George Piazza - Extra Extra
“She was my mother, Mrs Egidio Piazza, but she was also another being – Madame Josephine.”
Eighteen years after his mother’s death, George Piazza was encouraged by a customer, Felicity Williams, a librarian from Darwin, to call the State Library about his mother’s papers.
Paris educated beautician, Madame Josephine, migrated to Australia with her husband in 1949. She had opened a salon in Italy, and in Australia went on to become a hairdresser of national and international renown. Her first salon was in the Theatre Royal Building in Hindley Street and her second, across the road, was the first ‘open space’ salon of its kind nationally. She developed her own personal care products, trailblazing the use of natural raw materials long before the trend became fashionable worldwide.
She set up the Gilbert Place salon in 1972, which is still operated by George. In its hey¬day, the salon’s line up for Saturday morning ‘beehives’ extended 200 metres down the lane and curled into Hindley Street.
Madame Josephine’s papers date from 1923, and include hairdressing photographs, trade magazines and clippings.
ExtraExtra – Volume 9, Number 2