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Hair and There: Paris Through the Eyes of Ex-Pat David Mallett

By Erin Skrypek

Fashion Wire Daily - Paris - Yet another "glamorous" Paris fashion week has passed us by. For editors, show-reviewers, buyers, models, stylists, photographers, publicists, producers, lighting teams, photographers and every other person involved with fashion month, the Paris leg, which is the last, definitely felt like the longest week of the autumn/winter fashion festival.

That's why some over-worked fashion lovelies opt to use some vacation days and stay in Paris a few days post-fashion week. When else will they have time to discover the vrai City of Lights?

This is exactly what two weary FWD reviewers decided to do. And the first thing we did as soon as the shows were over was visit David Mallett – our godsend of a hairdresser who always manages to lift our spirits and haggard faces with a quick snip of his scissors.

Mallett, an Australian-born, Paris transplant, cuts civilian hair when he isn't jetting between advertising and editorial shoots (he did Guess with Ellen von Unwerth and an editorial spread for L'Official this past fashion week). His three year old salon is as gorgeous as his haircuts and as eclectic – one look at the taxidermy and his collection of retro lamps and ashtrays on display and you know he's scoured Clignancourt and every other hidden decorating haven the historic city has to offer.

After over a decade in Paris, he clearly knows his way around – though he'll try to convince you otherwise when he claims he still speaks Italian better than French and makes a point of pronouncing his name with a clearly audible "t" sound at the end, rather than making it silent as a real French person or an annoyingly histrionic Francophile might. Regardless, he can't pull the wool over our eyes – he's as close to being French as one can be without being born with a spoon of snails in his mouth.

So when we go to get our "fringe" (Aussi for bangs) - cut, we always have an array of cultural Paris questions for Mr. Mallett. Where is the best place to have tea? Eat dinner? Find your mother a present? Buy antlers? Get a facial? Have a burger? Mallett knows all.

Here, we share his favorites with our France-loving readers to give you an idea of what to look out for the next time you are in Paris.

Fashion Wire Daily: Where is the best place to buy products?

David Mallett: I hate to say it, but Sephora. It's a supermarket. It has everything.

FWD: Are there any new products you like?

DM: Rebecca Korner's new line, Körner. She makes the most gorgeous products. I don't think you can buy them at Sephora, but you can get them at Colette. You have to try the "Prove Real" serum and the "Purifying Night Mask." They are fabulous – your skin looks like new after you use them.

FWD: What are your all around favorite products here?

DM: Elnet! You can't buy it in the States, but it's the best hairspray out there. And I always have a gigantic bottle of Acqua di Erba S. Maria on hand. I use it all the time to freshen up my hands and my clients are always splashing it on. For fragrance, I also love Iunx. You have to go to their boutique on rue de Grenelle.

FWD: Where would you recommend someone go for a facial while in town?

DM: All the women I know go to Jöelle Ciocco on place de la Madeleine.

FWD: Isn't it really expensive there?

DM: It's expensive, but Parisian woman don't care.

FWD: Where is a good place for tea?

DM: Well, it has to be Ladurée for tea and macaroons. Everyone who comes to Paris has to go there for the macaroons.

FWD: What about your favorite café?

DM: I love Ferdi on rue du Mont Thabor. It's just here and it's a great place to hang out in the afternoon…if you have time! Café des Inities is great too or just go to the gardens at the Tuileries for a coffee. It's so lovely there in spring.

FWD: Where do you like to go for dinner?

DM: My favorite Italian is this tiny place called Cibus on rue Molière. It has about five tables and loads of French charm: the kitchen is concealed by a mirrored door and the food is amazing! For Japanese I like Kunigawa. It's also on rue Mont Thabor.

FWD: Any museums you'd recommend?

DM: Musée de la Vie Romantique in the 9th arrondissement. Go on a Tuesday in springtime when no one is there and have a coffee in the garden.

FWD: Where do you go shopping?

DM: Maria Luisa – where else? I get Margiela there and my Smedleys cashmere sweaters. Malo sweaters, too.

FWD: What about your shoes?

DM: Gucci. Sorry, it's not that exciting, I know…

FWD: It's hard to get excited about men's shoes these days. Okay, back to hair, then we'll leave you alone. Have you noticed any trends this season?

DM: There has DEFINITELY been a return to volume. Simple, geometric cuts and flat layers that add volume. It's not that ugly '70s/80s feeling, it's that '60s Bridget Bardot/Catherine Deneuve kind of hair that doesn't scare people. The kind of hair that makes you feel sexy, not stupid. Recognizably beautiful. This is not a moment in hairdressing to do stupid things.

FWD: What about for color?

DM: Color has become very pure – kind of an anti-stripe movement. Even if it's highlighted, it has a homogenous look. It's all about nuance… banishing the highlight. It's not about "raw" color at all. Again, a lot of people want that '60s gold blond. Highly sophisticated…not raw.

FWD: Anything else you recommend?

DM: Well, it's been so gray in Paris, it's affecting everyone – there is this dark vibe. So I'm not darkening anyone's hair until the sun comes out again. It makes people depressed.

Mr. Mallett forgot to mention a few highlights from his own salon, so we'll make some recommendations of our own, besides the obvious (a cut with Mallett):

Have curly bangs? Our FWD managing editor does, well did until Mallett had one of his colorists, Daniel Treussart, relax them. As Mallett told us, it's a practical process.

"I started doing this on clients who were going to the Mediterranean or St. Tropez for a week with a new boyfriend and they didn't want to have to run out of the pool and go straight to the bathroom to blow out their bangs," he explained. "This way they could hang out by the pool and let their hair dry naturally without freaking out about it."

Though poolside Mediterranean freak outs weren't exactly our FWD editor's biggest issue (thought she probably wishes they were), just the thought of her bangs not coiling up to what could have been mistaken (on a very bad day) for a patch of 2" x 2" Astrakhan when it rained or if she worked up a sweat at the gym was enough for her to buy into the dream.

Or if your bangs are fine, but you feeling tired or stressed, get a scalp massage from Giorgio (Mallett's other colorist) or a blowout from Fanny Admont (Mallett's assistant/stylist). Either way, you'll walk out of the salon feeling, well, like one of those bouncy-haired girls from those late 1980s Salon Selective ads. Trust us – it's a good thing.

David Mallett is located on 14 rue Notre Dame des Victoires, telephone 011 33 1 40 20 00 23.

Other 'scene' articles:

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 • Tinsley Mortimer Does Hair Metal Chic for Samantha Thavasa

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