May 9, 2012

"A clear example of an architectural hairstyle was the Five Point Geometric Cut, created by Sassoon in 1964 on a young model named Grace Coddington..."

"...who later on became the Fashion Editor of British Vogue. The cut remained unequalled for its absolute geometry and it helped the hairdresser becoming famous all over the world."
In 1965 Sassoon developed a geometric cut to mark the opening of his first salon in America and began experimenting with asymmetries that followed the natural hair growth at the nape.

He created asymmetrical cuts to complement an Emmanuel Ungaro collection or long styles Рwith hair cut short at the nape and long at the sides with a line that encouraged hair to swing freely but also to fall perfectly into shape for their precise cut Рfor a Mila Sch̦n catwalk show.
I've seen a lot of hairstyles come and go in my life. (I'm 61.) But I've got to say, there was ONE hairstylist who — as far as I can tell — invented something precisely new and distinctively his. Everyone knew was a Sassoon haircut was.



I wish I could find a perfect photograph of the way the cut made a "W" at the nape. It was so sharp and modern. It was mod, and we all wanted the mod look. It was easy to grow long hair and thick bangs, Patti Boyd style. But the alternative, the 5 points... how could you find anyone in your hometown who could cut hair like that? So glossily brilliant. The best idea for a hairstyle or at least nobody else ever came up with a better one.

Goodbye to Vidal Sassoon. He was 84.

39 comments:

edutcher said...

He certainly knew how to market himself.

AllieOop said...

Only sleek thick straight hair worked for this cut, any wave or curl and the shape was lost.

chickenlittle said...

Only sleek thick straight hair worked for this cut, any wave or curl and the shape was lost.

But wasn't there product to straighten hair? To give every woman equal chance to get the look?

rhhardin said...

I invented the haircut done in idle moments at the computer desk that involves cutting off any hair that feels too long.

AllieOop said...

Yes there was and still is Chickie, but if one lives in a humid climate, straightened hair will rebel.

Amartel said...

Marketing genius and apparently also quite the stylist. Still recall his "if you don't look good, we don't look good" ads and also the resultant multitude of brown bottles of Vidal Sassoon products taking up undue amounts of space in the shower back when I was a kid.

lewsar said...

pattie boyd had an interesting life. international model. she also had a thing for guitar players, having been married to george harrison and then to eric clapton.

Titus said...

Mia's hair in Rosemary's Baby. Fab.

My mom's name is Rosemary and I was born around the time of that movie and my sister's called me Rosemary's Baby. Bitches.

tits.

ndspinelli said...

Vidal helped kill the beehive. We owe him a lot just for that.

MadisonMan said...

Rosemary

There's a Rosemary street in Waukesha that is named after my ancestors (Rose and Mary).

Ooh, la la, Sassoon.

Portia's Mom said...

Thank you, Ann, for your salute to the greatest hairstylist. Period. Sassoon did more than just the 5 point. But all of his cuts were sleek and chic. For a while I had a hairdresser who trained with him and knew how to adapt the spirit of the look to my fine, bendy hair. May he rest in piece, and may he be available to do my hair when I cross over. That will be Heaven, after all.

wyo sis said...

Too many artists are dying. All these great artists from the 60's. People who defined a generation.

phx said...

Pretty Patty Boyd. Back to the Beatles.

phx said...

Who did Twiggy's hair?

Nora said...

edutcher said...
He certainly knew how to market himself.

Thank to that. Women certainlt benefited from the technoque he developed. His genius was in figuring out how to make short cut so it kept the shape without styling - true wash and go style thing.

The problem with this technique is that hairdresser needs quite a degree of intelligence, because Sasson technoque has a bit of engineering in it.

I wear short hair all my life and I only met one person who mastered this technique to perfection.

ricpic said...

Whenever you relocate you have to endure a period of geometric haircuts until you find a decent barber.

Nora said...

AllieOop said...
Only sleek thick straight hair worked for this cut, any wave or curl and the shape was lost.

I have curly unrully hair (kind of female Einstein) and Sasson cut technique works magic on me. the problem is too few hair stylists can do it.

Nora said...

ricpic said...
Whenever you relocate you have to endure a period of geometric haircuts until you find a decent barber.

That is, if you can find a decent hair stylist at all.

ricpic said...

Too many artists are dying.
Too many artists are being born.
Not enough jacks of all trades around
Is why the world's looking worn.

AllieOop said...

Really Nora? I have very wavy hair, I love blunt cuts, with the sculpted look. So you hair remains curly and you retain the clean sculpting at the nape?

David said...

Coddington is now 71 years old and still a big name in fashion as Wintour's sidekick at Vogue. Her hair is an explosion: long, frizzy and garish red. She looks like Bride of Frankenstein with a bad dye job

Lem said...

Guess what..

psyched..

EDH said...

"If you don't look good, we don't look good."

A great slogan. I liked the way he use to pronounce "haaaair".

Nice two minute trailer for Vidal Sassoon: The Movie.

AllieOop said...

Hey Lem! I know what! Sassoon never worked a day in his life! Am I right?!

ricpic said...

Every picture I've ever seen of Wintour her hair is in bangs in front and bouffant (I think that's the term) on the sides. If her hair is now long and frizzy that's a radical change.

Lem said...

Vidal Sassoon on "What's My Line?"

Astro said...

In the late 70s in Gainesville, FL, my wife used to go to Sammie's of London. He was great because every time she went to his place she came out looking gorgeous in a different way. It was like getting a new wife.

Lyle said...

Cool image. A genuflection to a modish style of the 20s maybe.

akacg said...

Here's a pic of the "W" from the back, Ann:

http://hiroshibeverlyhills.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/dsc07397rs2.jpg?w=627&h=351

David said...

ricpic said...
Every picture I've ever seen of Wintour her hair is in bangs in front and bouffant (I think that's the term) on the sides. If her hair is now long and frizzy that's a radical change.


Coddington's hair is long and frizzy. Wintour's is just as you describe. My pronoun reference was rather ambiguous, I'm afraid.

James Graham said...

I recommend the documentary on Vidal Sassoon available at Netflix.

Born dirt poor, h
e lived in an orphan asylum for several years, fought Fascist thugs in London and with the Israelis in one of their early wars.

When he opened his NYC salon a big problem was his hetero stylists who were having affairs with customers.

Nora said...

AllieOop said...
Really Nora? I have very wavy hair, I love blunt cuts, with the sculpted look. So you hair remains curly and you retain the clean sculpting at the nape?

Well, I used to have this hairdresser for appx 20 years, and when he cut my hair it both, had a shape that held, and made me look great as well. Moreover, the cut held shape even after a couple of months, so I did not have to rush to him every 5-6 weeks, which was very convinient when I was a keen career woman and had 2 young kids.

He used a trick to keep a shape at the neck and arond the face and ears - he cut the hair very short around and graded in these places, and than brought the rest of the hair over in the length and shape he wanted

He told me that he uses Sassoon's approach. He never made me the same haircut. It was always at least a bit different and sometimes alot, but always alluring and carefree. He died of cancer some 12-15 years ago, and I have not found replacement yet.

Donald Douglas said...

"I wish I could find a perfect photograph of the way the cut made a "W" at the nape."

Your wish is my command.

See: "'It was so sharp and modern. It was mod, and we all wanted the mod look...'"

I don't know if that's a "perfect" picture at the link, but it's a pretty good one.

Chip Ahoy said...

The hairdressers ask, "How would you like your haircut?" And I answer, "Make it like a cartoon." And they do.

The Crack Emcee said...

Oh, please. It's all about you, you, you - meaning women. Black people - specifically black men - come up with new and innovative designs for hair, and clothes, and music ("bellyaching") and just CULTURE, daily - that Vidal Sassoon can't touch - and your privileged, isolated, pampered ass don't gush about it. But let some fem dickwad do something for YOU (because, goodness, you couldn't cut your own damned hair) and it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Sometimes, why some black people hate whites is so obvious it hurts,...

Rusty said...

This is so gay.

NTTAWWT.

EMD said...

Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be perfect to play Sassoon in a film of his life.

EMD said...

But let some fem dickwad do something for YOU

I would certainly not call Sassoon and what he lived through to become a fem dickwad.

Amartel said...

Of course, a post about the marketing and stylistic innovations of a man (oh, excuse me, a "fem dickwad" who fought for the Israelis and went for nothing to icon under his own power) is all about ... women. Of course.

All about women when it should be all about black people, specifically men, specifically me. It's just so wrong to celebrate an interesting life, well lived, without comparing it negatively to the black male experience.(TM) Which is so much better. Because fuck you, bitches.

You self-involved broads think it's all about you, you, you, when in fact, it's all about me, me, me.