Tuesday 20 September 2011

Vidal Sassoon honoured with design award

London-born hairdressing legend Vidal Sassoon has been honoured with the London Design Festival's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

UK-VIDAL SASSOON St. Paul's Cathedral, rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London, is a testament to the enduring impact of imaginative design.

The building - completed in 1710 - is a key site during this year's London Design Festival.
Matt Cowan, Reuters correspondent Matt Cowan saying
"What you're looking at is the Geometric staircase inside St. Paul's Cathedral but reflected off a new design by John Pawson called Perspectives. That lens in the centre there is 40 centres and that's the largest commissionable lens, offering up a new perspective of a very old, much-loved building."
Fitting then that this event is honouring a Londoner who took architectural thinking in entirely new directions.

 'Mr. Vidal Sassoon."
Vidal Sassoon became the recipient of the London Design Festival's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

 Vidal Sassoon, Award-winning hairdresser, saying
"We, my wife Ronnie, myself, are so glad to be here accepting something so extraordinary."
At eighty-three years old, Vidal Sassoon has won many an accolade. He's credited with inventing 'the bob'. His life story is captured in the new documentary: Vidal Sassoon The

Vidal Sassoon says "When I look at the architecture, the structure of buildings that were going up worldwide and you saw a whole different look in shape. My sense was hairdressing definitely needed to be changing."

Given his inspiration, Sassoon says receiving recognition from a body whose members include prominent architects and designs is especially meaningful.

Vidal Sassoon, Award-winning hairdresser, saying
"This one is not just special but extraordinary. We actually flew in from Los Angeles for this two days ago and not having seen the inside of the church (corrects himself) the cathedral, umm, there's a little bit of magic around here."

Still, the decision to bestow such a weighty honour on a hairdresser did raise a few eyebrows says Tom Heatherwick, who was an enthusiatic advocate for recognizing Sassoon's accomplishments.

Tom Heatherwick, Designer, saying
"When you say to the average person - DESIGN! They imagine toasters, motorbikes and sofas and lovely lights and I find that quite limiting and when you really step back and look at who through design has had major significance in this country, there seemed to be one person sticking out to my mind who hadn't been acknoweleged."

Vidal Sassoon, Award-winning hairdresser, saying
"It's hard labour, but it is design. Especially when you can analyse a face, and know what it would look like with a good haircut and then do it and be recognised for it. That's design alright. Especially when after the person's eyes light up."

So while Sassoon didn't get to realize his dream of becoming an architect, he has build a lasting legacy from wash and wear creations.

Matt Cowan, Reuters.

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