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Sliding Doors, after 25 years that short cut by Gwyneth Paltrow still makes you sigh

Probably there was also the twenty-year-old me in a cinema that September 4, 1998. They were projecting Sliding Doors, film already successful in the United States (released overseas in April of that year) and I certainly would not have missed the romantic comedy of Brad Pitt’s ex.

The most legendary haircut in the history of cinema…

Today I find myself wondering how many films are still so influential, after a quarter century, that even their titles have become an abbreviation of universal social phenomena. Sliding Doors since 1998 it has done much more than renaming the concept of a fortuitous moment that changes lives (how many of us have since thought about the «sliding doors» that will have happened to us?). Sliding Doors gave us that Gwyneth Paltrow masterpiece pixie cut that defines an era.

sliding doors, a scene from the movie

How important were hair, even at the screenplay level, in that now cult feature film? Everything in the film, we know, plays on the contrast of the two versions of the protagonist Helen / Paltrow (which largely depended on the hair) and on how her life would have gone if she had or hadn’t taken that famous London underground train.

The poster of Sliding Doors

In one version, Gwyneth wears her hair long, straight: it’s brown and, let’s face it, rather anonymous. In the other sheath the pixie cut version of the 90s with wonderful golden highlights, short on the back and slightly shaded, longer on the front with a maxi tuft on the side, ideal for playing with the parting and with the very cool clips at the time. Strong point of the cut, a light teasing to avoid a too flattened crown.

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… And also the most expensive

Always a committed actress, the American diva she actually cut her hair for the role. A hairlook that today turned out to be among the most expensive ever. The producer of Sliding Doors Phillipa Braithwaite recently recounted that although Paltrow totally agreed with the transformative pixie cut (in the story, as happens in life, Helen decides to cut her hair at a moment of existential turning point), insisted on having her personal hairdresser come from the Big Apple to London where the film was shooting.

sliding doors, a scene from the movie

“It was probably the most expensive haircut in history because Gwyneth, rightly so, had great hair and wanted her hairstylist to fly in from New York, so we had to fly him on the Concorde. In the end, that hairstyle cost £5,000.” Practically the equivalent today of more than 9 thousand euros.

An intercontinental flight and a lot of money later, the actress’ long blonde hair goes to meet one of the extreme makeover most successful in history. It’s the turning point. Not just for Helen, who flaunts what she becomes from now on in the film the “change cut”, but also for Paltrow herself, transformed at the same time into a cut-out icon to take to the hairdresser.

Gwyneth Paltrow. Getty photo

Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images

Even today it remains highly desired (but be careful because it must always be custom made and retouched often to keep it perfect. So, it’s a very high maintenance haircut).

In the end Sliding Doorsas we know, has become a classic of the late 90s, but thanks to that pixie cut he also made sure that Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrowthe wonderful couple of the time, tuned their locks to red carpets.

Gwyneth Paltrow. and Brad Pitt Getty Photos


Nearly identical in length and color, that head in sync would have instantly propelled them into the pantheon of Hollywood’s most iconic exes. And it would have become the hairstyle matchy matchy most cited anywhere over the years.

This is perhaps the most “Gwyneth Paltrow” story ever. A haircut that has become a legend.

Source: Vanity Fair

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