Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When Fledglings Come Back to the Nest


Alfred and I work our longest hours Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving week, which are HUGE days at the salon, because of our dearest, and longest clients that come "home for the holidays". "Fledglings" I call my clients that I have done since kids and steer them through high school- many from the local town schools, and lots of Nobles, BB&N, Windsor, Beaver, Milton,and Concord day students. Then they go off to college, away from Boston and come home for vacations. They get their hair done and we catch up on...well, everything people talk to their hairdressers about, which is pretty much everything.. We also have those that have that same scenario as above, then stay for college at Harvard, BU, Tufts, Brown or other local colleges; so add 4 more years. Then again, the same as above and add 7 more years of PHD and "post doc" time.

I have clients that have come in as children as regularly as clockwork for 10-25 YEAS. I participate through their ENTIRE education, then one day they come in and say" I'm going off to teach at Stanford and movin
g away to California...(I always completely LOSE IT) but I always get the "don't worry, I'll always be home to visit my folks, and see you". So, this is the week where some of my most beloved clients come home. For example- Dillon who's bangs I cut as a TWO year old on his mother's lap, and is now TWENTY EIGHT years old, living in NYC and playing 2nd Oboe for the American Ballet Orchestra. He is my longest and dearest "fledgling". He sends all his girlfriends in for me to "approve". I call it "running the Mohican's gauntlet", and his last- (now ex) girlfriend left with multiple tomahawks in her head. I HATED her. This all falls under the blog topic a few weeks back that was called "Living Vicariously Through our Clients." My Mom watched her favorite Exeter Day School Kindergarten students grow up; William Tuthill is now over 45. She was protective, proud, and kept a watchful parental eye on her brood. Me too.

"Fledglings" come in all shapes and sizes. I have a girl named Billie who was 8 when I started with her. She didn't say a word for 4 years. S
he was shy, skinny and awkward with stick legs, knobby knees and big wide eyes. Now She's TWENTY SEVEN, drop dead gorgeous, with long sleek legs, dark smouldering eyes, works as a writer for MTV, dates a Billionaire's son, and travels all over the world. She is my Charlotte Vale from "Now Voyager." Bette Davis has the greatest makeover in Hollywood history. In The movie, all she needs is a good shrink. In this case, all we needed was a good lipstick-a good dress-and a good hairdresser, I did her hair/makeup/styling for her high school prom which seemed to be the begining of her metamorphosis, and produced one of my most famous and well timed comic lines When her Mother came in and started to cry, I turned Billie around in the chair and pronounced "Well well, hasn't our little duckling turned into quite a Swan". Alfred still reminds me that I omitted, but implied the word "ugly" from that sentence, but she DID have (that has kept on going) a miraculous and dramatic transformation. There was a huge silent pause, then a roaring laugh that included Billie- who years later makes her appointments as "the Swan".. I still use that line occasionally.

I have worked with a guy for almost 20 years that was the geeky computer kid in high school with thick taped glasses a
nd bad skin who found accutane acne medication, contact lenses, a happy marriage, 2 kids and a job as the editor of a well known magazine. He found self confidence and self esteem a long the way. I have a lot of Harvard students that went on to become quite illustrious. A legal commentator on CNN, more Deans then I can count, a three star General, and a lot of politicians. THEY WERE BABYS !! If I gave them one haircut, or one word of encouragement along the way that helped them, then I encourage my fledglings to spread their wings and fly. Go for it. DO IT!! I'll be around to tell you how well you've done. and how good your hair looks, but until then, the world is your oyster Anybody can be or do anything they put their mind to in this world- we just had a national election that proved that.

So, This Thanksgiving, I look forward to Charlotte Vale coming in to get her hair streaked, and Dillon to come i
n to prepare me for yet another girlfriend for me to look over. (the right one is going to come along, but for heaven's sake no more anxious ex models.) I can't wait to see my Clinical psychologist coming up from Philly, or my micro financier from Yale who loans 5 dollars to a farmer in Bangladesh to buy a cow that helps the whole economy of the village. I cut her bangs to short in 6th grade (her Mother MADE ME) and she still gets skittish around it."Post Traumatic Bang Stress" (PTBS) I think about 70% of all women have a childhood bang trauma that takes a good hairdresser to help them work through that. That's what I do. Come home and see us over the Holidays to get your hair done by those of us who love you and sent you out there way back when with your chin up, your shirt tucked in, and your bangs just the right length.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Size 12 is the new size 2

Jane Russel was a size 14. Endowed with a large bust, she won the lead role in Howard Hughes' The Outlaw (1941) after Hughes conducted a nationwide search for a curvaceous actress, eventually finding her working in his dentist's office. The film caused a storm of controversy due primarily to the amount of cleavage shown by Russell onscreen, and, after brief releases in 1941 and 1943, it was not officially released until 1950. The controversy brought her much publicity, often in the form of off-color, sophomoric jokes. However, she surpassed her mindless "bombshell" image and went on to perform with versatility in a number of films.

My personal favorite Jane Russell movie is “Gentlemen prefer Blondes with the equaly “full figured” Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was a size 12.

“We’re just two little girls from Little Rock-
And we were born on the wrong side of the tracks”

Any gay guy that has not seen this movie at least 3 times, and can not sing a few bars of this most FABULOUS and famous soundtrack should just turn in their entry card to Provincetown right now. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is a song introduced by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), which was written by Jule Styne (who also wrote the scores for the famed Broadway musicals for full figured women: Funny Girl and Gypsy) This iconoclastic song is sung not just once, but TWICE in the movie by both Jane and Marilyn.

Where am I going with this? Michelle Obama is a size 12. She has the same figure as those glamorous, glorious gals that were considered the paragons of beauty not that long ago. If Michelle is the new Jacki, then the whole concept of style will change. Isn't that Obama’s big slogan anyway? “A time for change“? The 18 hour cross your heart bra look is coming back faster than a speeding train. Start chowing girls, thin is definitely SO OVER !! Mary Kate and Ashley, you should forget about the matching nose jobs and EAT SOMETHING for heavens sake!!

The red dress she wore to the White House this week was perfection. (Nancy Regan was all about red.) The wrap around waist gave her the classic hourglass shape. With those hips, I would just kill to do the Cha-Cha or Rumba with her. My favorite comment comes from the Times of London’s Sarah Vine. Just in case you don’t think clothes make the woman, here is what Sarah said about Mrs. Obama’s red dress: “[It is] a garment that betrays her excitement in more ways than one. The color is racy, the cut (empire-line with a pencil skirt) emphatically sexy. And it has been a long while since a neckline as fashion forward as this has been spotted within a mile of the Oval Office.

To bad about the election night dress however. Mrs Obama wore a red and black scoop-neck dress by Narciso Rodriguez for the historic moment, a decision that has sparked instant debate among the fashion-focused. Some branded it an eyesore, others said it was a simple mistake. Most agreed Ms Obama had suffered a rare lapse of taste. I think it looked like a Lava lamp. OK, we all have our tragic fashion moments. I had a pair of Frankenstein platform shoes that were 6 inches high in high school. I wore them to my prom with baby blue low riding velvet bell bottoms- What was I thinking?

I am enamored with Michelle. She's smart. She's beautiful, and she's a classy mom on the go. To bad Mr Blackwell died who came out with the Best/Worst dressed list every year. She would top the best. She IS the best. Jane Russell or Jacki; thick or thin, tall or small, Michelle Obama is an inspiration to us all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Beautiful new World

I woke up this morning to a historical and unprecedented event: the election of Barack Obama, the first “Black” president of the United States of America. I feel hopeful, optimistic, and full of awe as this first term Illinois senator, like Abraham Lincoln has risen out of the ashes of the GIANT mess of corruption, dishonesty, and stupidity that has been a thorn (spear) in my side for quite a while. Not to mention the TERRIBLE hair cuts, dye jobs, and press conference makeup these guys have had, (magnified now by high definition television.) At least Ronald Regan had a sensational haircut, a flawless color job, great fitting suits, and a good manicure every single day he was president. Now there was a guy who new how to be butch and yet wear tons of makeup….BECAUSE of the White House private beauty salon.

Along came George Bush Sr, and tragically Barbara Bush ripped out the tastefully built in full service salon that Jackie Kennedy had built. Nancy Regan worshiped her hairdresser in Jackie’s original chair. It was a sad day for hairdressers around the globe when the dogs went in and the salon went out. I could tell instantly when it happened as Barbara Bush’s hair looked like a car wreck on I-95, during holiday traffic. We all just slowed down to a crawl and gawked in horror as we drove by.

To make matters worse; insulting the tradition of White House style, The Bush’s installed a…. DOG KENNEL in Jackie’s private beauty salon for that dreadful insipid little mangy cocker spaniel named “Millie” who had disgusting runny eyes with “goobers incrusted in it’s tear ducts. No wonder Barbara’s hair looked like that. Betty Ford (love her)) and Pat Nixon (another mess in a dress) used to hang out in the White House salon, throw back a few cocktails, and OOOH BOY I can just imagine the dishy, boozy chitchat between those girls and their hairdresser. Lady Bird Johnson teased up her hair into that fabulous “Dallas Crash Helmet” She needed the height, since she was just an itty bitty tiny little thing. Thanks to Lady Bird, we had Highway Beautification movement; key word: BEAUTIFICATION.

OK, I’ll admit that Roslyn Carter, and the present Mrs. Bush were never the paragons of style, but they are victims of that “earthy” look of their generation , and I give them both a pass. They are both quiet, not flashy, and stand by their men.

Presidential daughters Linda Bird and Tricia Nixon NEEDED that salon for those glitzy White House weddings. How disappointingly tragic that Jenna Bush had a burgers and beer BBQ for her wedding (what was she thinking?) The Obama’s oldest daughter will be in her 20’s in 8 years, and I smell a White House wedding to beat the band. Can you imagine dancing with Daddy in his white tie and tails, swirling around the White House Ballroom, in a Vera Wang dress with the French President waiting to cut in?

So, Now that Michelle Obama is moving in, and has a lot of work done on her hair Are you kidding me? It takes hours to straighten and blow out that flip to get that retro look. Which by the way is drop dead fabulous. She’s the new “Black Jackie” and I think that the first executive order of the new first lady should be to rip out that flea infested dog kennel and put back the beauty salon for HEAVEN’S SAKE!! I mean it’s a no brainer.

Those teenage girls have extensive braiding and extensions done, anti acne treatments, and Japanese seaweed relaxer. Of course a girl needs to wax in all kinds of places, especially during bathing suit season. There are THREE new ladies moving in and I propose a letter writing campaign to sweep the country to bring back the White House beauty salon!! Bring the damn thing back!! If every hairdresser, gay guy, fashion puss, and anyone of us that works in the 40 billion dollar beauty industry were to write a letter PLEADING to re build the salon- we would have a movement, a mandate, and a national statement that has the underlying message: JOBS are out there for us. This would be great for the economy. The 40 billion dollar beauty industry is a field that can expand and create new heights of green industry skin care, bio degradable make up, and eco-beauty. The time for change is NOW!!