Mia Farrow Debuts Her Pixie Cut in Rosemary’s Baby
Sometimes the expression “legend has it” turns out to be literally true, especially when it concerns one of the most memorable haircuts in Hollywood history. In 1968, Mia Farrow starred in the new film Rosemary’s Baby, in which her character surprises her husband with the new look and explains “It’s Vidal Sassoon. It’s very in.”
While filming, fashionable hairdresser Vidal Sassoon was flown to Los Angeles at the insistence of director Roman Polanski to give Farrow the iconic pixie cut. Off came the luxuriant blonde locks Farrow had sported in yesteryear’s Peyton Place television series. In came the ultrashort, “very in” pixie cut—a fashion sensation copied by women all over the world. What better way to publicize the movie than to invite photographers and reporters to record the stylist giving the actual haircut to the star? This would be the most photographed haircut in history.
There was only one problem with this story: Farrow later revealed that it never happened the way that it was publicized. In fact, it wasn’t Sassoon’s haircut to begin with. Farrow had largely created the style herself earlier that year—using manicure scissors no less—while still working on the TV drama. Sassoon was left to trim a mere half-inch and admitted that what should have cost $30 instead ended up costing $5,000. However, everyone remained on good terms. Farrow would write years later, “I intend no disrespect to Mr. Sassoon, but he had nothing to do with my haircut.”
Whatever the circumstances, it was Farrow who now owned the style. And thus a haircut that had been introduced in the 1930s by legendary performer Josephine Baker, popularized in the early 1950s by Audrey Hepburn in the film Roman Holiday, and later helped transform British model Lesley Hornby into a cultural icon named Twiggy, now became all the rage the world over. Not only that, this singular fashion moment helped launch a serious acting career and a movie that became a classic of psychological horror. Not bad for a haircut!
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