Vidal Sassoon The Movie Premiere
“I’m feeling a little shy and humble. You go to premieres, but it’s usually someone else’s,” a dapper Vidal Sassoon quipped last night at MoMA, where the Craig Tepper-directed documentary of his life was screening for the first time. It was a fitting location for the film’s debut, considering the 83-year-old’s own penchant for collecting—”we have some Arp, Calder; Anish Kapoor is a friend,” Sassoon’s third wife, Ronnie, pointed out as she proudly clung to her husband’s arm while a collection of models, fashion insiders, and hair industry luminaries filed into the theater. “I was inspired by him for my Fall ’09 collection,” a glowing Rachel Roy told us of the uniformly cut black bobbed wigs she used that season, which most of the style set thought she’d ripped off of Stefano Pilati’s Fall 2008 YSL show. “Everyone thought it was from someone else’s collection, but it was from him”—a testament to the Sassoon legacy that lives on a good 50 years after the celebrity stylist rocked the hairdressing establishment with geometric cuts that defined the swinging sixties and all of its major players. “I liked the Nancy Kwan and the Five Point—I liked them all,” Bumble and Bumble founder and Vidal Sassoon The Movie producer Michael Gordon said of his favorite Vidal styles. “A good haircut shows the face and shows bravery. Just look what happened to Emma Watson,” Gordon said, calling out fellow Vidal Sassoon acolyte and super-stylist Rodney Cutler’s pixie cut, which skyrocketed the Harry Potter star straight out of Hogwarts and into the Hollywood spotlight.
The film itself is a straightforward trip through the life of the coiffing star—from his youth, which was spent in an East London orphanage, through his gradual takeover of the international hair scene. “He was revolutionary,” Frédéric Fekkai reiterated of Sassoon. “He made hair dressing modern, sleek, and brought a whole new attitude for women.” As for backstage coiffing tips, Sassoon had a few to share. “It’s important that the hairdresser has a point of view, that it works with the clothes, and that it’s remembered.”—Celia Ellenberg
Photo: Ben Hider / Getty Images