French Dressing

Freddy French was at the center of the British fashion revolution in the 1960s, freeing hair from its former rigidity.

Matrix Artistic Designer Nicholas French worked for his father, Freddy French, at French of London in the 1960s. It was an education most hairdressers can only imagine. Vidal Sassoon remembers watching the elder French at work and realizing that "here was the man who would change hairdressing." At the height of his fame, French owned 35 salons and was the first to bring salons to department stores and cruise ships. Sought after by beauty editors, he had eight Vogue covers during his career. What's more, he assisted in the development of the Denman brush, which he used extensively to create the casual hairstyles of the day. —M.D.

 CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP RIGHT: The master at work in one of his salons; inspired by the 1920s, this 1961 evening look was one of the first blow-dries with a brush; named "Designed Disorder," this style shows French's brilliant use of jewelry in the hair; a creative updo of the day, photographed by Norman Eales; photographed by John Coles, this 1966 look was just brushed and pinned.
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP RIGHT: The master at work in one of his salons; inspired by the 1920s, this 1961 evening look was one of the first blow-dries with a brush; named "Designed Disorder," this style shows French's brilliant use of jewelry in the hair; a creative updo of the day, photographed by Norman Eales; photographed by John Coles, this 1966 look was just brushed and pinned.


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Evoking a flirtatious, carefree glamour indicative of a 1920s ingénue but with a touch of modern glitz, this look was shaped by stylist Bridgette McLeod. It's one of five different styles McLeod created as part of a JOHN PAUL MITCHELL SYSTEMS photo shoot competition she won. For this Gatsby-inspired look, McLeod used a ¾-inch barrel iron to create corkscrew curls, pinning them to the side using Paul Mitchell Worked Up hairspray for staying power. Playing with contrasting textures, she smoothed the top with a Paul Mitchell paddle brush. —C.W.

Nature Made

Formulated to exfoliate skin and boost cell turnover, REN's Ginger Revivo-Tonic Two Sugar Body Scrub contains muscovado and demerara cane sugars, and extracts of Paraguay tea, kola nut, ginger and gingenosides to leave skin looking healthy and radiant. Plus, just like all of the products from this UK-based company, it's free of petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens and silicones. —N.P.

Beauty Seat

Turn your salon's style quotient up a notch with this wing chair from GAMMA & BROSS' Glow Series. The Italian manufacturer, known for its upscale, artisan furniture, constructs this chair with wood and can upholster it in 26 different colors of vinyl, including the retro Acid Green seen here. —C.W.

Blast from the Past

From hippies and Haight-Ashbury to rock stars and revolutionaries, the '60s saw dramatic changes take hold. The Sixties: Photographs by Robert Altman (Santa Monica Press, 2007) captures the tumultuous times in a collection of photographs and commentary by the Rolling Stone photojournalist, with an introduction by rock journalist Ben Fong-Torres. The book pays tribute to the iconic events, culture, musicians, writers and political figures that made the '60s one of the most influential decades of the 20th century. —S.B.

Sweet Suds

Pacifica Natural Soaps are now available in five fresh and exotic new scents: Moroccan Chamomile Apple, Tibetan Mountain Temple, Lavender Ylang Ylang, Vanilla Vera Cruz and Waikiki Pikake. Each bar of soap is carefully handmade using the brand's biodegradable, vegan and vegetable-glycerin soap base, as well as signature fragrance blends of natural oils and essences. —C.W.


Gelée de Choc, from Payot Paris' Les Revitalisantes skincare line, combines cocoa and orange extracts with soy proteins to help combination or oily skin regain its healthy radiance. Payot Paris products are being introduced in Ritz-Carlton hotel spas nationwide in an exclusive menu of services, most recently at New York City's Battery Park location. —L.A.

The Doctor is In

Dr. Martens—the combat kicks that achieved cult status during the '80s punk-rock era—are making a comeback. A retooled version of the iconic footwear first resurfaced when designer Yohji Yamamoto debuted his fall/winter 2007 menswear collection in Paris and is now making its way to select retail outlets. The collection fuses a color palette of red, purple and black with Doc Martens' trademark yellow stitch, translucent sole and heel loop and Yamamoto's dark, tailored aesthetic, including his signature "YY" monogram leather with red lining.; —K.D.


In 1988, Alan Benfield Bush partnered with Jim Markham to create ABBA (Alan Benfield Bush Academy), a line of natural, vegan hair products. In the late '90s, the company was purchased by Styling Technologies, which changed the meaning to A Balance of Business and Art. Today's owners, Colomer USA, say the name ABBA has no real meaning, but the brand still maintains its mission of fusing science with nature to deliver high-quality products. —N.P.


Joico/ISO Color Specialist ADAM MORENO has been a hairdresser for 16 years and an educator for 10. "I started out doing theater," he says, "and I studied art from the time I was old enough to draw." It shows in his wonderfully imaginative color palettes. Moreno remembers watching a platform artist while he was still in beauty school. "I knew that's what I wanted to do," he says, "because it appealed to both of my interests—the theater and art." —M.D.

Making Scents

After taking France by storm, Crazylibellule and the Poppies are garnering legions of U.S. fans. But don't try and find them on iTunes—the name may sound like an all-girl rock band, but it's really a line of solid perfumes in pretty lipstick-like cases. There are 21 different scents sure to tickle your clients' sensibilities. Call 503/525-4933 for distribution info. —C.W.

Order pretty paisley headbands like this one from Medusa's Heirlooms. 212/683-6711

Make Room

Lafco's House and Home Candle Collection takes the guesswork out of choosing the right scented candle for each room in your home. The Fresh-Cut Gardenia candle creates a welcoming aroma in the living room, Cilantro-Orange makes the kitchen smell delicious and Rosemary-Eucalyptus keeps you clearheaded when you're in the home office. In the master bedroom, the Chamomile-Lavender, pictured here, eases you into sleep. —C.W.

Knot's Landing

Celebrity stylist Ted Gibson created a series of pictures to show how a knot is this fall's new take on the standard bun. He applied Ted Gibson Build It Blow Drying Agent before blowing out the hair, then sectioned it down the center and added elastics to each ponytail at the top of the head. He braided each section and twisted the braids until they buckled, then secured them with a couple of bobby pins and sprayed with his Beautiful Hold Hairspray. —C.W.

Tune Into Fashion

VIDCAT Productions, a New York-based video production and distribution company, is offering the next-best thing to a front-row seat at Bryant Park during New York Fashion Week. The company just launched VIDCAT TV, an Internet television channel that airs fashion videos from the 1950s to the present, designer runway shows and backstage footage, vintage fashion newsreels and rare 1980s music videos. VIDCAT TV is also available for syndication if you're looking to add a little flair to your salon's home page. —C.W.

Picture Perfect

Celebrity photographer Andrew MacPherson is well known for his body of work, which includes covers for Rolling Stone and Vogue and portraits of personalities as varied as Bono, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney and John Malkovich. With 250 photographs and a foreword by Charlize Theron and U2's The Edge, 2 Million Miles (teNeues, 2006), is a celebration of MacPherson's artistry and of the many celebrities he's captured with his lens. —C.W.


August marks the start of a new school year, but many kids will end up bringing home more than just homework. Head lice, those highly contagious, icky little critters, strike more than 6 million kids a year and are most often spread at school. A new shampoo and conditioner duo called Lice-Free Zone from Circle of Friends actually helps prevent lice in the first place by repelling them with such proven lice-deterring ingredients as tea tree and andiroba. Keep some on hand at your salon so that you're prepared when a head lice outbreak hits your community. —C.W.


Tom Julian, senior vice president and director of trends for ad agency McCann Erickson, shares international retail buzz from the West Coast.

Los Angeles is a high-profile retail market year-round. The temperate climate, constant flood of tourists and bevy of celebrities make it a mecca for flagships. It's become one of the hottest locales for retailers and luxe labels that aspire to create cutting-edge prototypes, shopping experiences and facades.


One of the ingenious ways to tell a brand's story today is via prominent architects, who can bring vision and award-winning fame to retail projects. Among the most distinctive debuts to date: Rem Koolhaas and Prada brought a modern museum concept to life in a multilevel space on Rodeo Drive; also on Rodeo Drive, Yabu Pushelberg and David Yurman created a sleek, sexy setting to showcase Yurman's ever-expanding jewelry and timepieces collections; and Peter Marino led prestige labels to the West Coast, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Barneys New York. The trend shows no signs of slowing as an increasing number of retailers have been opening innovative flagships and stores in the Los Angeles area.

Escada, considered Germany's leading women's clothing and accessory label, unveiled its new location in Beverly Hills' Regent Beverly Wilshire in May with special guest Naomi Watts. Under the creative direction of Damiano Biella, the 6,000-square-foot shop's ambiance was designed to reflect "glamour, elegance and joie de vivre." The centerpiece is a rotunda with platinum tiles and a reflective dome, while separate areas house the main collection, accessories, evening wear and couture. A VIP area includes a bar and a plasma flat-screen TV.

The prestigious Italian label Gucci has expanded beyond Rodeo Drive to the Beverly Center. This full-fledged shop presents an array of apparel, accessories, footwear and handbags. Fendi chose an intimate space on Robertson Boulevard to wholesale its home line, Fendi Casa. Max Azria presented his signature collection in a new concept on Melrose Avenue, with an organic facade of twigs and branches, courtesy of sculptor Patrick Dougherty.

With several new additions, Melrose Place just got a bit more Italian. Diesel's new home and flagship on the street has been described by CEO Renzo Rosso as "a house," with denim collections uniquely merchandised alongside leather chairs in a space featuring dark wood and a custom-made floor. Lambertson Truex (Richard and John, respectively) built their "luxury house" on Melrose Place in a 2,200-square-foot store designed by the architectural firm Tsao & McKown. Custom is key with a bespoke area for signature leather goods. Finally, Oscar de la Renta opened on the street in April, with a two-level shop and courtyard garden.

Stay tuned: Chanel's Rodeo Drive flagship will reopen late this summer and will boast more than 14,000 square feet of retail, including a rooftop terrace and facade inspired by the Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle.