Sharp, shiny and as neat as if drawn with a set square, Vidal Sassoon
’s modish crops defined the Swinging Sixties scene and its starlets. Take the Nancy Kwan cut. A sleek black bob created for the actress’s role in 1963’s The Wild Affair
, it was photographed immediately afterwards by Terence Donovan for British Vogue
. Or Jean Shrimpton’s eyelash-skimming blunt fringe, a look still ubiquitous in fashion capitals the world over. It is perhaps the “five point” geometric hairstyle for which Sassoon is likely best known. As much a concept as a cut, it was modeled by both Mary Quant
, a close friend of Sassoon, and Peggy Moffit, the muse of celebrated LA fashion designer Rudi Gernreich (she continues to sport the look to this day). In contrast, Mia Farrow’s elfin crop was the result of chance. Following a row (supposedly with her then husband, Frank Sinatra) during the filming of Rosemary’s Baby
in 1967, an impassioned Farrow took scissors to her hair, and Sassoon was flown from London to LA to salvage the DIY disaster––for a cool $5,000 fee. As a publicity stunt for the film, photographers were invited to “cover” the haircut, resulting in an international media event that led to countless women copying the androgynous style. More than a just new trend, this was a movement, which lived on through Sassoon’s protégées, including “Leonard”, the man responsible for the side-swept, tomboyish stylings of Twiggy, perhaps the 60s’ most iconic it-girl.