Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A Hair's Breadth from Kate Moss

by Mistress Justine Brown
James Brown with his friend, Kate

About a year ago, I read about how Kate Moss' old pal and hairstylist, James Brown, who she's known since her Croydon days, was opening a salon in a quiet spot off London's Oxford Street, the hugest and most frenetic shopping promenade in Europe. A big fabulous party was held, and Kate Moss did her best to help her friend promote his new business and line of hair products. Strolling along Wigmore Street (yes, Wigmore Street), I spied the salon and darted in on a whim. Why not get two big silver streaks at my temples? I said to myself-- in spite of what I wrote on this very subject not so long ago (see "London Hair Trends Redux").
The picture that started it all

The sensible Irish colourist talked me out of my silly idea and into a better one. Why not get two big creamy blond streaks to complement my already bleached hair? The salon was relatively quiet when I went there, so I had no chance to goggle at the clientele. But I had my ideas about them. I made a lunchtime appointment for the following Tuesday.

I reasoned that half their customers must be made up of streaky blond Kate Moss fans and wannabees, all hoping, like myself, to hear the words "Hey, you look a bit like Kate." I was ready to settle for "Hey, you look a bit like Kate's fat older sister." Or even... no, Mistress Brown has her (now radically depleted) dignity to maintain. Anyway, it turns out that I was by far the most deluded person in the salon. It was peopled by serious style folk of all ages and walks of life. Each one of them had a clear idea of the look they were going for, from the tailored young man with the shiny black 80s-esque short-back-and-sides to the gallery-going seventy-year-old lady with the severe gray bob. Not a blonde in sight. (By the way, if you want to see the women who share my affliction, go down to Top Shop, where Kate has a line of clothing inspired by the contents of her own closet.)

I made my usual mistake with hairdressers. When, before touching my hair, Antony kindly complimented me on my overall colour, I blithely replied "Thanks. I do it myself." I even mentioned Clairol's brilliant newish product, Perfect 10, which really does give a great result without wrecking the hair, all in ten minutes. Might as well have slapped him in the face with a wet fish. Why do I do that? Not only is it churlish, it's dangerous. I mean, this is the guy who is about to apply toxic chemicals to my hair.

I told the cheerful, friendly shampoo girl about the Skool, and she said she'd quite like to attend. I told her about how a Skoolgirl who shall remain nameless was documenting her Obagi Blue Peel (watch this space!). And although the colourist stayed mum, the shampoo girl did mention Kate. Yes. I didn't even have to raise the topic. We looked at the current copy of ID magazine featuring our heroine on the cover. Her hair was short and dark, and she looked about fifteen. I couldn't believe it was a new photo, but it was. Apparently James Brown, who styled the shoot, had to encourage her a little to wear that wig, but in the end they were both thrilled with the results. "I had my hair like that when I was a teenager," I hinted embarrassingly. Nuthin'. Not a sausage.
And here's Mistress Brown just last week.I mean, throw me a bone here, people!
I came out of the salon all freshened and styled and feeling glamorous. I had big golden hair. "Look! Doesn't she look like Kate Moss?" I heard someone whisper, and I turned to see the slender teenager who had caught everyone's attention. Oh well. I reckon I'll go back to the James Brown Salon though. Antony steered me out of hazardous waters hair-wise, and he deserves some courtoisie. Plus, the fantasy is worth the price of admission alone.

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