Bourgeois Parisian Hair for the Post-Internet Age

Hair by Roku at Saint Luke using Davines, Imagery courtesy of Saint Luke

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.

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