One of Naim's famous chignons in the mid-1960s, photographed by Fouad Haddad.
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Hairstyles might not be the most obvious lens through which to trace Lebanon's postindependence history.Divided into 17 chapters – each of which is preceded by a timeline placing events in Naim's life in a broader historical context – the book is packed with old photographs capturing the hairdresser and his entourage; models sporting his inventive styles; and old newspaper clippings recording his escapades.The opening chapters, during which Naim establishes himself in Lebanon and – having become hairdresser to the stars – achieves a sort of stardom in his own right, paint a fascinating portrait of prewar Lebanon.From this small salon, the talented hairdresser soon rose to a position to of prominence at the fashionable Bristol Hotel.As Naim's life story unfolds, Corm provides a glimpse into the world of Lebanon's privileged elite in the famously glamorous prewar years. Details of which hairstyles were in vogue at various times betray shifting influences dominating Beirut's elite, whether drawing inspiration from the blonde locks of Hollywood heartthrobs like Marilyn Monroe or the chic chignons favored by fashionable Parisians. "Naim: A Brush with History" by Carole Corm is published by Darya Press and is available from selected local bookstores.
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