1960's Music The Beatles, Carnaby Street, love London, Mods & Rockers, The Sixties, Vintage Clothes, Vintage Hair & Makeup, Vintage London, vintagehair, Vintagemakeup

Sassoon: Changed the world with a pair of scissors.

Vidal Sassoon’s legacy is a truly “Rags to Riches” story.

Vidal was born into poverty in London’s East End in 1928 and by the time of his death in Los Angeles, in 2012 he owned a multi million dollar international corporation.

His father left the family when he was 3 years of age, his mother was then evicted so begged a Jewish orphanage to take him, which is where he lived from the age of 5 until he was 11 when war broke out and he was evacuated. When he was 14 he came back to London and got a job as a glove cutter, then another job as a messenger boy, riding his bike around war torn London.

After the war he secured a 2 year apprenticeship in a small hairdressers shop in Whitechapel as a shampoo boy. He tried to gain employment at “Raymond’s” hairdressers(stylist to the stars of the time) but was turned away because of his cockney accent, later to return after 3years of elocution lessons.

In 1954 he opened his own small salon in Bond Street, London, with only 8 clients on the first day. He was doing traditional hairdressing with curls and back combing to give it shape but he wasn’t content, he wanted to be creative and spent the next few years trying out new styles that were sleek, cut at angles and geometrically pleasing to the eye after studying the bone structure of each face. Vidal worked hard, often 14 hours a day perfecting his skills, a lot of his inspiration came from architecture with its defined shapes.

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Two years later he moved to bigger premises in Bond Street and changed the appearance completely of the traditional salon, it looked more like an art gallery than a hair salon, open plan with large windows down to the floor, from outside you could see ladies having there hair styled, something quite unheard of at that time. He had large pictures on the wall of different hair cuts that could be seen from the street.

In 1957 the fashion designer Mary Quant stopped to view the pictures then walked in to make an appointment to have her hair cut. That was the beginning of a long friendship and working collaboration between two designers, one of fashion and one of hairdressing.

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Vidal received a call from a film company asking him to cut the film star Nancy Kwan’s hair. Her hair was 4ft long when she entered his salon and cut into one of his famous geometric shapes when she came out but not before she had been photographed. That photo went on the cover of Vogue magazine in England, USA and Italy then in all the newspapers.

Vidal cut the fashion models hair, Grace Coddington into his famous 5 point cut which appeared on Queen magazine in 1960. Later in 1968 he cut Mia Farrow’s hair for her staring role in the film Rosemary’s Baby. Goldie Hawn’s hair was cut into a bob cut in 1969 by Vidal.

He opened the Vidal Sassoon Master Academy, youngsters came from all over Europe to attend, then from Africa, Japan and the Far East to learn how to cut hair from the master.

During 1965 he open a salon in Maddison Avenue, New York and spent the next 10years traveling between London and New York. 1973 saw the launch  of his products range, being the first stylist to bring hair products to the High Street, they soon went global. He later moved to Los Angeles where he settled, although he regularly came back to Great Britain.

The Queen awarded him a CBE in 2009 shortly before he was diagnosed with Leukaemia, which was to claim his life in 2012.

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I hope you have found this interesting.
Love Betty …..X

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Vintage Hair & Makeup

Goodwood Revival 2015

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I was honoured to be asked to join the hair and make-up team this year at this prestigious event ‘The Goodwood Revival’ a highlight on anyone’s vintage calendar. The ladies flocked to the salon to be styled and glammed up for the day, victory rolls, eyeliner flicks, beehives anything retro goes!  For anyone who hasn’t been before, this festival is certainly not to be missed: vintage stalls, vintage racing cars, old fashioned fairground rides, vintage clothing, its like stepping back in time…. X

 

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1960's Music The Beatles

Beatlemania ! ….. X

John, Paul, George and Ringo – Ordinary names ( well perhaps not Ringo), I could have written Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr, it would have made no difference as everyone would know who they were! Four young lads from humble beginnings living in Liverpool in the late fifties who came together through their love of making music.

 

They earned a “few bob” during 1961 by playing in the Cavern Club in Liverpool. For anyone who hasn’t visited the Cavern Club, it is not large, plush and expensive but small, dark and dingy, yet it became famous for being the place they were discovered by Brian Epstein who became their manager.

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On 17th October 1962 they appeared to the nation on British Television (black and white of course) in their matching suits with round necks, no lapels or double breasted as in previous era’s! And they had “Long Hair” cut so strangely, no short back and sides. In actual fact they caused a sensation by looking so unconventional !! and their music, well, nothing like it had ever been heard before!

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Young men grew their hair to have it styled like them, young girls screamed and danced to their music, photo’s of them took over all the teen magazines and they became headline news in the papers – and so was the birth of “BEATLEMANIA”.

 

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Vintage London

Mary Quant…. X

One of my all time favourite icons Mary Quant.

Mary Quant was credited with many revolutionary developments which included the mini skirt, tights dyed in bright solid colours, and use of plastics and PVC, she presented a complete corporate identity made instantly recognisable through her daisy logo. In the early days Quants designs were garments were only worn by the audacious. In 1962 the mass market and commercial potential of Quants designs were recognised by America she signed a lucrative deal with department store J.C Penny to design ranges for their vast ranges of shops. A year later her clothes were offered to a wider range of the public in Britain and she set up a diffusion label ‘Ginger Group’ which was available in over 160 department stores, in further development to her branding, Quant designed minimal underwear her ‘youthlines’ range and the followed by her Mary Quant brand of makeup, here are just a few of her clothing designs…. X

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Mods & Rockers

Mods & Rockers …. X

I love these pics of Mods & Rockers. The Mods & Rockers were two conflicting British youth subcultures in the early to mid sixties. The Mods subculture was centred on modern music 1960’s soul, rhythm & blues beat & ska & modern fashion of the 1960’s they opted for the suited clean cut look alongside their Italian scooters. The Rocker subculture was more about motorcycling and their appearance reflected that, wearing black biker clothes sporting a pompadour haircut in tune with the 1950’s, their choice of music being 50’s rock & roll hence the name “The Rockers” It was the Bank holiday spring of 1964 that the simmering rivalry between the two clashed at Clacton on sea , causing violence and mayhem towards each other then clashing repeatedly at piers and promenades across the country. Causing a media frenzy the subcultures were branded as causing moral panic.

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Vintage Clothes

It’s Sixties Season! … X

Well I’m glad to see that for this season the sixties style shift dress is hitting the high street . It was my increasing love of vintage attire that brought me to my first purchase of an original sixties dress that I bought back in the nineties. Purchased from a quaint vintage boutique in Camden my exciting first purchase has led me on to an ongoing love for vintage clothes the sixties style of dress being a favourite.

I shall certainly be grazing the shops to see what sixties style dresses I can find . A flattering A-line shape that can be so versatile to wear , it can be teamed with tights or leggings, tops underneath or jumpers on top, and the look complimented with an array of different style boots or shoes, can also be worn alone with sandals for a simple summer style. I still have to stick to my guns that nothing beats the find of an original vintage dress, as I’m not just buying a vintage dress I’m buying an interesting piece of history, but it’s great to hear that the mainstream shops will be sporting the modern look sixties dresses this season as they will have new materials and colours and inspiration on the classic style of the sixties shift dress…. Time to go shopping I think…. Vintage Love….. Betty….. X

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