE POINT”. She always themed it with kabuki inspired heavy eye make up and fake eyelashes. So cool!
Peggy made a name for herself by modelling bathing suits designed by Rudi Gernreich…
…and at some point she made international headlines, when she was photographed by her husband William Claxton wearing the famous topless monokini (above). Super sexxxxy!
2) TWIGGY !!! The face of 1966.
Such an iconic portrait! It made Twiggy’s breaktrough in 1966, it was shot by legendary photographer Barry Lategan and it is now exhibited at the V&A museum in London. Twiggy was scouted while working as a shampooist in a hair salon, her look stood out as it was so androgynous thanks to her boyish haircut, which she themed with 3 layers of fake eyelashes. She also painted additional ones at the bottom of her eyes.
This look is to this day one of the most imitated and it has been constantly reinterpreted. It also inspired one of the cover stories of i-D magazine recently shot by Richard Bush.
3) MARY QUANT: the “PIXIE” cut!
Mary Quant is not only the godmother of MOD culture, but first of all a pioneer of fashion! She is the designer who started a revolution by inventing the mini-skirt, the garment that above all expressed the liberated spirit of the “Chelsea girls” in the sixties. Also, without Mary Quant there wouldn’t have been any hot pants, plastic umbrellas and graphic print tights…!
She was not only an outstanding creative talent but also possessed a sharp business sense: together with Barbara Ulanicki (the founder of BIBA) Quant was one of the first to come up with the idea that it was possible to create ready to wear fashion accessible to all women, not only the wealthy bunch. It was the beginning of high street fashion!
Enterpreneur, designer and pioneer of 60’s design: she was the embodiment of the independent, empowered and busy woman of her era. Vidal Sassoon well interpreted the shift in the lifestyle and needs of women like her.
He gave Mary Quant a haircut that was as edgy as her own designs: it was a short angular sculpted bob which he called the “PIXIE” haircut. It became trademark of the MOD style.
Mary Quant getting her hair done by Vidal Sassoon: a mod icon was born!
4) MIA FARROW’s short crop: minimal & chic-issimo!
On the set of the horror movie “Rosemary’s Baby” Vidal Sassoon gave actress Mia Farrow a super short crop, that totally made her look for her very first leading film role and propelled Sassoon into international stardom as well. It was the year 1968.
Forty years on I think this hairstyle is so timeless, beautiful and super-chic. It will always be in style!
Below: actress Emma Watson sporting a Farrow-esque short haircut in 2010.
Below: Sassoon cutting Farrow’s hair on the set of the movie Rosemary’s Baby. Her outstanding performance made this into a cult-movie of its genre and won her the “Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year”.
I think Vidal Sassoon “changed the world with a pair of scissors” because, like all the best creative people, he was able to grasp the spirit of his time and translate it into something that people wanted as part of their own everyday life….As it expressed their way of living and thinking. What a great inspiration he will always be!