Posted Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:51am PDT by Billy Johnson, Jr. in Stop The Presses!
Amy Winehouse wholly embraced her love for the '60s, and it wasn't apparent just in her music, which channeled the throwback sound of girl groups like the Ronettes. The "Rehab" singer, who was found dead in her London home Saturday and was buried Tuesday, also adopted a signature hairstyle made popular during that era--the beehive.
When Winehouse was introduced to U.S. audiences in 2006 when promoting her sophomore album "Back To Black," her hairdo was a distinctive part of her image.
Winehouse's poufy mane which stood no less than 5 inches tall, so closely resembled that of lead Ronette singer Ronnie Spector that the veteran performer thought she was looking at a photo of her younger self when she saw a picture of Winehouse in the New York Post.
The hairstyle made its debut in 1960, and was conceived by Margaret Vinci Heldt, then a stylist for the Chicago-based Modern Beauty Shop magazine. Inspired to showcase something different for the February 1960 issue, Heldt conceptualized the new hair design.
"I went home, and I thought, 'What am I going to do that hasn't been done before?" Heldt, now 92 and retired, told the Associated Press in January.
Heldt waited until her family was asleep one night before she started styling the hair on a mannequin head, trying to emulate the shape of a small black velvet hat.
"Before you know it, something was coming out," she said. "And I thought, 'I like this.'"
The magazine, now called Modern Salon, dubbed the look "the beehive."
Heldt was amazed to see her style evolve and rise in popularity.
"It grew into bigger and bigger, higher and higher; it didn't just stay a beehive," she told AP. She said the hairstyle was especially appealing to short women who desired to look taller.
"The showgirls, they loved it because it made them willowy and tall," she said.
Now, 50 years after its inception, Heldt is receiving more accolades. The trade association Cosmetologists Chicago announced plans to award a scholarship based on creativity in her name. And the Chicago History Museum plans to include Heldt's mannequin head and velvet hat in an upcoming exhibit on the history of the beehive.
The beehive was more than just a hairstyle for the late, troubled pop star. When asked if she ever had good hive days and bad hive days during an interview with Reuters, the singer offered a decisive, matter-of-fact response.
"Never. Never," she said. "My hair is always on point, even if the rest of me is really naff."
In an interview with Vogue, Winehouse suggested that she had an emotional connection to her hair. "The more insecure I feel, the bigger my beehive gets," she said.
Margaret Vinci Heldt photo credit: Caryn Rousseau, Associated Press
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