Friday, May 11, 2012

Sharp Stylings #39: Vidal Sassoon

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

Anti-fascist warrior, Israelis soldier, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, author, fitness buff... oh yeah, and revolutionary hairdresser! Vidal Sassoon was an amazing man with or without a pair of scissors in his hand. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you all know, he passed away this week at the age of 84. But instead of giving you another obituary today, let's focus on his own personal style.

Not only did Vidal Sassoon create some of the greatest hairstyles known to women, he also gifted pop culture with one of the greatest tag lines known to consumer products: "If you don't look good, we don't look good." Well... based on how good Sassoon looks in the photos below, there's no doubt his customers were looking good great!

First up, take a look at this suave image of Sassoon from 1965:
From the Beauty Blitz blog.
Serious dapper going on here, with what looks to be a Prince of Wales check suit, black waistcoat and tie, and a black pocket square. If you take a closer look, the vest appears to have slim lapels along with cloth-covered buttons. The contrast between the suit and the waistcoat (with the added tie/pocket square detail) make this whole ensemble clean and sharp without being overly stiff. There's a feeling of relaxed comfort going on here. Or, it could just be Sassoon's confidence shining through.

But let's move forward in time to this photo from 1968:
From Mr. Porter.
Okay, in general, I'm not super huge into 2-button jackets with the shape and size of lapels like these, but in this photo, Vidal Sassoon just kills it with finesse! For those taking notes for their next trip to the tailors, absorb some of the details of this outfit. Look at the narrow spacing between the top and bottom buttons. Study the angle of the slants on the rounded pocket and ticket pocket. And take in the spacing and sizes of the buttons on the jacket cuffs. Personally, I've never seen that cuff detailing before. Now, I don't know if I'm daring enough to go in that direction, but hey... you might be and I'd totally cheer you on!

Sassoon continued to age gracefully and remain stylish well into his later years. Several months back, my wife and I were watching the documentary, Vidal Sassoon The Movie, and every so often, we'd look at each other and exclaim, "Dang! The guy still looks sharp!" Of course, I felt pretty pathetic when the film showed just how fit and active he still was in his later years. He was in better shape than I am today! But again, just goes to show what an inspiring man he was throughout his career and beyond.

Let's leave you now with that iconic image of his work that is as startling and beautiful today as it was almost 60 years ago. This is art.


1 comment:

  1. You know what? I might just go for buttons like that on a jacket's cuffs. Keep you posted.