Vidal Sassoon the Movie | Movie review
A new documentary compares the iconic hairstylist to Einstein.
It’s hard not to let out a laugh at the beginning of this bio-doc, when commentators compare hairdresser Vidal Sassoon to the likes of Einstein and the Messiah. The stakes here aren’t exactly high, and most people don’t know anything about Sassoon beyond the brand’s signature brown shampoo bottles. But let’s suspend our cynicism: Produced by Bumble and bumble hair-care founder Michael Gordon, the film traces Sassoon’s rags-to-riches tale from a London orphanage to a life-altering hairdressing apprenticeship at age 14 to a booming business as hairstylist, health/beauty guru, product emperor and educator. Sassoon waxes philosophic while fashion icons such as Vogue’s Grace Coddington and miniskirt inventor Mary Quant sing his praises.
The movie drags more than once, but the archival footage, such as a TV bit of Sassoon teaching Pilates to a young Regis Philbin, entertains. The overarching story of an aesthetic revolution propelled by one scissors-wielding visionary offers an interesting perspective on the ’60s and highlights the continued omnipresence of Sassoon’s geometric cuts today. The film just needs a good trim.