I rang in the recent vernal equinox in a couple of ways: The first involved taking out a favorite couple (cuffed jeans + loafers sans socks). The second hinged on getting myself some mermaid hair. For Davines’ latest hair color collection, Mother of Pearl, models’ hues were augmented by streaks that mimic the murky, rainbow iridescence found inside an oyster shell. With visions of ethereal tresses already filling my head, I turned to Greenpoint’s deeply cool Parlour Brooklyn salon and stylist Jill McArthur, a member of Davines’ Regional Artistic Team. After establishing a palette (shades of green, blue, and hints of pink to keep things from skewing too swampy) and placement (all over, with plenty of attention to the darker undersides of my hair), McArthur set about lightening a few sections of my already-blond locks. Then began the Flamboyage: In Davines’ exclusive take on freehand balayage, hair is applied to long, transparent adhesive strips before adding dye into the mix so that freshly painted color is never folded over onto itself. With the hand of a surgeon (and the patience of a saint), McArthur applied horizontal stripes of color to sections before ever-so-slightly blending their edges together with a flick of the wrist for a watercolor-like effect. One full evening, roughly forty Flamboyage strips, and several cups of the Parlour’s divine herbal tea later, my strands were an ethereal delight, confounding coworkers and L train commuters alike. And while the upkeep on any dye job requires a certain amount of vigilance (my new holy trinity is Davines’ Nounou Shampoo, Alchemic Conditioner Silver, and Oi/All in One Milk), it’s a small price to pay for the mermaid hair of the moment.
For more ways to try this season’s colorful trend and keep it looking fresh, see our Spring Beauty Guide.
There’s a fine line when it comes to the flower crown, a Coachella accessory staple, in that it can quickly tread into wedding territory. While we wouldn’t mind looking like the lost member of Kate Moss’ bridal party, finding a non-tacky wreath that is designed for festive weekends or a desert concert is harder than you’d think. Enter Crowns by Christy, a gem recently uncovered at the opening of the Annick Goutal boutique, where editors donned these springy creations. Founder Christy Meisner started crafting these flora hair accessories with blooms from her backyard and—in true beauty MacGyver form—dental floss. “It can work, but string doesn’t hold as well as wire,” she said. Alongside her best friend and crafting partner in crime, Audrey Plaisance, she’s expanded the project and is now taking personal orders through Instagram. (Honestly, half the reason people wear a flower crown in the first place is to share it on social media.) “We grew up sewing our outfits for school dances, learning to knit, and trying to make our own patterns out of newspaper,” she quipped. Here, Meisner shares her tricks of the trade:
Shop Right: “For fresh flowers, I shop everywhere from the Chelsea Flower District to Whole Foods to my local bodega—they have great fillers—and in the summertime, any backyard that is available at the moment.”
Embrace Filler: “Baby’s breath has a bad reputation, but when weaved into a flower crown, it’s total perfection.”
Ace Your Base: “Thin florist wire is the base of my crowns, real or faux. It allows you to bend anything into the shape you want.”
Act Fast: “Fresh flower crowns are like Cinderella: They only last until midnight, so you really have to make them and wear them on the same day.”
Fake It: “Faux flowers are a good alternative, but choosing the right ones are key. You want something pliable that you can easily insert wire through—anything with a plastic center is tough. For the tiny flowers, I usually opt for paper because they hold their shape, and for larger varieties I use silk.” Her favorite shops for premium picks: Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies and PANY Floral.
The pro: Pauline Rochas, cocreator of Le Premier Parfum by Coolife
The product: “I was a young teenager in Paris when I first discovered Mûre et Musc by L’Artisan Parfumeur. I got a whiff of it from a girl I had a crush on from class. I remember rushing out to the boutique in the seventh arrondissement right after school that day to buy myself a bottle. I especially loved how it started out fruity, sweet, juicy, gourmand, then opened into musky and woody notes—ending with warm and sensual oriental notes. That is exactly how I remember it evolving on my skin. The fruity and woody ingredients in particular transport me back to my younger childhood memories of vacationing in Bordeaux at Château Lagarosse, my family’s castle, plucking fresh wild blackberries, and our travels to Morocco where I was first stirred by the aroma of spices and incense burning. It was then that I started playing alchemist in my bathroom—crushing raw pieces of musk and resins and mixing them with essential oils. Needless to say, this influenced my inconscient collectif [collective unconscious] and the decision to go with a short list of carefully handpicked raw materials with oriental notes for Le Premier Parfum. But when I walk into a perfumery today that carries Mûre et Musc, I still get all excited at the chance of spraying it on and letting the magic of its scent take me back in time.”
A friend from the past recently wrote on mane master Lou Teasdale’s Facebook wall: “I remember when you used to sit and melt hair with my dad’s soldering iron trying to make dreadlocks!” Teasdale explained that she would craft primitive extensions (with the help of her twin sister Sam, co-owner of London hair hot spot Bleach) by melting synthetic strands near the roots and braiding it down. “It was totally Clueless hair, but it’s all coming back,” she noted. (And she’s right—we saw colorful Rasta-rag ponytails at Chanel and cornrows in nearly every fashion city this past season.) Though she has put down the soldering iron in favor of more high-tech tools, her love of experimentation remains the same. Teasdale’s main gigs are grooming the guys in One Direction and acting as the brand ambassador for Brit hairstyling line Fudge Urban (hitting Target stores this month), but in her spare time she managed to compile a book, The Craft, designed to help readers DIY those edgy looks—like spider lashes, rainbow strands, and temporary dreadlocks—off the runway. In this month’s Beautiful Lives feature, we dive into her crazy, colorful world.
Current exhibitions at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris and the Milan furniture fair are celebrating the legendary Orient Express, which is poised to hit the rails anew after a five-year hiatus. For Moynat artistic director Ramesh Nair, it’s a comeback on a silver platter. “I’m really passionate about a return to the experience of travel, the journey rather than the destination as an end in itself,” he said the other day in the house’s Rue Saint-Honoré headquarters. A longtime rail traveler, Nair believes that the only way to truly see India, for example, is by train. “I’m always looking to revisit the past, but in a modern way,” he remarked.
In that spirit, the French heritage leather house, which is owned by Bernard Arnault separately from LVMH, will be offering up some deep-luxury designs created with the Orient Express in mind. For starters, Nair has signed a custom vanity case similar to those favored by well-heeled travelers back in the luxury railroad line’s heyday. It took seven hundred hours to craft this one-of-a-kind piece. Even so, Nair declined to take all the credit. “It really came together over lunch with [Guerlain perfumer] Thierry Wasser,” he explained. “He’s a constant traveler, he picks up inspiration everywhere, and he immediately sensed that Shalimar would be a perfect match for the Orient Express.” Inside the buttery blue trunk: swing-out trays in apple tree wood—a material favored by sculptors for its polish and resilience—that reveal a cascade of Guerlain makeup and four Baccarat bottles of Shalimar nestled at the bottom. Minus the beauty stash, the valise would work just as well as a jewelry box or watchcase. Its price? Let’s just say if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
Meanwhile, New York is about to get its own chance to check out Moynat’s wares: On April 24, “Le Trunk Show” will touch down on the ground floor of the Dover Street Market. Look for a breakfast trunk custom-designed for Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, another designed to display Pierre Hermé’s macarons, and a retro bicycle mounted with a picnic trunk in lieu of a basic basket.