David Tovey Fashion Show – 27 September 2015

Lucy Cates model

Model: Lucy Cates @LucyCates Hair: Rainbow Room @RainbowRoomInt Photography: Richard Miles @richmilesphoto MUA: Maddie Austin @MaddieAmua Styling: Clare Frith @songbirdwedding

A creative Hairdresser is required for a fashion show to be held at the South Bank on Sunday 27th September 2015. Unfortunately, they’ll be unable to pay! The organisers are looking for a Volunteer Hairdresser.

Yeah, look, I’m not okay with pay-to-play either; and I’m fully aware of the Twitter hashtag #NoFreeWork. But this fashion show is all about raising awareness to prove a broken man can succeed with a helping hand! And that broken man is: David Tovey @DavidTovey1975.

Let me tell you a little bit about David John Tovey:
He’s an Artist. For many years he was a successful businessman after leaving the British army. In 2011 he had a stroke and this was the start of a long battle with bad health and rotten luck. He is now on the mend, and helping others through charitable works. Please read his amazing story featured the Independent: David Tovey has weathered cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness – and he’s only 39.

This fashion show really is a wonderful opportunity for a young hairdresser to gain real experience and build a portfolio of work – think of it as a test session (which are never paid). Lucy Cates is one of the named models.

I don’t know the absolute full details, you need to contact @DavidTovey1975 for those, but I can tell you the location of the event is the South Bank. It starts from the Millennium Eye and works its way around towards the British Film Institute and then back again via the main road. The actual show kicks off around 1600, and will probably go on for 45 minutes.

Remembering Oliver Creasey 1950 – 2008

oliver creasey 1974Oliver Creasey (1950 – 2008) in 1974
Image courtesy of Vidal Sassoon Gallery presented by John Santilli

It was 1974 and it was Ollie’s birthday and he was late for work. Normally there’d be lots of Happy Birthday wishes, cards and cake and maybe a glass or two of wine, but today we, the staff, plotted in the staffroom and decided to pretend that we didn’t know it was his birthday; and if he tried to drop any hints we’d ignore them. All his morning clients were primed at the reception desk and told not to wish him happy birthday. …Until after lunch, when we knew one of his clients would bring in a special pressie.

By 09.30 Oliver was moody. At 10.00 he was cross, irritable and brooding. By 12.30 (about the time) he was gloomy, dejected and downright pathetic.


Then the old git went the other way, he was ecstatic! Not a pretty sight ;-)

Thinking of you today Oliver
Here is my little tribute to, David Oliver Creasey who helped to shape my career!

Bristol Crocodile Goes Into The Red Lion Pub Arlingham

Brian Streaters Streatfield

Brian ‘Streaters’ Streatfield

I was having a nice pint of Uley Bitter in the The Red Lion pub in Arlingham, Gloucestershire, when my mate Streaters walks in with the 16 foot ‘Bristol Crocodile’ that he’d found on the banks of the River Avon!

The landlord looked up and shouts “Get It Out – Are you crazy? You can’t bring that thing in here! Get It Out Now!” But Streaters seemed totally relaxed, he heads towards the bar dragging the fucking enormous crocodile behind him on a leash, and he says, “Relax, it’s perfectly okay; the Bristol Crocodile seems to be completely tame. In fact, if you’ll let me stay I’ll show you one of his tricks to demonstrate that he’s very docile.”

The Landlord reluctantly consents and Streaters gently coaxes the crocodile to climb up on to a nearby chair. Much to everyone’s surprise, Streaters gets out his ‘not-so-little-man’ and places it in the crocodile’s mouth.

After about a minute Streaters pulls out a baseball bat, and Whack. Whack. Whack. He beats the crocodile viciously over the head. The massive Bristol Crocodile seems totally unmoved and he just slowly opens his mouth and Streaters’s penis is unharmed.

A round of applause and Streaters takes a bow; he puts his tackle away and shouts out, “Anyone Else Want To Give It A Go?” And some old girl in the corner shouted, “Yeah, I’ll give it a go, but don’t hit me so hard with the bat!”


A Celebration of The Life of Brian. Brian ‘Streaters’ Streatfield, born 4th October 1938 – 25th July 2014. He was like an Uncle to me, he was a dear, dear friend and I loved him very much.

This series of ‘Pub Jokes’ marked Streaters is my little tribute to a man who loved a pint in a good pub; he was also the bloke that I loved to have a pint with, and I’ll miss him forever. Rest in peace you old ‘B’

Vivienne Westwood Gives England The Finger

Dame Vivienne Westwood photograph by Juergen Teller – The National Portrait Gallery – J.P. Morgan Fund for New Commissions

Vivienne Westwood gives England the finger at her Red Label show on Sunday 14 September 2014 – London Fashion Week SS15!

If you’d asked me yesterday which way Vivienne Westwood would vote in the Scottish independence referendum, I’d have said, “NO!” (by the way, she doesn’t get a vote!) Surely this intelligent fashion designer and businesswoman, who’s very much a part of the “establishment,” (she is a fucking Dame for Christ’s sake!) with shops all over the world, wouldn’t really want to split up the United Kingdom and make it smaller and disconnected, at a time when the world is becoming more connected, more like a “global village”? Seemingly, she does!

Then again, if I’d actually thought about it… well, the signs have always been there right from the early King’s Road days. 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.

In the early King’s Road, Malcolm McLaren days, they used reverse psychology as an effective marketing strategy. There were plenty of cheap, risqué, shock tactics and gimmicks too, that worked well in an era of Habitat, Margaret Thatcher and Pink Floyd – BDSM (Bondage and Discipline (BD), Dominance and Submission (DS), Sadism and Masochism (SM)), Swastikas, Nazi bondage, upside down crucifixes and sticking two fingers up at HRH just thirty years after WW2 was Very subversive, provocative, anarchistic, anti-establishment and anti-christian; they were sticking two fingers up at the journalists as well, because they could hardly print a fucking word!

For Vivienne Westwood being unpatriotic isn’t just a marketing strategy, it’s a part of her “angry political activist,” DIY, ironic punk philosophy.

Vivienne Westwood as Margaret Thatcher - Tatler April Fool issue 1989

Here’s Vivienne Westwood as Margaret Thatcher – Tatler April Fool issue 1989

She knows how to get them talking! And by declaring, ‘I hate England,’ the Vivster has certainly done that.

Over the next few days there’s going to be plenty of negative comments pointed towards Westwood, which is a pity; this woman who cycles around London, cares about the community and supports many worthy causes, is doing the Scottish poor a Massive injustice, because it is they who will suffer so dreadfully if the YES vote wins.

Never mind the bollocks #VoteNo

#BringBackOurGirls Subterranean Homesick Blues

As soon as I saw Michelle Obama (raises pressure over kidnapped schoolgirls via The Guardian) holding up the sign #BringBackOurGirls, I thought, “Oh shit, there’s another opportunity for some clever dick to change the heartfelt message.” – It didn’t take long! Then there were all those fucking celebrities who jumped on the bandwagon hoping for a few thousand ReTweets.

Malala Yousafzai #BringBackOurGirls

Malala Yousafzai says the world must not stay silent over the abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls.

I’d like to think that some of them were actually genuine. I trust Malala’s was. I’ve quite a strong feeling that David Cameron’s was too, as I watched the Andrew Marr Show where he ‘did it’ – maybe it was ‘planned?’

David Cameron and Christiane Amanpour supporting Bring Back Our Girls #BringBackOurGirls
David Cameron and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour with the Twitter campaign’s hashtag #BringBackOurGirls

I’ve a strong feeling that Twitter hashtag campaigns are not a real measure of public feeling – once the celebrities start Tweeting their hashtagged selfies, there is a lot of sycophantic action from their hoards of followers, who are desperate to connect with their idols! However, I think it’s the nearest we are going to get to knowing the size of world opinion.

The massive outpouring of world feeling for these abducted Nigerian girls on the social networks, is akin to prayer – ultimately useless I’m affraid. What we really need to do is sort out extremist religion and corruption in world politics.

koo bring back our girls

Koo, my lovely wife, made this cross stitch #BringBackOurGirls banner

Homoerotic Fetish Artist Tom of Finland Gets Franked

Self Portrait Homoerotic Christmas Card 1983
Self Portrait Homoerotic Christmas Card 1983

In 1983 after visiting Robin and Emma, who live in Amsterdam, I decided that my Christmas card would be a self portrait of me in the style of Tom of Finland! Thirty one years later, the very not safe for work, gay pornographic images are on fucking postage stamps in Finland – What’s the world coming to?

Tom of Finland Homoerotic Stamps

The Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland, 8 May 1920 – 7 Nov 1991) was noted for his stylized homoerotic fetish art. He was an important influence on gay pornography (art) in the late twentieth century.

unfranked stamp #1 | Tom of Finland Homoerotic Stamps

unfranked stamp #2 | Tom of Finland Homoerotic Stamps

unfranked stamp #3 | Tom of Finland Homoerotic Stamps

I am SO surprised that the Finnish postal service (Itella) is going to release a set of stamps commemorating Tom of Finland! I’ve got to get a Finnish pen-pal, I definitely want a set – due for release in September 2014.

Progress Is Fucked When Education is Blocked

Secondary school probes teachers for recommending students Aziz Nesin novel
Aziz Nesin’s novel Shimdiki Chocuklar Harika

Progress, innovation, ideas, fashion, you name it, they are all fucked up when education and free speech is blocked. A number of Turkish secondary school teachers have recently been questioned and probed for recommending Shimdiki Chocuklar Harika (The Children Of Our Times Are Great), a novel by the iconoclastic Turkish writer Aziz Nesin. Normally the book would be included in school’s recommended reading lists, but the ever repressive, controlling, neo-Ottoman Turkish Sultanate (AK Party), have decided in their insecure wisdom to, er, remove it from the list?

It’s the usual problem, put a controversial book on the recommended reading list that teaches kids how to defend their rights against adults and shows them how making some valued judgements can be wrong, and all hell will break loose! Does anyone remember the ‘Little Red Schoolbook?’

The Little Red Schoolbook
The Little Red Schoolbook that I bought in 1971 for 30p

The Little Red Schoolbook is a book written by two Danish schoolteachers, Soren Hansen and Jesper Jensen, published in 1969, it was deemed extremely controversial on publication. The book was translated and published in the UK in 1971. I bought a copy! It was critical of institutional politics and religion and used explicit language to discuss sexuality and drug use – but it didn’t change the world; which is a pity because there are a lot of Jimmy Saviles and fat paedo bastards like Cyril Smith out there.


The Inner Beauty Of Leon Hamme

malcolm mcdowell

I don’t know if a picture of Leon exists? I always thought he looked like Malcolm McDowell, which is why I’ve included a picture of him (above), to give you an impression and set the scene! This picture of McDowell is very Leon.

My first memory of Leon was the two of us sitting in the back of a London taxi one dark, wet winter’s night in 1972/3. We were late, as per usual, travelling from Ricci’s George Street salon to the King’s Road salon for model night. He was a well seasoned hairdresser, probably at his pinnacle and I was a n00bie Junior in my renaissance. We talked of my progress, he casually told me not to worry and that I’d do well. I was hanging on to his every word, but by his tone I knew he didn’t care.

Leon talked as if I wasn’t there, he soliloquised about ‘creating The look’ and ‘bringing out a client’s personality’, his lofty words floated way above my head and I struggled to take it all in. Unfortunately our ‘conversation’ was cut short by our arrival and we didn’t ever talk of such things again.

I moved to the King’s Road salon and after a short time Leon left Ricci Burns. I asked Tina if she had any memories (I nearly wrote mammaries – Freudian slip) of Leon? Tina replied, “Once, Leon was finishing his 5 o’clock client and Reception were getting his client to pay so they could cash up. When they presented her with the bill, Leon noticed that her name was Mrs. Odsog, and proceeded to start giggling as he had recently had a ‘smoke’ and he found her name hilarious. It turned out that he had a friend who had a cat called Odd-sock and he told the client! She wasn’t amused at having the piss taken out of her!” And I thought, oh yeah – That was so typically Leon!

Skip forward a few years until about 1980/81; I’d been to Paris to do a fashion show and photo session, on my return I ended up in Windsor waiting for a lift home – I think. Anyway, I was in Windsor, looking around, killing time – And there he was, Leon, standing outside a hairdressing salon (Chess-Set, Church Street, Windsor) having a smoke. He greeted me like a long lost friend, eager to hear of past times. He looked totally out of place to me. And we became friends for a short time – maybe for four or five years.

We would normally meet-up for lunch and sometimes we’d swap haircuts. We talked of old times, and apart from the drugs, we discovered we had had carbon copy career paths – almost. But, Leon Hamme, my creative role model, was now on a downward spiral. He floated from salon to salon, Chess-Set, Cassidy, the Holiday Inn, he was freelance, he was probably on heroin! And the last I heard of him, was that he was going to do a film – 1985 Max Headroom (TV movie) (Leon Hamme: assistant hair stylist)!

Fast-forward to Tuesday 26th November 2013, I’m reading the news and I see, Where fantasy ends and reality begins: Unnerving images show multi-ethnic women digitally merged with Barbie dolls – Epiphany. There it is, a photograph that makes clear Leon’s dream like soliloquy.

Sheila Pree BrightSheila Pree Bright’s ‘Plastic Bodies’, like Katie Piper, transcend what most people think of as real beauty and asks us to look at the individual within. We all have a complex range of ideas of what Beauty is, these ideas are mainly foisted upon us by the commercialisation of society – I think that the Barbie doll itself, is a perfect example the false, airbrushed, synthetic, siliconed and plasticised world we live in. And Sheila Pree Bright’s beautiful and fascinating images give us all a slap around the face and say Wake Up – They did to me anyway!

Hair colourist Lester Baldwin once said to me, “Leon Hammé is the world’s best hairdresser by far.” I don’t know the final part to his story, I’m pretty sure he popped his clogs in the 1980s! He certainly had an inner beauty and he was way ahead of his time.

Hazards Of The Job

Tip of left finger nearly cut off

I was helping Streaters cut his holly bush into the shape of a rampant dachshund, when the hedge-trimmer slipped and nearly cut the tip of my finger off. Luckily I was wearing gloves. “Go over to Maddie’s field and stick your finger up a cow’s bum. That’s the best course of action and you won’t need any stitches,” Streaters said; and he should know because he was in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
“But that’s a bloody mile away” I said, “I’ll bleed to death before I get there!” Anyway, I trundled off to Maddie’s field with my hand wrapped in an old tea towel. On the way I met the farmer’s daughter, “Hi Ian, what’s wrong with your hand?” she said.
“Oh, I’ve just cut the tip of my finger helping Streaters cut his hedge. He told me to go over to Maddie’s field and stick it up a cow’s bum.”
“Aw, you don’t need to walk all the way over there, that’s nearly a mile away, you can stick it up my bum if you want.”
“Up your bum?”
“Yeah, it’s just as good and you won’t need any stitches.” And she took down her pants and bent over.

“Oi!” she said, “That’s not my bum.”
“Well,” I said, “that’s not my finger!”

Anyway, Koo took me to Heatherwood Hospital minor injuries dept., where they filmed Carry On Matron way back in the 1970s, and of course lucky me, the beautiful Barbara Windsor did the needlework and mopped my brow. The bone is okay we think thank God.

Hair Colour and Cancer – Part 2

Model: Kate Doweson. Photographer: Chris Roberts 1982. Hair: Ian Robson. Deauville, France

Hair Colour and Cancer again! Have you read in the Daily Mail, Hair dyes used by millions of women are linked to chemicals that can cause cancer? Well, you can call me an old sceptic, but I’m always extremely suspicious when a company, in this case Green Chemicals – who are about to launch a new ‘ultra-safe’ range of permanent hair tints, uses sound scientific evidence to gain a competitive advantage. Still, fair play to them, it’s a difficult world!

Being a sceptic doesn’t mean that I am not concerned about hair colourants and cancer, on the contrary, I’m very interested, which is why I wrote Hair Colour and Cancer ~ an important message for all my clients who colour their hair – ages ago (it reads a little out of date now!)

Obviously I am very interested in offering my clients the very best products, and to that end I’ll be keeping my eye on Green Chemicals and wishing them well with much success. Looking at Green Chemicals’ list of benefits, see Permanent Hair Dyes, I’m interested to find out about lifting the hair colour – and BTW, what’s all this about ‘Hair Dyes’; for as long as I’ve been in hairdressing we’ve called them ‘Tints’, semantics? Yeah, there’s more to this than meets the eye me thinks!

I firmly back the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association’s (CTPA) and the National Hairdressers’ Federation’s "Colour With Confidence Campaign." If you’re thinking about getting your hair tinted, whether it’s the first time or the hundredth, make sure you get an Allergy Alert Test 48 hours in advance – Please Get In Contact For More Details.

Especially for Rachel: the CTPA’s consumer website, thefactsabout.co.uk, holds a wealth of information about the science behind products, explaining about safety assessments, ingredient issues and the strict rules governing the safety of such products as toothpaste, hair colourants, sun protection, make-up etc.