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Laurent Philippon grew up in his father’s barbershop in the French Alps, and by 15 years old was cutting the hair of his female friends. As a teen in the 1980s, he began competing in hair contests and won quite a few. When he was drafted into the French military at 18, Philippon served as a fireman in Paris where he had Saturdays off. To fill the time, he looked for a job at a salon, which is how he became an apprentice to the legendary hair dresser Alexandre de Paris who worked with celebrities like Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Brigitte Bardot. De Paris also introduced Philippon to high fashion, as the he did the hair for major names including Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Givenchy, and more. “It was a magical time, because I would spend the whole day at Chanel or at Saint Laurent, and back then it was with Mr. Saint Laurent himself or with Mr. Givenchy himself,” Philippon tells CR. “It was a pretty incredible time for a 20 year old.”
Shortly after his time working under De Paris, Philippon met famed fashion hair stylist Julien d’Ys who took him onto his team as first assistant. Philippon’s world kept expanding into fashion, meeting more iconic designers, photographers like Peter Lindbergh and and Steven Meisel, and industry insiders such as Sam McKnight and Michael Gordon (the founder of Bumble and Bumble, where Philippon has had a decades-long collaborative relationship, including a role as the Global Artistic Director). The prolific hairstylist continues to work with top designers in the industry, doing hair for campaigns and runway shows, as well as editorials.
Here, CR speaks to Philippon about apprenticing with not one but two hair legends, the seduction of French beauty, and why the best era for hair is the present.
What was it like getting to work with De Paris and D’Ys?
“With Alexandre it was all about French Haute Couture and everything is perfect–chignons, backcombing, rollers, and roller sets, all of this. With Julien, there was absolutely no rules. Taking wires and putting it with modern hair. It was like going from one extreme to another. Both schools were definitely very influential on who I am today. They were such strong schools that it was actually a little difficult for me to find myself, my style, because I was so influenced by them. But I don’t regret a minute of it because I feel like I’m the most versatile hairdresser I know. My skills are very wide and I feel very free.”
What elements define your hair styling?
“I never like a woman to feel like she’s wearing the ego of the hair that’s on her head. I always like to prioritize the beauty of the model or the woman. This is my main goal. Whatever I do, even if it’s extreme, I want her to feel beautiful. I don’t want the hair to take over. When you look at the woman who I’ve styled, you think she’s beautiful but you don’t think ‘Wow she has amazing hair.'”
People often try to emulate French beauty–how do you think of this in terms of hair?
“French women do it with so much ease. They make everything effortless looking and attractive. They make it look like they spent 10 minutes from getting dressed to doing hair and makeup, even if it’s not true. It could have taken them three hours, but it doesn’t look like it. Beauty is all about seduction. I personally feel more attracted to a woman who looks like she spent 10 minutes getting ready than one who spent three hours. So you don’t feel scared of touching her or like you’re going to ruin her hair and makeup.”
Do you have a favorite era for hair?
“I do love the Parisian ’70s–Saint Laurent, Marisa Berenson, Loulou de la Falaise, Guy Bourdin. The end of the ’70s into the ’80s in Paris. It was very glamorous and very stylish. It was a time of new power given to the women and they were taking it on. They were free. It was a new idea of femininity. I also love all the techniques used in black hairstyling, like finger waves, braiding, shapes and afro texture. I’m really having fun. There’s really no nostalgia when I say I love the ’70s Paris, because what I love the most is now.”
Do you have a favorite look you’ve done recently?
“Lately, I’ve been working with Kate Moss. I adore Kate. She’s an amazing girl to work with. I do love the last Chanel No. 5 [ad] with Lily Rose Depp. I did waves, but in a modern way. I think it suits her amazingly well. I also did an editorial with Imaan Hammam. It was very Alexandre de Paris, that kind of high French twist that was a bit exaggerated and very graphic.”
What are some of your go-to products in your kit?
“I have a few fetish products that have been with me and will always be with me. One of them is the very famous Elnett hairspray from L’Oréal. Another one is an old French product called Brillant Diamant. It’s pretty famous. I also love the thickening spray from Bumble and Bumble. Whatever you’re going to do, you can always start by spraying thickening spray all over the hair and it should bring the right amount of hold. It’s going to make it easier to use hot tools or if you’re going to blow-dry your hair and you want a little bit of hold and volume without it being sticky. It still feels like there’s no product in the hair. Also the 619 Hercules–it’s my fetish comb. It’s very flexible, very sharp, so you can easily draw lines if you are looking to do a separation.”
prev link: https://www.crfashionbook.com/beauty/a31469834/laurent-philippon-hair-alexandre-de-paris-julien-dys/
createdAt:Fri, 13 Mar 2020 14:45:26 +0000