RIP Harold Leighton Hair Icon – 1932-2024

Posted by on Mar 19, 2024 in Helen's Blog | 2 comments

RIP Harold Leighton Hair Icon – 1932-2024

See Text For Photo Credits known. Collage by

Goodbye, dear Harold Leighton, a hair icon like no other.  Born in England, ex Manager of the Salon at the famous Harrods Department Store, the man who introduced Paul Mitchell Hair Products to England and Europe, who worked for  S&L and other famous names, who created some of the greatest hair of his generation.  Harold lived his last decades in Florida from where he generated a buzz about too many products and ideas to list.

In 1957 he married the love of his life, Maxine. My heart goes out to you, Maxine.  There are no words.  Take a look at some of Harold’s work, and his life, lived to the fullest.  RIP, Harold Leighton.  You were loved by many and will be missed by all.

Top Row, left to right : Harold Leighton … Harold with Maxine …  Hair and photo of Maxine by Harold … Famous names, including Vidal Sassoon before he was famous, in 1950,  That’s Harold with hair, wearing glasses! … Many hairpieces and wigs linked together to create the finished big look, Photo: Barry Lategan.
Second Row: Harold and Max wed in 1957, she went on to own fashion boutiques in Hampstead and Conduit Street, in London … 1970 Million dollar hairstyle for Graf Diamonds, Photo Vic Singh … A fave look, a pony with a difference, Photo: John Hedgcoe … Harold, Jeanne Braa, Paul Mitchell , 1986 … “Snowballs” Photo: Tony Rawlingson  …Wigs and Hairpieces, 1963 …’70s extravaganza. “OMG, what was I thinking!” wrote Harold.
Third Row : Harold with”Viddy”  the friend he loved – Vidal Sassoon … One of many articles about Harold … “From Salon to Celebrity” coffee table book by Harold … Harold the dresser teaching … Hair for Fabergé, 1973


Happy Happy New Year – 2023

Posted by on Dec 31, 2022 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Happy Happy New Year - 2023

Photo: Lorraine Sylvestre

Wishing all my Blog followers a very happy happy New Year and all the very best for 2023 with this “Loop-de-Loop” stunning hair look for drop dead entrances, by Avram of Vidal Sassoon New York, in 1980.  This was Sassooning for Evening, part of the innovative HighHair Collection which I produced.  For full credits and more HighHair, CLICK HERE


Vidal Sassoon’s Marlene Dietrich – 1980

Posted by on Jul 6, 2020 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Vidal Sassoon's Marlene Dietrich – 1980

Photos: Peluquerias Magazine

At the end of 1980, I produced a hair show in Barcelona, Spain with Vidal Sassoon US. There were 2,000 people in the audience for a spectacular event hosted by Lluis Llongueras, Llongueras.   This is the Sassoon Marlene Dietrich played by a Spanish model, who had never heard of Marlene! She ad libbed to Marlene’s career signature song “Falling in Love Again” from the German 1930 movie – “The Blue Angel”   Later in the show the Sassoon Team showed their versions of the Modern Marlene hairstyles from a recent collection.   To see those, CLICK HERE and scroll down. (This is the first time this has been seen since 1980 and is part of a multi-page spread of all the looks shown from the show in Barcelona’s Peluquerias Magazine.)

Hair: Avram, Vidal Sassoon NY (who also master-minded this fantastic sequence) … Color: Edward Moore, Vidal Sassoon NY … Photos: Peluquerias Magazine, Spain.


Vidal Sassoon Gold Lamé RagSet – 1981

Posted by on Apr 19, 2018 in Helen's Blog | 6 comments

Vidal Sassoon Gold Lamé RagSet - 1981

Photos: Lorraine Sylvestre

Hair History.  This is the short version of Vidal Sassoon’s P-P-Puff, by Graham Wren in 1981.  The silhouette was injected with a healthy dose of fresh … air.  The natural-looking, casual silhouette was very new at the time, not just for Vidal Sassoon but for the world.  One could go from rags to riches to get this look if the hair was not naturally curly.   Our model, Kay Romero, wife of the then-President of Vidal Sassoon Salons, USA, Fernando Romero, had her hair set in gold lamé rags, which looked more glam than rollers, and she could have gone out on the town wearing them as her hair set!  The gold lamé rags made a Peluquerias Magazine Cover and captured a lot of press all over the world at the time!    For more, longer versions and how-to’s, CLICK HERE

Hair: Graham Wren, Vidal Sassoon, NY, 1981 …Makeup: Mariella Smith-Masters … Dress: Ellen Gleason … Earrings: Ken Begun … Model: Kay Romero … Photo: Lorraine Sylvestre
Produced by Helen Oppenheim


Vidal Sassoon Soft Cubism Hair – 1979

Posted by on Apr 19, 2018 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Vidal Sassoon Soft Cubism Hair - 1979

Photos: Lorraine Sylvestre

Hair History.  Vidal Sassoon’s Soft Cubism-inspired haircut by Graham Wren had no hard edges, all corners and points were rounded and soft.  The looks were inspired by the graphics of cubism, constructivism, modernism, futurism – and the circle, the square, the triangle. All versions here are on the same model, the lovely Susie Kozak.   For more Vidal Sassoon Soft Cubism hair for day and night, CLICK HERE

Hair: Graham Wren, Vidal Sassoon, NY, 1979 … Graphics: Avram … Makeup: Ted Nadal … Model: Susie Kozak … Photos: Lorraine Sylvestre


WHY? Breaking Vidal Sassoon News – 2013

Posted by on Apr 5, 2018 in Helen's Blog | 7 comments

WHY? Vidal Sassoon News - 2013

Setting the Record (and the Hair) Straight

Reposted because the record is not yet straight. Here is the  true story.
From an article by “Your Invaluable Sleuth of Hair History” in the Style Section of the New York Times, January 24, 2013.

Those in the know have known that Vidal Sassoon was not the first to cut Mia Farrow’s hair to that famous pixie cut, and that she cut it herself, then – not mentioned in the New York Times – then, Christopher Brooker re-cut it – all before the famous $5,000 hair snip that helped make Vidal Sassoon famous.  Read the article, a letter from Mia Farrow herself.  Why didn’t she – or Vidal – speak out before?!

Also click on Comment box for more …

Mia Farrow Frank Sinatra

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


’80s Wide Shoulders – Antonio Lopez – 1979

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

'80s Wide Shoulders - Antonio Lopez - 1979

Illustration: © Antonio Lopez

Trend Alert. ’80s wide shoulders.  I first posted this when they made an appearance in the Fall 2016 Collections, especially in Paris.  Now, Marc Jacobs and others showed  wide shoulders on the 2018 Fashion Week Runways.  They can make a difference to your wardrobe!  A new and flattering direction for many. This amazing illustration is by fashion/beauty/art illustrator, the one and only Antonio Lopez, from his book “Antonio’s Girls” ( published by Congreve.) The dresses illustrated are by Lux International, as in Italian Vogue, 1979. The series is one of the most exciting Antonio created. For more Antonio Lopez masterpieces, see Icons on my website, click HERE and to see the actual dress on the left in two photos from Vidal Sassoon’s 1979 Soft Cubism Collection, click HERE

Illustration: © Antonio Lopez


Trend Alert. Hair Orbits Again- 1969

Posted by on Feb 18, 2018 in Helen's Blog | 0 comments

Trend Alert. Hair Orbits Again- 1969

Photos: Bob Fisher. Collage by

Do you know your hair history?  ’60s hairstyle orbits in  2018.  Again. This look was very popular in the late ’60s.  Similar looks were done by many, first popularized by Vidal Sassoon, but I prefer this one by Charles Booth owner of La Coupe Salons from 1967 to early 90s and introduced as The Orbit in 1969, the year the US first  landed on the moon.  Now, Redken’s Guido has designed his version for Marc Jacobs F/W New York Fashion Week Show, colorized for the 21st century by Josh Woods, so there is another trend  alert for the look, which could catch on this time. It’s not flattering to all, but is for some, as it was here for Keitha McLean, at the time the Fashion and Beauty Editor of The Montreal Star, later  a reporter at WWD, and still  later the first Editor in Chief of Miss Chatelaine now known as Flare in Toronto.   Face on, it was just a cap of hair, with a heavy round smooth fringe rising up to a soft point in the middle of the forehead. It was cut  right from the crown and the hair orbited  all around.  The back was short and the  cap graduated to a “V” on both sides. For more details and a longer  version CLICK HERE

Hair: Charles Booth, La  Coupe Montreal, 1969 … Model: Keitha McLean … Photos: Bob Fisher, ARB