Thursday, May 24, 2007

Andree Putman and "Vodka"...

One of Paris' many attractions along with macarons, Pierre Herme, couture, Hausmannian architecture is you can get a GREAT HAIRCUT almost anywhere. Plus the water is hard and alkaline and wrecks havoc on your hair. It behooves you to run the first day to a hair salon. Last trip I had no special place to go, so I just picked a chic looking salon and made an appointment. When I returned standing at reception was ANDREE PUTMAN, France's most important interior designer. DRW calls Putman the Coco Chanel of interior design. She's done interiors for Yves St. Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Thierry Mugler, Azzedine Alaia, Cartier, Ebel, mannequins for Barneys, and the AirFrance Concorde. You get the picture?
As I sat in the salon chair she was standing in front of me, paying for her perfect helmet hairdo. Very tall, very trim, wearing a long black skirt, very high, strappy heels and black tights. No jewelry except for a giant knock-your-eye-out diamond ring.
Utterly simple. Utterly chic. Did I mention that Putman is 82 years old. I could not take my eyes off her.Neither could the guy cutting my hair. While we both watched, I got a lousy haircut.A day later I told M. the story of my bad haircut and Andree Putman. M. doesn't mince words. Once I showed her a watercolor of some red heart-shaped cookies.
Her response,"Hmmm...looks like a piece of jambon/red meat"

This time her response, "'s short on top and long on the bottom" M. got out her cell and started dialing. "Can you make it 3:30 tomorrow?"Yes! Yes! Anything! Off I marched next day to Karine Orson, M.'s hairdresser of 11 years to be fixed.
*Here's one of Paris' secrets.

Every single Parisien arrondissement has it's own BEST boulangerie, chocolatiere, marche, wine shop, cafe, hair salon where the locals go and have been going to for years. You need a good Parisian friend to steer you to their favorite.
While I got the perfect cut, petit chien blanc, VODKA looked on. I was smitten and distracted. But this time I didn't have to worry.VODKA's owner, Karine Orson, salon owner did damage control. After 45 minutes my hair looked fine. But Karine said, "I'm a maniac...I'm a maniac!" and trimmed more hairs.THE haircut! I was busy shooting VODKA...Karine is on the right holding the adorable VODKA with her assistant.Karine wears a chic "hairy" sweater outfit so stray cut hairs don't make a difference.
MERCI Karine, VODKA & M. too!


  1. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Hello Carol,
    I have always loved Andree Putnam's sense of style.
    Love your new haircut too!
    Looks very chic.
    Thank you for your blog.
    I enjoy it very much.
    Liane Estelle

  2. Anonymous9:46 AM

    You know I like a lot your drawings but today´s post is different(and I like the different ones).
    Even more I admire Andrée Puttman too. Her work is special - she is the kind of hard feminine personality between the World wars. Like other women I love so much (Mme.Poiret,Diana Vreeland, Orkin...).
    Your story reminds me of the movie "Le divorce"(if you have not watch it you MUST do it,it´s a basic for those with a crush on Paris),when Kate Hudson gets her perfect "Marieclaire"femme hair-cut.
    asuncion aranda

  3. NOOO WAYYY! You saw Ms. Putman!!!!! Oh mi, I'm so jealous

  4. Anonymous10:33 AM

    I am brune and I don´t like to look like I´m just coming from the hairdresser.
    I detest dyeing hairs.
    I like to look like I just took a shower and let my hair airdrying so it's soft and bloomy. So I need a special hairdresser.
    Someone who understands my "philosophy of hair" ;D

    I go to chez Lucia Iraci - rue du Vieux Colombier.
    It's was a bit expensive but they use their natural products and are delightful.

  5. javagirl1111
    I know..I know!
    Soooo exciting!
    I was ready to even pay her bill!?
    Especially if she'd let me take a picture for Paris Breakfasts..
    It was a high point even if I did have to get a 2nd haircut..but then I wouldn't have net VODKA :)

  6. Anonymous11:05 AM

    Great post, Carol!
    Thank you.

  7. I can see your excitement, no cups today (I checked thrice)! :-)
    While your hair looks great now, you need a better photo of yours up there!!! (Well, we'll do this in Vienna then, I am got at portraits, trust me *grin*).
    Black looks great, for a long time my wardrobe like like it's midnight all the time. Now I have 3 or 4 colors I rather wear, and black I leave for evenings out, still nothing than that little black dress.

  8. As you can see from the ton of mistakes I made, a full day of vacation does me no good. I apologize, I am too lazy to play an extra set of type the letters game with "preview" - bloggers has become really annoying about that, don't you think so also? :-)

    I wear BLACK all the time too..
    But somehow I don't even come close to Andree Putman's all BLACK chicness...sigh
    At least I have a few years to catch up :)

  10. Anonymous12:13 PM

    This is very good writing!!!!

  11. @ asuncion aranda:
    I happened upon this movie per chance (researching paintings in movies *g*), and absolutely loved it. I think it does a great job showing how the great divide one needs to cross to bridge cultural differences, cleverly playing with stereotyps without falling into that abysss. And then Paris! Haven't been there (yet), but that movie underscored once more that I need to go there one day. I wonder how much damage the movie did to the sale of red Kelly bags. *chuckle*

  12. Anonymous12:42 PM

    I LOVE your little story about the French non-haircut adventure.
    I was even enthralled by it and I like the way it "flowed."
    S Jersey Boy

  13. Tres chic.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    I love your blog.

  14. Well. My hair looks exactly like that of Vodka' guess it makes me cute too?

  15. I really enjoed this post today-aren't you glad you had your camera with you?

  16. Anonymous6:55 PM

    You never know who you will meet or see when you go out your door but to see Andree Puttman - wow!
    I am always scared when going to the hairdresser , even if its one you have been to before and they did a great job - that does not mean its going to be like that again!

  17. ladyjicky
    Good point..sometimes hairdressers go "creative" on you. They see your head as a plaything..most annoying :(

    You're a lucky girl if you hair is like VODKA, the pup! You probably never have to run a comb through it!

    When in Paris I never go out the door without my camera. Here I do it all the time and then regret it.
    Go figure..

  18. Carol, you need to get into the habit of carrying also in NY, I enjoy your photos from there so much (you always seem to run up to great heights of artistry there).
    I am so looking forward to the paintings you were hiding from us yesterday (as if we didn't notice! *g*).

  19. I must ask, do the French serve breakfast later on Fridays? Here I am, starving (no business lunch waiting *argh*), and still waiting for my shot at Paris Breakfast!
    Hungry in Vienna,

    smqmvooa = like jumping thru the loops (on fire), haven't they been annoying lately?

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  21. (ooo - that note above looks a bit foreboding - I just wanted to correct one of my spelling mistakes!)
    What I was trying to say was, Andree Putman to look at, reminds me of Helen Mirren.

  22. Thank-you for this post and the link to the interview. I have long been a fan of hers!!! I have read her book cover to cover. I am featuring a quote of her in my blog next week. Please drop by.
    PS I love all things French. I studied Architecture & Decoratif arts in Paris


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