A month ago today Vidal Sassoon past away in his home in Los Angeles. He had been battling leukimia for some time. I met Vidal briefly at his home in Bel Air on the occasion of my brother Luca’s wedding to his daughter Catya in 1984.
For as awkward as the situation might had seemed at the time: Catya was then only fifteen, (she passed away on January 1, 2002.) Vidal managed to make everyone feel at ease. He was very gracious indeed. I remember been surrounded by throngs of celebrities and beautiful people, they had all come to the celebration entirely because of the admiration they had for Vidal. My brother and he remained fairly close even after the marriage which was short lived. Some how I did not hear from him regarding Vidal’s passing . I just read it on the news like everyone else. Then again I very rarely hear from him these days.
Much has been said about Vidal the man that revolutionized the way we look at hairstyling today. His geometric cuts elevated the once humble trade of hair cutting into the realm of high design, his was a revolution that literally took shape on a woman’s head… His cuts: precise, modern, sleek, futuristic and elegant and unmistakably Sassoon, expressed the artistry of a man for which his chosen medium was hair…Even today 45 year from that famous cut of Mia Farrow for her role in the film “Rosemary’s Baby” on a sound stage on the Paramount Studios lot, the world of hair styling and hair design still hinges on what he created with a pair of scissors. Along with the famed pixie cut that made Farrow’s career, there was the evolution of that iconic and almost alien looking at the times, five point cut on then model turned Vogue Fashion editor extraordinaire Grace Coddington.
He was to hair what Frank Lloyd Wright was to cement, Chanel to cloth, and Mondrian to paint.
By the time I started frequenting hairstylists in Beverly Hills during the time that I lived in L.A. Vidal had become a global brand. He was the most celebrated hairdresser in the World. he had long put down his scissors and was negotiating for the sale of his company that would make him a very wealthy man.
So Instead I got a glimpse into the life of a man that was deeply loved and admired by his family.
For as much as most things in L.A. tend to gain that patina of the surreal and the make believe, the love and affection his family had for him and he for them was genuine and pivotal to what made him happy…from “crimper” to style icon, Sassoon left an indelible mark on the world of beauty fashion and style. But above else I remember Vidal as the ultimate gentleman.
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