Have I got a real treat in store for you today! today’s post is all about an amazing Parisian wedding book by Kimberley Petyt
We have got our hands on a copy of this gorgeous book and you could win it! Just read to the end for more details!!
Paris Wedding Hairstyles: The Chignon
As with wine, cheese, fashion and Johnny Halliday, the French take their chignons very seriously. Before moving to France, I had assumed that a chignon was a fancy word for “bun”—when hair is pulled back into a band and then pinned under to make, well, a bun. It wasn’t until I started phoning hair salons in Paris for wedding clients did I realize how naive I had been. The moment that I would tell the salon receptionist that my client needed a chignon, her tone would immediately change: “Non! Zayre ees nobody who can do chignon ’eere.” Or, “C’est pas possible, Pierre is zee only one who can do chignon and Thursday ees his day off!” That was my first clue that a chignon à la française is a whole other ballgame.
Bombée, tressé, néo-romantique, décoiffé or banane—the names of styles of the French chignon are as elaborate as the many variations of the style itself. Like the bride who sports it, a classic chignon mariage can be austere, demure or unbridled. It can be slicked back, poofed up, or swept over with meters of ringlets tumbling down the bride’s back. Some French hairstylists devote their entire professional lives to chignon, while others, having been shamed early on in beauty school, outright refuse to approach them. This is actually quite a noble thing, considering that a bad chignon is typically very, very bad.
When you’re making an appointment for a chignon at a salon in Paris, especially for a wedding or other special occasion, try to make an appointment for a trial (called an essai in French) sometime before the actual event. Go to the trial armed with photos of the style you want, any combs, clips or other accessories that you plan to wear and photos of your wedding dress or gown. This being Paris, be prepared for the stylist to gasp in horror at your photos, and to insist that under no circumstance will he ever give you the style that you want. It’s okay, it’s all part of le jeu (the game). Let him give you the style that he thinks is best, ogle and fawn all over it, all the while flaming his ego with words like “maître” (master) and “génie” (genius). Then slowwwly ease it into the style you want. For example: “Oh, Pierre, it is absolutely magnifique (magnificent)! My future sister-in-law was right! You ARE a genius. You have given me a chignon that is sexy and sophisticated, with just the right amount of virginity to make those other women seethe with jealousy. Oh, but I must confess—I have always been embarrassed by the homeliness of the nape of my neck. Do you think it would be possible to drop the chignon down just a bit, to spare me the embarrassment on my wedding day?” Et voila!
Many salons in Paris will offer a forfait mariage, which is a package deal that could include a hair and makeup trial, plus hair/makeup and a simple manicure on the day of. The prices of forfait mariage are varied. For some reason, salons in Paris are usually very suspicious about quoting a forfait price over the phone. They often try to insist that you come in to see them to get a price. If you let them know that you’re phoning from overseas and are unable to come in, they will give you a price seemingly off the top of their heads, but you can assume that the true price will be within fifty euros or so of the one quoted. The best bet, of course, is if you have a printed advertisement or if you can get a quote sent to you by email.
If you’re thinking about trying out an authentic French chignon while in Paris, take a look at a few of these salons. I’m sure that any one of them will make you look magnifique.
Bar à chignons
52, rue Saint André des Arts
75006 Paris, France
11, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
75008 Paris, France
Jean Marc Joubert
255, rue Saint-Honoré
75001 Paris, France
Kimberley Petyt is an American wedding planner in Paris, a French wedding expert and the owner of Parisian Events, a wedding & event planning agency catering to English-speakers in Paris. She writes the popular blog “parisian party: tales of an american wedding planner in paris” www.parisianevents.com/parisianparty
Her book, The Paris Wedding (Gibbs-Smith, 2013) is a full-color, idea-packed, go-to guide for globally minded trendsetters who are in love with the style and romance of Paris, and is available in the U.K. now through online booksellers.
To enter the competition to win your very own copy of this book. Just answer this question:
Who is the book’s author?
Please leave your answer in the comment box. One winner will be chosen at random on the 25th April 2013.