I’ve tried to explain WHY I do what I do, in the hope it will inspire you
Usually, if it happens at all, the creation of a new idea doesn’t happen until around 10 years of solid commitment to our craft. I had been a stylist with Vidal for about six years or so when I did this; my time had not yet come, however. It was my privilege to be chosen by Vidal on this occasion to be the “other” stylist because the accolade of creating The Greek Goddess went to Roger Thompson. Please understand that hairdressers were still setting at that time, this idea really was a milestone – the first time hair had been permed, cut and left to dry naturally! I liken this quantum leap to free falling out of an airplane. It was the start of a new era.
A couple of years later I did this – namely, The Veil. Seeing skin through fine material or even hair, I find alluring. This idea inspired many other looks at the time, right down to Jane Fonda’s hair in the film ‘Klute’. Could the Coupe Sauvage / Shake be related to this idea? I think so.
The Crop. I had met Kaye, the model, when I did promotional photos for the musical Hair when it was first launched; at that time she could then sit on her hair. I was, and still am, horrified at the news articles at the time showing a Buddhist monk in Vietnam burning himself to death as a protest to the killing in the Vietnam war. My idea was that if every woman in the UK cut off her crowning glory for peace it would be a good signal to the world. Now this didn’t go down well with the suits at Vidal Sassoon. They told Vidal it would ruin our business! He supported me, but I was gently suppressed. I remember doing this for the first time at a photo-shoot for the Times. The fashion they were showing was military fashion, and they rebranded my idea to be GI Jane, the exact opposite of why I created it. Duffy senior, the photographer, would not let me leave the studio until I cropped his hair too, a refreshing change from the Duff layers of the late 60s. I must add I think it is a good idea generally to keep politics and religion out of our work.
The Brush 1972. The first time hair had been cut to stand straight out from the head. This idea has been likened to Punk, which happened five years later, but I don’t agree with that as everything I do is about making people look better, I do have a different view about aesthetics though! I waited three or four years before the right model came along for this idea. I used candle wax (not the best thing) for help. Like so many of my ideas, the product has still not been invented to achieve my goals NB They should be “green” products and only sold in professional salons.
The Thatch, modelled by Little Nell, who went on to open the most fashionable nightclub in New York. I wanted her hair to be yellow, like a thatched roof. Before I did this, I was doing a show in Amsterdam when I took a female stagehand in her dungarees and without washing her hair I cut the first Thatch. When I finished, the Dutch audience thought I hadn’t started! That happened to me in America, too, with their B52 hairstyles of that time.
Arrows. I was inspired by the first Elizabethan period – ruffs really put all the focus on the head. But done in a contemporary way of course.