Barber Signs and Imagery

The other week walking down London’s Kingsland Road in Dalston I took an illusionistic street photograph involving a barbershop window that regularly catches my eye. In the mix is a striking, monochromatic bearded profile with pronounced eyebrows as well as a beautiful, shrouded female figure with crossed hands. Rather than hipster qualities I associate his look more with those of a descendent of a Biblical Assyrian king. She has religious connotations, reinforced by the man’s forehead and quiff that could be seen as lending her an angelic wing:

Coincidentally I’d also taken a few photos of barber shops on my recent trip to New York. The first is the Bonefade Barbers sign, taken in the East Village. I like the combination of the skull with the edgy haircut. A bit Rock ‘n’ Roll fused with Day of the Dead; to me there are connotations of Elvis and Rockabilly. Then there is the play on words, drawing on Bona Fide – Latiin for good faith – and haircut terminology; the fade is a fashion choice and also part of both my sons’ vocabulary and current look:

The photo below was taken in New York’s Chinatown. As well as the iconic red white and blue barber pole I like the mix of languages; the Chinese characters on the plastic bag covering the old-style traditional broom, and on the glass shopfront, and the WET PAINT sign that has the translation PINTURA FRESCA in Spanish:

This next photograph was taken in Osaka, Japan. It also features the barber pole and multilingual signage but it was definitely the red-lipped, eye-lined, ginger barber mannequin that initially drew my attention, complete with oversized scissors and comb:

Next are a couple of photographs taken in London, both presumably aspirational. The first a multi-peaked gelled look for a child, showing both front and back view in the poster:

This next image was taken in Brent Cross Shopping Centre, looking up towards the skylight. An advertising image for Hob Man, a grooming barber salon, the neat side parting combined with forehead frown as a sign of desirability made this a contender for inclusion in my FROWN PROJECT:

Finally a photo of my husband getting his haircut at Pankhust Barbers in London’s  Soho, sitting on a vintage Bentley seat framed by images of iconic, stylish masculinity such as actors Steve McQueen and James Coburn. I think he is getting my favourite, the Cary Grant:


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