Meet Kevin, inventor of the Lady Di do.
In Washington for three days to cut hair at Robin Weir's salon as a benefit for the D.C. Special Olympics, Kevin Shanley had not a moment of privacy yesterday. Everyone wanted to know about The Family.
The Fleet Street festival presenting The Andy, Koo, Charles, Di, Anne and Marc Phillips Show has not been short on simmering gossip lately. But this royal retainer had no intentions of spilling The Royal Beans.
* What Shanley, 27, and the princess talk about when he's cutting her hair:
"She talks to me. I can't tell you what she says.It's private. That's why I'm still doing her hair."
* How the prince likes to get his hair cut:
"I don't want to discuss his haircut."
* What the atmosphere has been like at the palace since Andrew has been linked with American soft-porn actress Koo Stark:
"I'm not saying anything about that, Definitely not that. Besides, I don't know anything."
* What the prince and princess pay for their blown-dry cuts:
"I don't want to discuss the way they pay their bill."
* Who does their hair when he's not around:
"Richard, from my salon."
Shanley -- a little-known hairdresser until Lady Diana popularized her blond hairdo, wispy, loose, bangs sexily drooping into the eyes -- locked himself in a minuscule room at Weir's salon and snipped away at models, housewives and even a few men. He is shy, and he doesn't like anyone watching him cut. "If I'm so busy talking, I don't know what I'm doing," he says.
A high-heeled, redheaded receptionist did a far better job blocking the door than the Secret Service could ever have done. Not even Weir could get by her.
The $100 charity haircut was like every other Washington charity expense: tax-deductible. But Shanley was paid out of Weir's own pocket: 500 pounds a day (about $1,000) plus expenses for him and his wife, Claire (who cuts his hair). About 25 cuts were booked through tomorrow.
Weir is one of those people with an admitted knack for self-promotion. When Ronald Reagan won the election, he immediately called Julius, Nancy Reagan's California hairdresser, and offered him a space in the P Street salon during his visits east.Now, when Julius is not around, Weir is on hand to do the first lady's hair.
Yesterday, Weir fidgeted in the shop like an expectant father. Two women requested Di's look, one of whom looked like she could be Di-ana's sister. Shanley did a double take when Alana Grieninger arrived from Havre de Grace, Md. Same high cheekbones, same blond hair, same almond eyes, same cut.
"I've always worn my hair like her," said Grieninger, 19. "Now I want to look more like her."
Connie and Bob Juchem got up a 5 a.m. yesterday to get to the appointment from a Baltimore suburb. "Bob liked the cut and wanted to give it to me for Christmas," said Connie Juchem. "I've been studying the cut for a while now. It looks so easy..."
With every Di cut came a lesson in maintainance: Blow dry under, not back, to pull the frizz out. Then style back for fluff.
"I've given the princess some pointers on how to do it herself," explained Shanley. But since becoming a princess, she hasn't needed his advice much because he's usually on hand at the palace to do it for her.
"Sometimes she does it herself but I go over for all special events," he says. "It depends on how busy her schedule is. If it's a busy time, I see her often."
Shanley has been cutting Diana's hair for four years, and started cutting Charles' hair 18 months ago. He cuts them both every six weeks. Fifteen percent of his customers, he says, still request the Lady Di cut. But not everyone can wear it, of course.
As Carolyn Deaver, wife of White House deputy chief of staff Michael Deaver, who brought her children in to have their hair cut by others in the salon, said: "How can I put this? I'm too old for the Lady Di cut."