One of these days I’ll post about the hours I spend rearranging lines of information to fit Seattle Met style guidelines and wading through fact-checking documents. No wait, I promise never to do that. Ever. Better for me to continue with the premise that I really just shop for a living, chat up legendary beauty- and fashion-world pioneers, and lunch with good-looking people who wear bright blue eyeglasses.
The legendary beauty-world pioneer of the week was not, as the image above (from a London Telegraph story) would have you believe, Vidal Sassoon. That would have been something. On Wednesday morning I had the opportunity to meet with Horst Rechelbacher at — and this will explain the photo of mod designer Mary Quant’s obsession-worthy 5-point bob — the brand new, yet-to-open Sassoon Salon on Fifth Ave across the street from Butch Blum.
Rechelbacher is the founding father of a little beauty and skin-care company called Aveda. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. He was in town to help get the Sassoon salon set up with his new certified organic, American-made Intelligent Nutrients line. I’ve been using the so-natural-you-could-drink-’em products for a couple of months now, so I was keen on meeting Rechelbacher and hearing more about his life and work.
What a renaissance man. Having landed up in Minnesota after exiting his native Austria years ago, he now operates an organic farm in Wisconsin where he grows some of the ingredients used in Intelligent Nutrients. He’s written a couple of books, the latest is Minding Your Business, a primer on operating green. In his spare time he practices traditional medicine and gives fairly sublime acupressure scalp treatments. He also, apparently, has a thing for awesomely low-key designer shoes. On Wednesday he was wearing the best pair of deep turquoise Bottega Veneta Vans-style slip-on sneakers. I wanted to take a picture of them but I felt too silly asking, so instead I snapped this one of he and Boyd, one of the salon’s stylists. You’ll note that even her very 80s-inspired ultra-short cut refers back to the iconic 5-point.
Which brings me back to Sassoon. One of the things making the 50-year-old hair brand’s opening so notable is that the company hasn’t launched a new stateside shop in ten years. So why Seattle, why now? When I asked, the team of creative directors (Lisa, Elizabeth, and Carmen, pictured below) looked at my short cropped hair and explained that the Sassoon ethos — anti-lacquered, fuss-optional — fits our weather, our image, and our style.
Fair enough. You may think of Posh Spice’s uber-angled cut, the “Pob,” when you think Vidal Sassoon — the creative team told me they’ve found that most folks think super-short when they think Sassoon — but this year’s inspiration comes in part from the “cashmere, diamonds, and denim” luxe-ease inherent in the still-modern designs of 50s-era American designer Claire McCardell.
Still, I couldn’t take my eyes of Lisa’s hair—she’s the one on the left. It may not harken directly back to casual elegance of McCardell’s groundbreaking designer-for-the-masses appeal, but it sure will remind hair freaks of the Havington, another of the iconic Sassoon looks, pictured here via this gallery on the hairdresser’s history.
The salon hosted a media preview last night and is set to start cutting and coloring on February 17, so keep your eyes open for angular bang planes, long, luxe blonde locks, and disconnected layers that feel retro and future all at once.