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Leonard Lewis, Hairdresser Who Styled Twiggy's Iconic Sixties Cut, Passes Away at 78

Anne Moratto | December 1, 2016 | 2:04 PM
Photo By The Daily Mail

The British hairdresser who created Sixties’ supermodel Twiggy's close crop, Leonard Lewis, a stellar celebrity stylist, has died at the age of 78. In 1966, Lewis transformed 16-year-old Lesley Hornby, aka Twiggy, taking her long hair up to a boyish face-framing short cut that changed her look, her life and became a definining hair design for the era. 

Lewis worked with fellow-great Vidal Sassoon before starting his own salon, The House of Leonard. The influence of his house and his esthetic resonates in the hair world today; his "hairdressing descendants" have gone onto be the creative heads of global brands.  

As tributes from the hairdressing community start to appear, MODERN joins the industry in celebrating the life of a great artist. 

“Loved visiting Leonard's salon when I worked at Sassoon's early 70s. Don't know why his short cuts are referred to as chopped, his work was beautifully cut.  He was one of London's most famous hairdressers and his five story salon was amazing. A British Legend has passed, but he left behind an amazing legacy ...”

--Dwight Miller, NAHA Lifetime Achievement honoree and co-founder of V L V T Academies 

"It was the most amazing of times and Leonard's of Mayfair was the destination for the stars of the music and film industry. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jack Nicholson, Elizabeth Taylor and Dave Clark all came to the salon.

"So many of today's big hairdressing industry names trained with Leonard, MichaelJohn, John Frieda, Nicky Clark and many more, they all have the Leonard stamp - BEAUTIFUL HAIR


"Leonard was chosen by Stanley Kubrick to work on all his films from Clockwork Orange through to Eyes Wide Shut, creating an incredible body of work for the film world alongside his salon work.

"I was very lucky that when Leonard and I met in the 60's that he saw in me a passion to specialise in colour, a little regarded hairdressing service until that time. Together we created the look that launched Twiggy with her elfin California streaky blonde crop. And from then on, every photoshoot we worked on for Vogue, Harpers etc there was always a combined credit for Hair and Colour.

"So thank you Leonard for being like a brother to me and helping me to realise my dream. Leonard, sheer genius and a true hairdressing hero."

--Daniel Galvin

"Sadly, the industry loses yet another world icon, Leonard Lewis,  a friend from the 1960 and another one who worked for my mate, Vidal. 

"He was the brightest star in the UK with a most beautiful salon right next to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square. Leonard had the creative ability to read what was to happen in the hair and fashion world and was always ahead of his time. His designs were wonderful and on the top models and  photographed by the world's best photographers.

"New hairdressers should look back and explore his creative and fantastic work.

"He will be sadly missed." 

--Harold Leighton, celebrity hairdresser, photographer and author of "From Salon to Celebrity/" 

"The 'Twiggy' cut has always been an inspiration in my work. It transcends generations and is as relevant today as when Leonard created it in the 60's.  There have been many iconic looks throughout the last century, but his version of the soft crop is timeless and beautiful."

--Sonna Brado, KMS National Artistic Director and owner of Jaazz Salons Inc., Spokane, WA

Below is an excerpt from an article by Sebastian Shakespeare from The Daily Mail which talks about the iconic cutter who began his career working with Vidal Sassoon. Read the full article here.

Known as Leonard of Mayfair because of his five-storey salon that became the epicentre of Swinging London, he created the radical crop that launched Twiggy’s modelling career and caused a revolution in a fashion world used to hair being permed, primped and tonged.

As well as working on the films of Hollywood director Stanley Kubrick, he cut the hair of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, the Rolling Stones and stars from Faye Dunaway, Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep to Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty.

Twiggy was 16-year-old Lesley Hornby when she was introduced to Leonard in 1966 by his friend and fellow hairdresser Justin de Villeneuve, who knew he was looking for models on whom he could try out his innovative crop style.

‘Her hair was long, untidy and ratty when Justin brought her in,’ Leonard later recalled. ‘We had a long discussion on what to do with her.’

Leonard decided to cut it short, like a boy: ‘It was perfect to highlight her marvelous eyes and frame her face.’ It took eight hours, with Daniel Galvin colouring her hair.

‘Looking in the mirror, I saw all these faces looking at me in a way no one had ever looked at me before,’ said Twiggy.

Leonard’s friend Barry Lategan took several photographs the next day. ‘Leonard hung one of the shots in the lobby of his salon and I went back to school,’ said Twiggy.

 ‘That really could have been that, but for the fact that one of Leonard’s clients was Deirdre McSharry, fashion editor on the Daily Express and a very influential lady in the fashion world.’

McSharry featured Twiggy as ‘The Face of 66’ and a star was born.

After Leonard suffered a brain tumour in 1988, his fellow crimpers helped pay for his care and he was at a nursing home in Putney, South-West London, when he died this week.

He had been married twice: first to model Ricci Wade, with whom he has a son, Dominic, and then to German heiress Petra Arzberger. ‘Leonard was a genius,’ said Nicky Clarke.

Leonard started his career working with Vidal Sassoon, who, like him, was from Shepherd’s Bush, before setting up his salon, The House of Leonard.

His film work included styling Kubrick’s controversial A Clockwork Orange, with the director wanting actual haircuts, rather than wigs, and ‘forerunners to the punk Mohican, with the sides of the head shaved and the middle part spiked up and brightly coloured’.

When he worked on Kubrick’s period drama Barry Lyndon, each wig was said to have had its own first-class seat on the plane from London to Dublin. 

FULL ARTICLE HERE:  http://dailym.ai/2gpf5Ld

 

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