In the heart of London’s Piccadilly, reflecting the opulence of the neighbouring Meridien Hotel with its own impressive décor of glittering chandeliers, retro-glam furnishings and elegantly tailored clientele; The House of RUSH stands apart as a beacon on the cultural horizon. Split across two floors, the first acting as entrance hall and boutique with a pristine staircase leading to the main salon, every step of the way Mummy and I are met with attentive staff one even negotiating the stairs in heels to help Mummy with my pushchair.
Taking in the bright and airy space floor-to-ceiling windows casting a view of Piccadilly’s bustling metropolis, one can forget the outside world for a brief moment and get lost in the contemporary yet old school hair-styling haven of RUSH. Ornate mirrors denote each stylist’s work station, each reflective pane bearing the name of one classic hairdresser, from Raymond and the Canta Sisters to Antoine and Alexandre de Paris. The buzz of hairdryers not detracting from the soft background music, everything is in place to create exactly the right atmosphere of luxury escape and relaxation.
One of the salon’s leading stars is Editorial Director and founding member of the Artistic team Tina Farey. Fresh from her win at the British Hairdressing Awards where she was crowned London’s hottest hair talent, she introduces herself and unfazed by her latest accolade focuses immediately on the task at hand. First talking Mummy through the various products ideal for her hair type, she then leads us to a chair in the centre of the room to discuss Mummy’s styling wishes. Unruly, dry and somewhat neglected since I arrived and began demanding all her attention, it was going to take a miracle to return Mummy’s hair to its former glory. Like a master couturier crafting a ball gown from a length of silk, Farey sets to work transforming Mummy’s hair into glossy, healthy locks. “Hair is wonderful to work with,” she says. “It’s like a fabric you can weave into style.”
On the subject of fashion, Farey herself has turned her hand to many a catwalk look for Fashion Week of which she has many tales to tell, good, bad and interesting. Dedicating the majority of her hairdressing years at RUSH, which she joined in 1985, Farey asserts the importance of staying grounded with achievements such as her award for London’s Hairdresser of the Year celebrated but merely noted on her journey to continue innovating and developing her concepts and style. Dubbed the Oscars of the hairdressing world, conversation turns from awards to the ever-present culture of celebrity. Farey remarks that “Madonna is a celebrity, Jordan not so much”. Asked whether she’d ever considered extending her professional reach to celebrity styling, she answers in the affirmative on the proviso that the former’s famed head would be the only one she’d put her name to.
Having had the opportunity of travelling to exotic locales such as Dubai, India and Thailand with her job, Farey notes the particular trends that mark one country from another. “In India it’s still all about long hair, they haven’t moved with the times and trends,” she says. But while Indian customs appear set in stone, the Thai community seem to have approached things from the extreme as Farey recalls being hounded for autographs and pictures while working in Bangkok. “There is a real culture of celebrity hairdressers out there, each one has a following and at times it can be quite overwhelming.”
Not ignoring the fact that I am bouncing around in Mummy’s lap, being showered with stray locks of hair, talk turns to family. The other half to Rush International Artistic Director, Andy Heasman, Farey confesses children are not yet on the couple’s agenda. “I want to be there for my children and to do that I need to fulfill my creative dreams first,” she says. “It’s difficult to have it all, something always suffers.” Farey is a petite force of nature, exuding warmth and hospitality and creating styling genius at the tips of her fingers. It is easy to see why the industry’s recognition fell on this creative powerhouse, in a salon that has reached industry acclaim several times over. I have one word for anyone wanting to get their hair done, RUSH.