In her heyday, model Suzy Parker was peerless. Red-haired, willowy and spirited, she was a regular tenant of Vogue covers and the precursor of Lauren Hutton in Revlon’s cosmetic campaigns of the 1950s.
Recently Suzy, 44, a domesticated mother of four, decided to launch her 17-year-old daughter, Georgia, on a modeling career. Naturally, Suzy turned to an old pal, hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, for help.
At Sassoon’s Beverly Hills salon, it was a sentimental occasion, and he iced a bottle of Suzy’s favorite champagne, Moët et Chandon. “The first time I did Suzy’s hair,” he recalled, “it was for Vogue. Oh, those long, long legs. And that hair.” And now? “She’ll call from time to time,” said Sassoon, “and I’ll say, ‘What’s that noise?’ And she’ll say, ‘I’m vacuuming.’ I tell her, ‘Oh no, Suzy. I want to remember you the way you were.’ ”
Georgia, blond and blue-eyed, is the child of Suzy’s first husband, Paris journalist Pierre de la Salle. “What we are doing for Georgia is the modern version of Suzy’s wild-haired Titian look,” explained Vidal.
Bob Salvatore, head of Max Factor’s Hollywood salon, toiled on Georgia’s face. “In heavy makeup and bright red lips, she’d look like a demented Twiggy,” Salvatore explained, as he used browns and gold for the eyes, a sheer foundation and subtle lip color.
As the staff transformed Georgia, Suzy talked about her daughter’s godmother, the late Coco Chanel (“Coco always promised she would dress her”) and about life in Santa Barbara, where she lives with her second husband, actor Bradford Dillman. Her children range in age from 8 to 17. “I’m the queen of the car pool,” laughed Suzy.
Two hours later Georgia was finished. “She’s got the bones to take many looks,” said Sassoon. Georgia, a straight-A high school senior, stared shyly in the mirror, then announced, “It looks great!” Suzy nodded. “Not only does it have flair and style,” said Ma Parker, “it’s the first time I’ve seen Georgia’s forehead in five years.”