A fringe benefit of visiting Antenna, the super trendy Kensington hair salon run by Simon Forbes, is that you never know quite what to expect.
The first time I went there, it was to find planet earth defended on a space invader, by Martians .  By the second time, the space invader had become a table football game , the Martians had evolved into Tibetan monks and a terrifying metallic torso with a shrub for a head had appeared in the holding a pitchfork.
A haircut in the Forbes establishment is intended to be relaxing and fun.
It involves being shampooed in a comfortable space ship ( “I often fall asleep in them” admits Simon, who designed then himself ),  and white being styled with or
without accessories you can indulge in the luxury of a manicure, a pedicure if you dare and even make-up.
So what’ new ? The services available are no more extensive than those long offered in beauty salons.  A change of emphasis lies first in a broadening of the unisex approach to include make-up for those who want it.  Secondly and more importantly, the ever changing appearance of the places reflects its attitude to style
and trends.

Like most of this year’s crop of ultra-fashionable stylists, Simon Forbes learned the skills of the trade in a thoroughly conventional way,  ending up a director of a
corporate chain of salons and schools.
But Simon is too fickle to accept such rigid structures.  He played around with music and styling for fashion videos ( “Far too subtle ”  he calls them now ) and eventually decided to strike out on his own.

New Sounds New Styles  /  1981