Rightly or wrongly, what we remember first of all when we think of all the accomplished and iconic women of the last few decades is their hair.
A little known band (we jest) called the Spice Girls became as famous for their fashion choices and hairstyles as they were for their songs (we’re not even slightly embarrassed to admit that Say You’ll Be There is still a firm favourite… Okay, maybe a little embarrassed). You could hardly wear a pair of sparkly platforms without dividing your hair into Baby’s pigtails, or pull on your Adidas trackies without pairing them with a tight ponytail àla Sporty. That would just be ludicrous to do anything, but!
And so it goes with some of the most famous, and easily recognised hairstyles of recent times. Amy Winehouse’s messy beehive is as synonymous with the late singer now as it ever was, Grace Jones box-cut fro will forever remind us of her balsy turn as May Day in James Bond thriller A View To A Kill – and a mere glimpse of a wildly shaggy wig will undoubtedly make us dance weirdly and rock out to Steamy Windows in some awful attempt at channeling Tina Turner.
You could say today’s styles are tame in comparison but while we may not necessarily go to same extremes we can still be comfortably inspired. A Jane Birkin or Marianne Faithful fringe will forever be flattering (especially if you have a large forehead you would like to disguise) and Veronica Lake’s trademark glossy waves are a surefire party pleaser.
Veronica Lake’s waves are still as wearable today as they were back in the forties and they’re a certifiable red carpet staple. Everyone from Reese Witherspoon, to Blake Lively, to Jessica Chastain, have taken inspiration from the Old Hollywood movie star. The key to its recreation is a side parting.
This now infamous chop represented Victoria Beckham’s transition from chart topping Spice Girl to credible and internationally successful fashion designer. The Pob (as it was affectionately known) was copied by everyone from Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (then a fellow WAG) to Katie Holmes.
Twiggy’s (originally Lesley Hornby) influence over a swinging and ever party-ready London was acute in the sixties. Women throughout the capital copied the model’s signature spider lashes eye make-up and, of course, her glossy and elfin crop. Whether it was sheared short and close to the nape of her neck, or allowed to grow out into something almost like a bob, Twiggy’s hair style was seen everywhere and is still identifiable as belonging to her today.
That hair! No one does it better than Tina Turner. Her wild – and larger than life – mane of hair from the 80s is instantly recognisable. It’s difficult to pull off hair that big in the real world but get yourself a wig and you’ll win best dressed at every fancy dress party you go to.
The late, and legendary, hairdresser Vidal Sassoon is frequently credited with cutting Mia Farrow’s hair into a pixie but the truth is the Rosmary’s Baby star cut her own hair. In an interview she explains that she had experimentally cut her hair short with a pair of nail scissors. Her then-boyfriend, Frank Sinatra, loved it so much she kept it short and trimmed it into place herself. Impressive stuff.
So simple, so chic, Michelle Pfeiffer’s sleek and glossy bob deserved its own credit in 1983’s Scarface. It’s the fringe that does it, somehow transforming a rather ordinary cut into a style that’s still popular 32-years on.
What can we say about ‘The Rachel’ cut that hasn’t been said before? This style inspired an entire generation to walk into the hair salon with a picture of Jennifer Aniston torn out of a magazine and ask for the ‘The Rachel, please?’.
Who has the most covetable hair in Britain? That belongs to The Duchess of Cambridge. Her trademark glossy Chelsea blow dry has inspired a whole new generation to re-discover the humble – but impeccably groomed – glossy blow out.
Remember that perm? We all had it didn’t we? The tight curls and hoops combo immediately takes us back to Scott and Charlene’s wedding. Happy days. While fluffy curls – and even fluffier fringe – might have fallen out of favour they’ll forever remind us of Kylie and the Eighties.
As the original bottle blonde, Marilyn Monroe (formerly Norma Jean) came to single-handedly represent what it meant to look sexy in 1950?s Hollywood. While her blonde fluctuated over the years Monroe?s first tested the waters in 1946 in Frank and Joseph salon in LA ? and she didn?t look back.
Even today, these denim icons have lost none of their magnetism: from James Dean to Marilyn Monroe and Jane Birkin to Madonna, this straightforward fabric still speaks to the rebel in all of us. Here are just a few of the most iconic looks of all time…
Grace Kelly?s perfectly demure and glossy subtle wave, are as wearable now as they were in the fifties. Her high-shine, expensive looking blonde was highlighted by a bold, and slightly darker, brow. Diamonds optional.
Grace Jone?s turn in ?A View To A Kill? is legendary. Not only is a she a kick-ass, take no prisoners Bond Girl (the best in our opinion) but her military style clothing and box-cut afro deserved their own credits in the film. A truly cinematic moment and iconic hairstyle in one.
Princess Diana?s eighties shaggy cut came to define a decade. The layering allowed her to peek out from beneath her fringe and, just like the Duchess of Cambridge, her style was copied by <everyone>. The style was so famous that it has been voted one of the most iconic of the last fifty years.
Type ? Audrey Hepburn?s Breakfast at Tiffany?s hair? into Google you?ll get over 371,000 results and most of those will be hair tutorials. It seems we can?t get enough of Hepburn?s sophisticated (and lets face it) high maintenance up-do. While times have moved on and the general feel right now is for a more relaxed approach to hair, Hepburn?s twist will forever be relevant and never more so than during wedding season.
The fringe, the cut, the <blonde>! Debbie Harry put the punk into blonde with her chopped peroxide platinum cut. The two-tone colour layering is something <still> copied today. Timeless.
The beehive was born in the sixties but it has enjoyed a resurgence thanks to Amy Winehouse whose messy beehive became a signature of hers. Winehouse reinterpreted the look and transformed it from a prim and proper up-do, reserved for swanky evening affairs and weddings, and into something thoroughly modern (with a nod to the retro) by breaking down the texture and throwing in a cutesy hair accessory such a ribbon or a flower.
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