What does SS17 and AW17 stand for?

Session Hairstylist: Ian (me). Photographer: Chris Roberts. Hard at work light-testing 01:10:1981.
Me taken by photographer Chris Roberts. Light-testing 01:10:1981 – SS82 season!

What does the SS and AW in SS17 and AW17 stand for within the world of fashion?

Answer: SS17 stands for the Spring Summer fashion season in the year 2017. The AW17 stands for the Autumn Winter season in 2017! The SS17 shows are held in the Autumn of 2016, and the AW17 shows are in the Feb/March of 2017

There are also two popular hashtags to be found on Twitter (and other social networks): #ss17 and #aw17 – they will be busy at the time of the shows, UK busy time is London Fashion Week (AW16) – Friday 19th – Tuesday 23rd February 2016. London Fashion Week (SS17) 16th – 20th September 2016.

And of course you can follow #ss17 on Instagram and Facebook!

The British Fashion Council and the London Fashion Week Site are always a good places to keep up with events and for the links to the latest and live London Fashion Week news – Also see/follow: #LFW.

My fashion and hairstyle predictions are more general and not really seasonal! See my SS17 and AW17 fashion predictions: Fashion Trends & Hair Styles – Predictions – New and Old and my most recent at time of writing. I usually post my latest trends and fashion predictions in December, however, yeah, I’m usually late!

So, there you are SS17 and AW17 equals the fashion seasons: Spring Summer 2017, and Autumn Winter 2017!

What Happened To Fashion Photographer Rod Delroy?

Photographer Rod Delroy | Model: Kate Dowson | Hair: Ian Robson | Way In - Harrods 7 August 1981

Photographer: Rod Delroy. Model: Kate Dowson. Hair: Ian Robson.
Fashion: Way In at Harrods. Friday 7 August 1981.
A Scanned Polaroid Photograph from my collection.

I only worked with the wonderful fashion photographer Rod Delroy about a dozen times. First time was in 1976 for The Evening Standard – funnily enough the last time was in 1981 also for an editorial in The Evening Standard.

A memorable session with Rod was a promotional shoot for Way In – Way In was an in-store fashion boutique/department at Harrods.

I suppose, if I remember correctly, the session was our attempt to pay homage to, and add some sophistication and change to the ever dwindling New Romantics fashion scene, which by August 1981 was getting past its best – Spandau Ballet meets Edgar Degas!

I’ve a strong feeling that Delightful Delroy has pegged out – if you know what has happened to the fashion photographer Rod Delroy, Please Let Me Know

Open Source Royalty Free Salon Music

salon music at its best menendez in guernsey

My first band Menendez playing Guernsey –  They’re Extra Special for me

Hairdressers Journal @hji tweeted a link to a ‘sponsored’ blog post entitled: Maximise Your Salon Music Choices With PPL, and it jogged my memory – I’d said that I would write a blog post about Open Source Royalty Free Salon Music for: @GaryInghamHair, @paulcuzcurry and @LayersHair.

Salon Music – Why Me?

I’m the founder of UnsignedBandPromotion (which, I hasten to add, is in desperate need of new content, updating and a redesign). Since 1994 my thing has been online promotion techniques (also Search Engine Optimisation); and in August 2004 I began specialising in website promotion for independent bands – that means I have been helping musicians to get their websites noticed for over 10 years :-)

My Strapline – sort of!

I help independent musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own, I do it for free and I am a world leader – which is a pretty big boast. I am also a firm believer in the Open Source movement, my design philosophy is: keep it simple, and my key words are: dedication, service, simplicity, purity and harmony.

Over the last ten years I’ve talked with hundreds of independent musicians about Band Promotion.

Maximise Your Salon Music Choices With PPL via @hji

Have a read of: Maximise Your Salon Music Choices With PPL.

As HJi’s blog comments are closed, I’ll leave my comment here:

First, I’ve got to point out that the article is slightly weighted towards TSG Media who sell music systems especially designed for retailers! Mr Paul Stead MD is heavily quoted and he makes some very good points that I totally agree with.

Product versus Shopping Experience

Playing the right kind of music in your salon is a simple and effective way to reflect your salon’s identity. It is an element of salon branding. Branding is about every element of your business – #1 being the core element: Hairdressing (quality of product).

Clients visit a salon to get an outstanding hairstyle – Even the world’s best mixtape won’t compensate for a shit hair cut – but maybe the world’s best hair cut Would atone for a couple of hours of shitty pop music?

Having said that, I’ll sort of contradict myself: if any of the elements of your salon’s brand don’t meet with your client’s acceptance, then there is a good chance you will eventually lose them.

Obviously one must achieve the right balance. And remember this, playing targeted music is beneficial for clients, staff and business.

Make Sure You Are Correctly Licensed

There are two separate independent organisations: PRS and PPL, who represent different copyright holders and issue separate licences on behalf of the music industry. Normally you will need both licences – they’re V.easy to buy online.

PRS for Music (used to be called Performing Rights Society) collects and distributes money for the use of the musical composition and lyrics on behalf of authors, songwriters, composers and publishers. PRS for Music Licence Fee: aprox. £80.00 per annum at time of writing.

PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) collects and distributes money for the use of recorded music on behalf of record companies and performers. PPL Licence Fee: aprox. £140.00 per annum at time of writing.

Fees are determined by a number of factors – there are a number of add-ons!

Open Source Royalty Free Salon Music

PRS and PPL represent the different copyright holders within the music industry (authors, songwriters, composers, publishers, record companies and performers), but what about open source, copyright free music?

Well, yes, open source, royalty free, salon music does exist and YES you can use it without having to pay PRS or PPL.

There are a number of websites that supply royalty free, open source, copyright free music; they will (should) issue an e-certificate for you to email to PRS and PPL! (Even though it’s open source, you may still have to buy an overpriced CD!) Creative Commons and the Open Source Initiative are the two main licensing bodies that support and guide musicians to share their music and creativity freely and openly – I am a firm supporter.

Then there are a plethora of independent, unsigned artists, musicians and bands who produce open source, copyright free music (mp3/CD physicals) and are NOT members of PRS or PPL. (Be warned, you are not allowed to play cover songs in the salon.) (And you will still need the artist’s express permission.)

I would warn however, if you’re playing music to clients via a music player, you will be harassed by both PRS and PPL for payment. And on top of that, there are scammers who’ll try to get you to pay them!

I can fully understand why you’d want to save a couple of hundred quid or so a year, but in reality, I’ve a strong feeling that it’s a false economy to cut your nose off to spite your face (in regard to the license fees). Owners and performers of music not only have a right to receive royalties, but also need your support (they’re not all Justin Bieber). Besides, can you imagine what some of that open source music sounds like? …let’s be choosy here, after all it is your business’s reputation on the line.

I’ve got A Better Idea!

Hairdressers, make-up artists, photographers and models who are just starting out, look to build their portfolios by doing collaborative test sessions. For hairdressers, test sessions are all about sharpening one’s hairdressing skills, collaborating with a new group of creative professionals and familiarisation of the studio/backstage environment. However, it’s not just hairdressers, MUAs, photographers and models who want the test session experience; artists, musicians, bands, fashion designers and fashion stylists are looking for it too!

Collaborating with musicians and fashion houses (a fashion company. a designer. a shop: selling off-the-peg, custom-made, haute couture clothing) whose music genre and fashion style are compatible with, and reflect your identity/brand, can have very positive and worthwhile consequences in what is ostensibly a London centric industry.

Working with creative thinking people, who are looking to be innovative, will help you to push hairdressing boundaries and set new fashion trends.

In the end I think you will acquire plenty free music, and hopefully some free/heavily discounted fashion, and heaps of kudos. And that really does knock Free Salon Music into a cocked hat!

Abandoned Suitcase Reveals A Love Affair

A love affair in a suitcase! Margret:  Chronicle of an Affair May 1969 to December 1970A love affair in a suitcase! Book cover, Margret: Chronik einer Affare Mais 1969 bis Dezember 1970 – Chronicle of an Affair May 1969 to December 1970. Compiled and Published by Nicole Delmes and Susanne Zander; text by Veit Loers and Susanne Pfeffer, at Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig, 2012. ISBN: 9783863352547. Out of print.

White Columns Gallery, in collaboration with Galerie Susanne Zander | Delmes & Zander, presents this unusual and remarkable collection of photographs and ephemera that relate to a love affair which took place between the Cologne businessman Günter K., 39, and his secretary Margret S., 24, in the late 1960s and early 1970s – Is this revenge porn turned arty-farty? The exhibition runs at the White Columns until April 18th 2015 – Also very interesting Galerie Zander Blog.

margret at the mirrorGünther K. “Margret” 7th December 1970; Original Vintage Print 13cm x 9cm.

To be a hairdresser you’ve got to be interested in people, not just fashion; because as a hairdresser you can’t really avoid getting caught up in the revelations and the machinations of other people’s lives. In a way, hairdressers are voyeuristic; we float around our clients like a camera, intently watching and actively listening while we primp and preen and snip and style, and maybe that’s why I found the discovery of ‘Margret: Chronicle of an Affair – May 1969 to December 1970,’ so fucking compelling.

photographs of margrets hairstyle(great hair) Margret S. by Günther K. 9th January 1970 – pages 22-23.

I originally found ‘Margret’ in the Telegraph and I was instantly mesmerised by her Dusty Springfield-esque bouffant hairstyle and the atmospheric photographs that seemed strangely, beautifully familiar.

margrets hair sampleDated, Friday 4th September 1970, has this hair sample been used by Margret’s hairdresser to either test a L’oreal hair colour (Récital was a very popular home hair colour that would fit the code?): 50% .12 + 50% .14 (a reddy-caramel-ish tint) + 6% H2O2 (20 volume peroxide) or was it to be passed on to her normal hairdresser? Just to say, all my colour formulae are my intellectual copyright – apart from Frances’s, which is, Wella Koleston Perfect: 50% 8/0 + 50% 9/0 + 20 Vol!

The photograph of the hair sample, with it’s simple formula, seems so everyday to me – I love it because of the background context it provides to the narrative! I don’t know what it says in the book (which I would LOVE to own) about Margret’s hair; but Museperk says or maybe quotes, “We also observe Günther’s apparent transformation of his secretary from a shy, simple, mousy-haired girl to a modern, sophisticated woman with a fiery red high-maintenance beehive hairdo.”

Galerie Zander says, “Somehow, the ultimate symbol of the man’s control is the absurd bouffant hairdo that the woman wears in almost all of the photos, regardless of how little else she has on. It feels to me like a giant handicap that her culture has foisted on her – a notably stylish ball-and-chain.”

A “high-maintenance ball-and-chain hairdo” was pretty much the norm in the 1960s; it wasn’t until the mid to late 1970s that time consuming sets and comb-outs started to fall out of fashion and the ubiquitous blow-dry came to the fore – Don’t pull time out of joint OUTRAGEOUS blog.

All of these wonderful photographs are courtesy of Galerie Susanne Zander | Delmes & Zander Visit Their Website, and you might want to follow White Columns Gallery on Twitter?

Rita Tushingham with Peter Finch in Girl With Green Eyes (1964)Rita Tushingham with Peter Finch in “Girl With Green Eyes” (1964)

The photographs of Margret and the love affair, remind me so much of Hazel who looked like Rita Tushingham in ‘Girl With Green Eyes,’ a film of the book (published 1962) written by the Irish novelist Edna O’Brien – who’s hair I used to do in the mid 1970s.

Edna O'Brien 1974. Photograph by & courtesy of Fay GodwinEdna O’Brien 1974. Photograph by & courtesy of Fay Godwin.

Hazel lived with her boyfriend in an arty flat overlooking Wandsworth Common. I stayed the night and  went for a beer with her boyfriend and we talked about the art market – he was an interesting and good bloke. In the morning I talked to Hazel about her hair colour while I watched her put her face on in the bathroom mirror; he dropped us off outside the Chelsea fire station on the King’s Road. And she confided in me, “I’m going to ditch him,” which shocked me. And I felt as though in one boozy night, I’d experienced the beginning, middle and end of their love affair! And thus the love affair between Margret and Günther seems almost like a real memory to me.

#NeonMoonGirl Neon Moon Girl

I came across an interesting project on Twitter then Kickstarter called Neon Moon Girl which is a British feminist lingerie brand that’s empowering women in all phases of womanhood.

Founded by Hayat Rachi, you can follow Neon Moon on Twitter @NeonMoonCo and also on the hashtag: #NeonMoonGirl.

I hope Slink Magazine discover Neon Moon – Here’s a related article I wrote a while back: A Plus-Sized Woman’s Hour

What does SS16 and AW16 stand for?

“What does the SS and AW in SS16 and AW16 stand for within the world of fashion?” SS16 stands for the Spring Summer fashion season in the year 2016. The AW stands for the Autumn Winter season! The SS16 shows are held in the Autumn of 2015, and the AW16 shows are in the Feb/March of 2016!

There are also two popular hashtags to be found on Twitter (and other social networks): #ss16 and #aw16 – they will be busy at the time of the shows, UK busy time is London Fashion Week – end of February.

The British Fashion Council and the London Fashion Week Site are always a good places to keep up with events and for the links to the latest and live London Fashion Week news – Also see/follow: #LFW.

My fashion and hairstyle predictions are more general and not really seasonal! See: Fashion Trends & Hair Styles – Predictions For 2015 – which are my most recent at time of writing. I’ll be posting my latest trends and fashion predictions for 2016 early in December 2015.

So, there you are SS16 and AW16 equals Spring Summer 2016, and Autumn Winter 2016!

A Plus-Sized Woman’s Hour – Slink Magazine

Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine & Robyn Lawley | Vogue Italia Giugno | Published: 03/06/2011Plus-size models: Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine & Robyn Lawley. Vogue Italia Giugno Published: 03:June:2011 – Credits: Photography: Steven Meisel. Styling: Edward Enninful. Hair: Guido Palau. Make-up: Pat McGrath. Production: Sarah Maxwell.

I was driving down to Andover last Friday (23:01:2015) and as per usual I’m listening to BBC Radio 4; the beautiful, dulcet tones of Jenni Murray (extremely cuddly) and Woman’s Hour fill the air.

Jenni introduces the editor of the new Slink Magazine, Rivkie Baum (very cuddly) (Slink Magazine is the UK’s first plus-size fashion magazine) and Dr Orla Flannery (cuddly) a weight management expert from the University of Chester! I’m driving, listening to the chatter, when I’m slightly confused by the explanation of ‘model’s dress sizes!’ Yeah, don’t forget I’m driving!

A size 12 is a ‘plus-size’ model?

Fact: a size 12 is a plus-size model – I’m not disputing that! However, I always thought it was size 14! Call me old fashioned! <Lots of exclamation marks>

© Model: Persephone, Photographer: Chris Roberts 1981, Hair: Ian RobsonPersephone – Height: 5’10 Bust: 33 Waist: 23 Hips: 34 Dress size: 10-12

Chris Roberts and I (1981) had just been up to Nevs models, on the King’s Road, and we were sitting in the Picasso Café having a beer, plotting our next move, when he pulled out the latest copy of Vogue Italia. He pointed out a fashion spread where some very young girls had been used as the models. I hated it, and said I hope this is not the future. Sizes ‘zero’ and ‘double zero’ were not being articulated at the time, however, everyone in the business was aware of the trend towards ultra thin models. For me, too thin and too young seemed offensive, disgusting and obscene.

The point is, in reality women were/are getting bigger! A typical model, Persephone, whose vital statistics in 1981 were: height: 5’10, bust: 33, waist: 23, hips: 34, was a dress size of 10 to 12, but today she would be a 4 to 6 or a USA size 0-ish!

Models are required to be tall (5’10-ish) and thin because clothes hang/look better on thin people! <more exclamation marks> We’re talking about the fashion industry here, not reality. It’s all about sales – maybe that should say money? Catwalk and photographic models are usually dress size 6 to 8, however, the UK national average dress size (in 2013) was/is about a size 16 (the basic range goes from sizes 4 to 28 – just in case you didn’t know).

Slink Magazine should reflect The Dove Campaign for Real BeautySlink Magazine should reflect The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Women, as we all know, come in all shapes and sizes; girls especially, have a lot of unnecessary body image pressures on them – pressure that is meted out by many different industries. While Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry behave like ‘Porn Stars,’ young girls are being bullied and teased because of the way they look!

Fat-positive feminists promote acceptance for women of all sizes; is SLiNK magazine a supporter of ‘Fat is a Feminist Issue’ by Susie Orbach? I hope so. For me, the acceptability of obesity has got to be balanced with health awareness, however, self-confidence and an end to food anxieties and faddy dieting, in my view, is a goal worth fighting for.


Footnote: if one searches for plus size models on Google, they’re mostly in lingerie! Why is that Slink Magazine?

Fashion Trends & Hair Styles Predictions For 2015

Emma Stone’s shortish bob by Mara Roszak, @mararoszak – V.Nice

Before I start and as per usual, I just want to say, there’ll always be a wide range of key colour palettes, looks and hair styles in any season! I only highlight the fashion trends that have caught my imagination, that I feel will progress forward & blossom and will be of interest to my clients! I particularly feel that Emma Stone’s simple bob and Miley Cyrus’s short hair will inspire my clients!

Key Colour: ‘Finely’ highlighted with natural glossy highlights and lowlights. Blonde.
Key Length: Short – bob, shoulder to long – which is good … basically not much has changed!
Key Looks: Slightly 1980s / ’90s coupe sauvage-esque / dishevelled – with a geometric precision that’s out of place in today’s world. Very happy with this prediction as it suits my style of hairdressing: a flowing precisionist hair-cutting technique. Precision cut short fringes.

PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue – Love this in 2015!

PANTONE 18-1438 TCX Marsala – a reddish-brown – Big in 2015!

The reason I’m late with my ‘Fashion Trends & Hair Styles Predictions For 2015’ is because of my busy run up to Christmas …I’d usually post my latest trends and fashion predictions for 2015 early in December 2014! But it’s not just the work, I’ve been fascinated by what’s going on in Turkey and the Middle East …and we’re talking my obsession with Twitter here!

Anyway, I was walking through Zara’s (Windsor, Berks, UK) just before Christmas and saw a green-khaki flying suit – 1975 style. And I thought, ‘fuck me, it’s all come back! …I wonder about the 70s hairstyles, have they come back too?’ No.

Miley Cyrus (Photo : Getty Images: Alberto E. Rodriguez) 2015

All is Forgiven (Tout est Pardonné) – Stop taking your cloths off for publicity Miley, it’s bollocks. But then again, fashion is always a reflection of our society!

High fashion, haute couture, may seem to pronounce itself and be forward thinking, but there are elements of illusion, fantasy and myth in it! I was intrigued to see (last year, 2014, which is when I started these fashion predictions) that ‘Vivienne Westwood is Julian Assange!’ WTF?

Muhammad is a cartoon in Charlie Hebdo (je suis Charlie – yeah, we’re all fucking Charlie), but Vivienne Westwood (enemy of the state [sic] haha) is Julian Assange (who the fuck would want to be him?) – that is almost more shocking.

Vivienne Westwood is Julian Assange

This (Westwood/Assange) is all about egoism and nepotism (that’s the Fashion world for you!). The Massive ego of Julian Assange (WikiLeaks [online non-profit organisation] founder) fancying himself as a modern Che Guevara – a counter-cultural symbol, but stuck in the Ecuadorian Embassy, London because he doesn’t want to be extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted on sexual assault charges – so he needs a few extra bucks and an image boost! And the Vivster’s support for her fashion designer son Ben Westwood, who was involved with Assange earlier on. A Westwood inspired / supported T-shirt should add a few hundred bucks to the product! A non-profit organisation, my arse.

I was really disappointed in Vivienne Westwood when she actively promoted independence for Scotland (in 2014). For me, it was like a cheap promotional gimmick to get everyone talking about her fashion show. And it bloody-well worked, which was: So, Fucking, Annoying! Splitting up the United Kingdom would have been a total Disaster. However, ‘she’ couldn’t give a damn – just to say: Westwood was quite happy to accept her damehood – prostitution=money. However, I do support her right to free speech and I do love her fashion designs.

Vivienne Westwood – Paris SS15

As I’ve said before, Vivienne Westwood is a woman who wants to push a stick into the spokes of the system, the establishment, England, and watch the rider go arse over tit. Why? Because anarchy has made her a shed load of cash. Talking of which…

I watched a lovely little ‘Guardian’ video of John Lydon talking with the brilliant Polly Toynbee, where she says, “Russell Brand’s a bum-hole.” Massive GRIN. And Lydon says, “Russell Brand will make you all homeless,” and that “he’s preaching all this from the mansion.” …And that’s my point; people like Westwood and Brand, who are part of the establishment, preach their ‘resistance’ shit to the feckless from their mansions. Politics and Fashion are so intertwined – don’t think they are not connected.

…which is why I think the Look for 2015 will be an amalgamation of Les Misérables-esque, 1980s-ish New Romanticism and emotional hardcore.

And then there’s Sienna Miller – nuff said!

Written by Ian Robson
SlashHair the sex, politics, religion and philosophy of the fashion industry, from the perspective of session hairdresser & stylist Ian Robson. “When you look good, I look good.” Find Ian on Twitter. © SlashHair’s work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which means: quote me and steal my images, but give me credit by Linking Back.

What does SS15 and AW15 stand for?

“What does the SS and AW in SS15 and AW15 stand for within the world of fashion?” SS15 stands for the Spring Summer fashion season in the year 2015. The AW stands for the Autumn Winter season!

There are also three popular hashtags to be found on Twitter (and other social networks) over the next few days (and beyond up to Paris, September 23-October 1, 2014) #ss15, #aw15 and #LFW (London Fashion Week, September 12-16, 2014).

The British Fashion Council and the London Fashion Week Site are always a good places to keep up with events and for the links to the latest and live London Fashion Week news.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label show on Sunday 14 September 2014 @ 17:00 – by invitation only!

My fashion and hairstyle predictions are more general and not really seasonal! See: Fashion Trends & Hair Styles – Predictions For 2014 – if you are interested? I’ll be posting my latest trends and fashion predictions for 2015 early in December 2014.