Sassoon celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, and while their heritage is something of which they’re incredibly proud, their Salon Live show at Salon International was also very much an example of the brand’s forward-thinking approach.
“In 1954, a young man opened his first salon in Bond Street with the idea of changing hairdressing,” said International Creative Director Mark Hayes, “But he changed the way we look forever and it’s why we’re all here today. It’s our 65th year, but today isn’t a retrospective, although our legacy always informs what we do. Today is all about the now of Sassoon.”
The show opened with colour demonstrations, presented by Peter Dawson, Edward Darley, Caroline Spencer, Richie Rivera and Stuart Ross from the Sassoon International Colour Team. Working as always with the Sassoon fundamentals of Shape & Balance, colours in the show focussed on contrasting tones; linen white and violet blonde, yellow and steel and bold yellow and lilac.
“This season we’re focussing on classic Sassoon technique,” explained Peter. “It’s about a lot of handcrafted techniques, which leaves nothing to chance. The looks and colour choices are vivid, lively and exciting, but a lot of the techniques are Sassoon signatures.”
As the team worked, they explained their influences. For Peter, it was “renegade colour freak” Josef Albers and his project, Homage to the Square. This series of paintings is about the interaction of colour, and always uses the square as its starting point. Peter used this inspiration to create a flow of colour with a graphic basis.
For Edward, the iconic 1978 Sassoon Firefly cut inspired his colour. “It’s not about a retrospective,” he reaffirmed, “but our unique legacy influences what we do now. This is about the evolution of two-tone colour – even highlights are about Shape & Balance and how placement can change the appearance of a cut.
Richie used optical mixing for his placement of asymmetrical rectangular sections, while Caroline created a halo of colour using pastel tones and yellows.
Next on stage was an tribe of Sassoon models, representing the London Look collection. As well as celebrating the heritage of Sassoon’s hometown, cuts and colours were also inspired by the brand’s global academies and the diverse, youthful, looks created in them daily. Shades ranged from classic clean Sassoon blondes to pastels and bold direct dyes, with shapes reflecting the diversity of the world we live in.
Cutting took centre stage next, as Gareth Vance, Danielle Harvey, Daniel McCourt and Silvia Salerno from the International Creative Team showcased techniques. Danielle’s cut was inspired by the layering in Mark Rothko paintings, resulting in a “Japanese anime princess” layered cut. For Daniel, inspiration came courtesy of Juergen Teller’s photos of Kate Moss with short hair and the result was a chic, layered crop. Sylvia also looked to Sassoon past, with a punkish look reflecting the famous Christopher Brooker Brush cuts of the early 70s. Finally, Gareth’s cut took its cue from Helmut Newton’s portraits of Isabella Rossellini in 1986 with a soft, heavy, bowl-style cut with panels of disconnection.
The final cutting section was presented by Mark Hayes, Scott Cottis and Traci Sakosits. Mark was again inspired by the heritage of Sassoon, creating a layered, gamine haircut that paid homage to Vidal Sassoon’s crop for Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby. He gave it a modern update with disconnected, mullet-inspired lengths.
Scott’s men’s cut was inspired by the photography of Peter Lindbergh and his subsequent inspirations of 1920s Berlin. He created a dressed men’s cut, working from a side parting into layered, shorter sides to blend into the sides and back. With length through the middle, hair was then dressed off the face.
Finally, Tracey created a slim-edged bob inspired by Edie Sedgwick and rebellious It girls, creating a loose, layered shape.
The show closed with an avant-garde finale, exploring classic Sassoon looks in a new abstract concept to express the limitless possibilities of Sassoon Hair Design. With looks created in perspex headpieces, prism structures and light-studded wigs, it truly was a diverse expression of the vital influence of Sassoon.
Sassoon presented their Salon Live show at Salon International on both Saturday 5th October and Sunday 6th October 2019 at ExCel London. https://www.sassoon.com/
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