Wednesday, December 22, 2004

La deception Proustienne: the $800 haircut isn't all that

There's an article in the latest Vogue on the man behind the $800 haircut. The final sentence of the article? "Start saving." According to Vogue, the haircut is "worth it."

I was enjoying living vicariously through the recipients of the $800 haircut until I saw the photos of Orlando Pita's work--he's terrible! The images are of him tending to a very long, frizzy, blond mess atop a model's head, and it appears he's creating, not fixing, the situation. Then, there's a picture of Kirsten Dunst with an unflatteringly layered short 'do, for which Mr. Pita is apparently responsible. And then there are the pics of his work for the runway, which appears to be his only strength. But runway hairstyles are to civilian ones what pastries made for pastry-baking competitions are to the things people actually want to eat--they're intricate but have no practical application. It seems there's a limit to how high-end a conventional haircut can be before it's an overdone disaster.

Really, I have nothing against these sorts of excesses if the result is something for which we can all pine. But now I'm left wondering--at what price do haircuts stop being uneven but not yet reach the Pita level of absurdity? With shoes, once you get past about $300 (already well past what I've ever spent, but I'm from NYC, I know what's out there), they stop looking any nicer--go to Barneys to see for yourself if you're curious. Perhaps that figure is also the magic haircut price.

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