MODERN SALON's distinguished Guest Blogger Harold Leighton went back "in mind, body and memory" to give us details on this haircrafted creation.
"In the sixties, you had this fiber named Dynel made by Monsanto fibers that first came to the hairdressing industry in wig form," Leighton said. "It was very, very shiny as if every strand was polished. Then out of the blue and in American Vogue a new hairdressing name starts to hit the credits with Avedon and Penn, the great fashion photographers, for doing amazing hair-- a guy by the name of Ara Gallant, one of the most creative session hairdressers in America. Read Hair Heroes by Michael Gordon or look Ara up on Google. Using this fiber Dynel in many of his fashion shoots, Ara was creating such wonderful shapes and original looks."
And, as so often happens, it was through a client connection and kindness that Leighton came to work his own magic with fiber.
"I had a client, Shirley Lord, who was one of the best beauty editors in British Vogue and she was married to Cyril Lord who owned a major American company that made carpets in this fiber. Through her, I managed to put my hands on Dynel and then the wigs came into the UK by Monsanto Fibers. It came in hanks and as long as you wanted. It was the most difficult product to work with but I thought if Ara can handle this stuff so can Harold.
For this shoot I had polystyrene balls, like the stuff you use for flower arrangements, and managed to work these balls into the fiber and bind each ball in with fine string and then put these strips of diamante over each section. It took weeks to prepare for this exciting shoot.This fiber was impossible to curl until I discovered the setting lotion Pantene but still had to leave it under the dryer to cook for 24 hours."
The result looks as relevant today as it did forty years ago.