Sunday, 17 April 2011

How Cassie Leedham created the Vintage Hair Lounge brand

Another triumph from Cassie Leedham from - our men's grooming range 
On the eve of the launch of the Vintage Hair Lounge website, it's worth making a tribute to the vastly talented Cassie Leedham from the Good Show Studio whose tireless work and creativity has been the signature of this inspired business.

The working relationship began with Cassie as far back as 2007 in developing a brand identity for our sister company Archive TV, a forward thinking historical film production company, launched in 2008 with the double international award winning film The Crime Wave starring Shana Swash, Sarah Matravers, Samantha Seager, Frankie Fitzgerald, Tat Whalley, Tim Wallers and James Wilson.

Archive TV launches The Crime Wave with designs by Cassie Leedham
Once the idea was crystallising that the future of hairdressing was in vintage, there couldn't have been anyone more enthusiastic to take on the brief than Cassie. Unlike a lot of small start-up businesses, we didn't reach for the DIY photoshop fonts, we did our research, we created a thorough business plan and concept and from that we began to work with images and influences that showed Vintage Hair Lounge visually. From this preparatory work, Cassie developed a set of 6 moodboards from which further planning and implementation could develop.

One of the Cassie moodboards used by Vintage Hair Lounge
Whilst the French Quarter salon was underway with design, the logo was finalised and transformed into brass signage for the salon exterior.

Cassie's Vintage Hair Lounge Logo created in brass signage
The last stage in the salon launch, originally planned for February 2010 was the creation of an eye-catching invitation for a whole "Launch Week". Over a hundred went out by email, and the invitation also featured in Besame Cosmetics newsletter, but despite the fantastic response, tragedy hit. The salon fitters, Newton Latimer, walked off site the day before completion, leaving a pile of rubble and our fledgling business tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket. The launch was cancelled, the police were contacted, and for those who know a little more of the Vintage Hair Lounge story, you will be familiar with the further tragedy that beset us when Southampton Police not only refused to listen or act but violently assaulted us instead. (The Independent Police Complaints Commission has just upheld part of Sharon's appeal complaint for the way she was horrendously treated in custody despite being a victim of crime).

Cassie's launch invitation for the event which tragically never happened
All our own, and Cassie's, hard work appeared to collapsed in disaster and disappointment, but an opportunity to take a temporary unit at Southampton's Bargate Centre was snapped up, so at least we had a base, we could get meeting people and the concept of Vintage Hair Lounge "on location" was born! More work from Cassie sealed the progress - a stylish location banner and an iconic "Keep Calm and Carry On" promotional poster that began to pop up across the city; a defiant celebration of all we had achieved despite Newton Latimer and Hampshire Police.

Vintage Hair Lounge on location banner designed by Cassie
Cassie features in her own Keep Calm design - launching the temporary Vintage Hair Lounge salon 2010
Whilst finding our feet at the Bargate, Cassie had one more trick up her sleeve, in the design of new "Rebel" flyers to promote our men's services!

Cassie's men's promotion in conjunction with Men-U products
So come October 2010, thanks to local shopfitters KJ Parker, the French Quarter salon finally opened, and although we still had plenty to do, we were delighted when two of our favourites clients, Vikki and Roly, whose vintage wedding we had styled in the summer, gave us permission to use their wedding photograph for another Cassie promotion. The advertisement was created for Best of British magazine and features in much of the Vintage Hair Lounge online and print promotion.

The wedding of Vikki and Roly becomes Cassie's signature advertisement
Well with all that you'd think we'd let Cassie put her feet up! Not at all, as Christmas was coming and gift vouchers beckoned....

Vintage Hair Lounge Gift Vouchers with gold leaf by Cassie 
And there was one more project to complete before the year was out. And that was to create a new promotional poster for the short film Fish!, recently screened in our salon, that would highlight some of the best work we've done in the past year - the creation of an iconic film retro mermaid using Dome monofibre and prolin hair enhancers to make seaweed inspired bespoke hair extensions, and Besame vintage cosmetics, all of which we stock and use in our salon. The beautiful stills photography by Christian Black features in the poster.

Francesca Brown as The Mermaid in Fish! Poster design by Cassie Leedham
Since Christmas, we have been working closely with Cassie and her other half, Ed Lewis, at the Good Show Studio on the new website and Monday 18 April is launch date! Cassie's original designs for our own brand men's grooming products managed to be squeezed in between the web work, and there are a few more projects up our sleeves for the summer!

So a huge heartfelt thankyou, Cassie Leedham for four years of outstanding design work for us, may there be many more terrific years to come.

Cassie Leedham can be contacted at, (01455) 636 171

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Shana Swash in Gang Girls : Quadrophenia meets Grease

Shana Swash in Gang Girls by Sharon Holloway. Photography by Scott Chalmers

With the heat soaring in Southampton today, everybody poured out on to the waterfront to soak up some much overdue sunshine. But it's not just Brighton that's seen a history of mods and rockers making the news. Vintage Hair Lounge was today the focus of an ambitious outing of mine, Sharon Holloway, to make a film in one day with a big slice of the South's retro talent.

What was originally an idea initiated by Classy Chassis Clothing to launch a new collection of sixties clothing for streetwise youth, ultimately turned in to an epic film production with mods, scooter enthuiasists, rockabillies, retro gals and classic cars pouring in to the City to meet at Vintage Hair Lounge and recreate the classic cult confrontation with a twist.

With former EastEnders actress Shana Swash fronting our retro girl gang we were in for something truly special. With charm, grit and grace, she took on the role, as Rizzo in Grease would say, "with relish!" And her exquisite performance exuded a magnetism that was undoubtedly proved by the unexpectedly huge turn out of scooter and classic car enthusiasts and the warmth with which she was received by all who played a part in the production.

Maddy Hobbs, Shana Swash and Chloe Cruse in Gang Girls by Sharon Holloway. Photography by Scott Chalmers
So it's a fitting tribute to both Shana and the South's retro and vintage scene, that the beautiful photography of the day by Scott Chalmers will also be featured on film. Gang Girls now goes straight in to post-production and more news will be posted soon.

We are also delighted to announce that Annie Young of Bournemouth's Kitty Kat Cabaret Club, who features in Gang Girls with her burlesque troupe as "The Rockers" will be performing the soundtrack.

More updates to follow.