Thursday, May 10, 2012

An old post about when I firstmet Vidal.

Hair today!

Story contd.

Mum came down to stay and I really wanted to get her to do something about her hair. It was soft and silky – a strawberry blonde colour – that’s titian in my book - but she wore it in a long plait which she wrapped round her head like a hairy Alice band. I had my own hair done regularly by the top stylists, when they used me, but my personal choice was a Mr Ralph, who was employed by a new, up and coming hair dresser.  This was Vidal Sassoon

Although hairdressers were keen to use me, they found my hair (soft, fine and fly away) difficult until they got used to it. I would tell them the best way to cope with it, but hairdressers never listen to clients – it’s in their DNA. Once a whole session was ruined when the stylist put brilliantine on my hair in spite of my warning her what would happen. Not only did I look as if I had jumped in the pool; the sticky goo had to be thoroughly washed out again.

Mr Ralph was different – quiet and unassuming and a gifted stylist. Mum was doubtful about having her hair cut so I suggested she watched him do mine and then see how she felt. Thoroughly reassured she decided to go ahead. I rejoiced as I saw her lose the dreaded plait and at least fifteen years in the process. She now had a soft pretty style which allowed her natural curl the freedom it had been denied for years. Everybody was delighted – I just hoped Dad would feel the same.

I had chosen this particular salon as my regular salon, because it was a fun place – with rocking music, a real buzz, and discounts for the modelling profession. Some of the Mayfair salons were full of ladies dripping in mink and diamonds, which weren’t my scene. I had met the owner - Vidal -when he was just a young apprentice and he had been given the unenviable task of attaching a solid rubber ring-like a giant pessary- to my hair to represent a ‘Juliet’ hair style. It was an impossible task and the brushing got more and more violent until finally he flung down the brush, said he was a hair stylist not a (censored) genius.

Later he became world famous for his geometric hair styles – closely associated with the fashion icon Mary Quant. My type of hair was anathema to him and we had a friendly agreement for the rest of my modelling days that I would never ask him to cope with my hair again. My favourites of the many famous stylists were Steiner; who did wonderfully romantic styles, and French of London.

During Mum’s stay we had lots of chats but I didn’t talk about my marriage – I remembered her retort when Maddie’s was in trouble:

“You’ve made your bed – you must lie on it.”

We did talk about starting a family – she was just eighteen and Maddie not much older when they started their’s. I suddenly realised the next birthday I would be twenty –six; the bookings were pouring in and unless I made a stand, another year would fly by. But how would I break it to Paula? A fait accompli seemed the only answer; so my New Year’s resolution was to start a family. It was a wonderful release to discard all the family planning paraphernalia and by the end of January I was preggers.


LL Cool Joe said...

Interesting! So he was a bit temperamental then? I thought even when he was an older man he looked good actually.

Rosie said...

I always wanted to have a Sasoon haircut! I still haven't found the style I want...

Shane said...

Really nice rhythm to this post, Pat. (It's been a while since I dropped in, here.) I shall mention 'geometric' hairstyles later, when I'm helping the young 'n with his prep for SATS week. It might even lead to some Google images searching.

Pat said...

Joey: actually at the time I thought he was very young - a mad impetuous youth - but he was 2 years older than me so must have been 26 or 27.
He became a heslth nut - yoga etc so aged extremely well. apart from the first fiasco he was always charming and sweet.

Rosie: it works best if you have good straight hair which I haven't.
How nice to see you - I must pop over and say hi.

Pat said...

Shane: I had to scroll back to find it and the thought occurred that my writing hadn't improved with age. Must try harder.
That would be fun educating the young 'un on how it was:)

The Unbearable Banishment said...

"If you don't look good, we don't look good!" I used to use his shampoo. How fantastic that you got to live in the epicenter of all that. Oh, lucky girl.

Pat said...

UB: because I was married and because I lived out of town I missed a lot of the wild goings on:)
Just as well. Probably.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a wonderful story, Pat....I love that Vidal actually worked on your hair, himself---Not too cool that he got so frustrated, though---Temprement showing early!

He had a Salon here in L.A. I never went there but a woman who had worked at his Salon in the U.K. began doing my hair in 1975---and she did it till she moved back to England around 1989---She Was GOOD!


oh, dear! i just did a long comment here but when i attempted to sign in, blogger told me there was an error and could not complete sign in - bummer! in any event, what a lovely story here, pat, as yours always are - i was so sorry to hear of the passing of the man who brought such joy and beauty to so many - now, will try again! ;)

Marjolein said...

I find it so difficult to find a good hairdresser, but maybe most hairdressers find my hair difficult too!

Pat said...

Naomi: there are psople he trained all over the world. He certainly left a great legacy.
He was an artist so Isuppose he is allowed a temperament.

Jenean: thanks for persevering - I hate it when blogger does that.

Marjlein: it's like the song - 'Once you have found him never let him go.'

angryparsnip said...

I really enjoying reading these posts.
I always wanted to have my hair cut in the sleek geometric style.
But my light, thin and very fine blond hair was not the right type. Plus I always thought they looked so much better with dark hair.

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

Parsnip: yes I agree; Mary Quant was the icon with her dark bob.

Mage said...

What a truly wonderful entry. I was taken right back to those years when I always wore one of his styles. I had a long skinny neck and his styles worked well with even my glasses.

Pat said...

Mage: I had a long skinny neck too but never - alas - a sleek shining bob.

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