In this issue of Professional Hairdresser dives into the wonderful world of Paris…
“Paris. The city of love, as it is often referred too.
Well there has never been any love lost between Paris and I. Throughout my career I’ve had a turbulent relationship with this great French city. I’ve never truly been able to enjoy myself in Paris.
You see, I’ve always associated Paris with very long demanding working days. I’m not one to shy away from hard work, in fact I’m a workaholic. But let’s just be clear, for me everything is happening in London. That’s where the party is at right now and that’s where I want to be, with Manhattan a close second.
When I first started going over to Paris naturally I was buzzing but after a handful of times, and all session stylists will testify to this, it just became another location/studio that took you longer and was more stressful to get to. I once went to Paris for jobs 38 times in one year. I used to go out of Waterloo and then it moved to St Pancras, living in Primrose Hill it made it a lot easier as it’s a 15-minute cab ride. Flying isn’t an option not with 5 cases, which is what I take on a shoot.
You leave early doors, arrive, are picked up in a people carrier, work flat out, finish the job back in the car, jump on the Eurostar, get a taxi and arrive home! Speak to any session stylist and they’ll tell you the same.
But I am acquainted to the French way of life, the attention to detail, the appreciation of the finer things in life. The style.
So my relationship has been indifferent with Paris but the reason why we all go back is money! The budgets in Paris are on a different level to London or anywhere for that matter. Paris is where the money is in fashion; you only have to look at the big fashion houses showing at fashion week to see this.
It’s the home of Couture fashion week and of course is the final week of the big four cities that each season showcase the seasonal collections for the designers. I remember assisting some 10 years ago, I wasn’t in it for the money at all. I never asked about money, I was just happy to be on somebody’s team but the agent was quoting me £300+ to assist on a show…and I was doing loads!
In London I’d done seasons for near enough nothing. In Paris they want the best and will pay for it.
New designers find it very difficult to breakthrough in Paris so they come to London where it’s more relaxed and more chances are offered.
Despite my rumblings I seem to know a fair bit about the place and I love nothing more than grabbing a coffee at Angelina Tea Room across from the Louvre and strolling about.
Paris is touristy so get away from the tourism and hit my favourite chic hide away, Montaigne. I love this place it’s so kooky. It is where the artists and designers hang out, and if I were to move to Paris and at some point I’m sure I will then this will be where I will live.
Dinner, there are dozens and dozens of places as you’d expect but my favourite is Le Relais De L’entrecote it serves just one dish, but wow it is one exquisite dish. It’s worth being in there just to appreciate the grand venue. I like the one just off the Champs-Elysees.
There has just been significant investment made in the relaunch of the Cite de la Mode et du Design, a space that is solely dedicated to fashion and design. Check it out.
I also recommend checking out The Gustave Moreau Museum. It is the most intimate museum I’ve ever been too, it’s so cool. The workings of the painter Gustave Moreau are on display here as is his studio and home all of which have remained untouched since his death in 1898.
Any aspiring session hairdresser needs to go, any hairdresser or anybody in general for a source of inspiration. After all it is only a couple of hours away.”