A central London salon that styled celebrity haircuts including David Bowie’s is finally getting its big screen tribute — 22 years after filming began.
No Ifs Or Buts is the story of Cuts and its founders James Lebon and Steve Brooks. The salon opened in Kensington Market in 1980 before moving to Soho in 1984.
Director Sarah Lewis started making the film in 1996 after a friend took her there. She said the place and the people in it have been “playing out in the background of my life” ever since.
Lewis said: “It’s not about the haircuts, I mean they do great work with the hair, but it’s really about how fascinating it is to see in real time how people’s lives change or don’t.
“Some of the lives really change and I don’t think that can be faked for a documentary.”
The film tracks changing fashions and the rise and fall of youth movements from New Romantics to the arrival of hip-hop and how the salon became a home from home for artists and musicians including DJ Goldie, singers Neneh Cherry and Boy George — who described it as “like a community centre for weirdos” — and boxer David Haye.
Lewis said the documentary process has taken so long she shot the first scenes on film and used her iPhone for the more recent footage, but she was “relieved” it was finally going to be shown.
She said: “It’s a really difficult thing to make a film about a place like Cuts because the whole thing is just run on love. People love the place because of the memories they have and so I’ve just made one version but there could be many other versions made.”