William Collier: Synopsis of a Memoir, Pt. 15 - The Sassoon Event

November 18, 2015

The Sassoon presentation was only a few days away and I had arranged to meet another hair industry icon, Paul Morey at the Olympic Hotel. Paul was, and is to this day a huge contribution to the hair designPaul Morey industry in the northwest. At that time Paul owned a very successful salon and had a training center with Marty Gosselin. I would have attended their training, however they were not yet approved to accept veterans on the G.I Bill. I was looking forward to the Sassoon event, as well as the pleasure of Paul’s company.

The presentation was beyond my expectation. I was so ready to acquire information and skill that had a completely new outlook philosophically and technically. The haircuts were amazing, ranging from very short, to short and medium, as well as long; all relying on the haircut to support the finished look. The short cuts were completely finished with a hand held hair blower, encouraging the hair to have a tousled appearance. The medium length cuts as well as the longer cuts were also finished with a hair blower; some of the longer hair was curled with a large curling iron giving a soft natural look to the finished style. Not one "poof" of hairspray.

There were names given to the different styles, the “gamine” was a bit like a “pixie” cut that was quite short and softly finished. This was similar to the haircut Sassoon did on Mia Farrow for her performance in the film, Rosemary’s Baby. I was drawn to the freedom of movement that had such a refreshing look. The haircut that really caught my eye was a departure from the geometric shapes --  a much messier finished look with proportionately longer length on the neckline. The “shag” became a frequently requested haircut being offered in several lengths from short to long.

After the event was over I was hanging out in the lobby talking with some of my peers. I was about to leave when Vidal appeared as the elevator doors opened. He was alone and had quite a few boxes with him. I immediately offered to give him a hand getting the boxes into a cab. After all the boxes were loaded, we shook hands and looked each other in the eyes and shared a genuine acknowledgement. There was that handshake again, just a solid gesture of appreciation from a real gentleman. I was full of energy with new ideas and could not wait to return to the salon to apply my newly acquired styling concepts.


Back to blog