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
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