Hair stylist Roku Roppongi on Faustine Steinmetz’ deconstructed French girl look and sourcing hair clips from a 19th-century founded brand
Paris-born designer Faustine Steinmetz harked back to her homeland for her A/W18 collection. Rearranging the codes of traditional chic – trench coats, silk shirts, high-waisted denim, printed silk head scarves, luxury monogramming and duster coats – Steinmetz offered wool and mohair woven denim, logoed wool and silk, and ill-fitting silk dresses in a 90s shade of mint. It was an evolution of her previous wrestlings with the aesthetic ideas of the French bourgeoisie and this time invited a play on one of fashion’s most coveted accessories of late: the hair clip.
A litany of tortoiseshell-look combs, crystal-encrusted crocodile clips and perfectly polished barrettes studded the hair – all at once, no less - in order to create Steinmetz’ “perfect ‘posh’ girl,” as hairstylist Roku Roppongi explains. “But there was room to evolve it by incorporating not just a classic French style but also drawing on my interest in Japanese geisha.” Said clips randomly punctuated curves and swathes of smoothed hair, lending an off-key edge to a polished look. “It was a combination of sleek and sophisticated at the front and sculpture on the back.”
The cacophony of clips was glorious: they were vintage-looking in their randomness but far more precious. Instead most of these gems hailed from Tournier Billon – a French manufacturer exploiting the dyeable, highly flammable and now expensive to produce plastic, Celluloid – they’ve been crafting combs, clips and toiletry items in matte jewel-like hues and high-shine tortoiseshell effect since the late 1800s. “We mixed those and some new clips together to make it look modern and current,” Roppongi explained. If ever a beauty look were to get you scouting eBay – it’s this.