Hair Affair, Haircore, Jennyf'hair: hair salons are curious little worlds. Their names angle for attention, as do the window displays touting their particular aesthetic. The names and window displays of the Swiss salons showcased in Salon Moderne are veritable gems: there’s a window adorned with Corinthian columns, fishing nets and shells, for example, another decorated with model cars and a signed soccer ball, still others featuring carnival masks, colorful life preservers during the summer season, or photos of Miss Switzerlands past and present.
But what could Swiss hairdressers possibly be thinking when they place a nibbled-at pine cone and a wooden hedgehog (half of whose spines are broken) on a styrofoam pedestal in the window? Well, it appears that hair salon window-dressing is an art unto itself, at once fascinating, perplexing and risible, often more or less divorced from the core business itself, and the sheer diversity of its one-off productions is unrivalled in any other line of retail business. That such a decorative culture should survive into the age of professional branding is but one more reason to devote a whole book to this bizarre phenomenon.
After Gut Holz (2008), presenting a selection of aesthetically intriguing bowling alleys in Switzerland, and Die schönsten Schweizer Tea Rooms (2004), featuring the most stylish Swiss tea room interiors of the 1960s and ’70s, Salon Moderne is the third book by editors Fabienne Eggelhöfer and Monica Lutz to be published by Edition Patrick Frey.