10.5.12

Vidal Sassoon

I was sad to wake up to the news that Vidal Sassoon had passed away. Another icon leaves us and the realisation that the world once more loses a figure who impacted on the decades us lovers of vintage and history enjoy exploring.

Vidal Sassoon
A London boy from birth he was born in Hammersmith. With his father leaving the family when Vidal Sassoon was just a young boy, Vidal's mother, faced with the trials of single parent hood and poverty eventually placed her sons in an orphanage. She was allowed to visit them once a month until she remarried seven years later and the boys came to live with her once again. I can't even begin to imagine what it feels like as a mother to have to resort to this. It's just beyond awful.

The war meant that Vidal was one of a hundred thousand children who were evacuated from the cities to the country side. Returning to London as a teenager he eventually began a hairdressing apprenticeship at his mothers insistence. I once saw an interview with him where he said he wasn't sure about being a hairdresser at first. He didn't have an immediate love affair with hair, at the age of twenty he was in Israel fighting the 1948 Arab- Israeli war. Vidal had spent several years previous to this working against fascist groups in London.

In the interview, Vidal told that it was his mother who pushed him in to the hairdressing world, she claimed to have had a vision that this is what he should do. After training in Mayfair London, Vidal opened his first salon in 1954. The cuts Vidal went on to create became nothing short of revolutionary. His scissors were the equivalent of an artists brush, he created statement hair that didn't involve rollers and multiple cans of hair lacquer. The sixties were a whole new decade and whilst I love sitting under a dryer, he gave women the option to ditch the dryer and created cuts that he called ''wash and wear''.

Creating styles worn proudly in the fashion world, and celebrities (he created Mia Farrows pixie look for the  1968 film Rosemary's Baby ) women soon began to go for the chop and shorter hair with natural movement became the rage. Strong statement hair, but touchable and fun. Vidal went on to become a household name, eventually having many salons in England and the United States, his own product range and Vidal Sassoon Hairdressing academies all over the world.

The Nancy Kwan bob


Mia Farrow with Vidal Sassoon

Mary Quant and Vidal Sassoon. Quant called Sassoon '' The Chanel of hair''








Vidal Sassoon (17 January 1928 – 9 May 2012)
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3 comments

  1. Fab post! I watched a repeat of Vidal's interview on BBC breakfast from last year and he was such a cool guy, a sad loss. x

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  2. Yes indeed...very sad news. Thanks for the wonderful tribute post.

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  3. Sorry to here about Mr.Vidal Sassoon death. I use his hair products and the blow dryers and curling irons that he made he will be missed but always remember If you don't look good we don't look good. R.I.P.

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