Backstage at the Paris ready-to-wear shows, there's more to do than just get dressed. And Ingrid Klee, a hair stylist who works that scene, says people would be amazed by what goes on.
Klee is part of a 12-person team that camps out in the tents at the Tuileries, the garden outside the Louvre where the ready-to-wear collections are presented. She styles hair to complement the clothes that Valentino, Dior, Emmanuel Ungaro, Claude Montana and at least a dozen others send down the runway.
But it's not exactly the most creative job. Klee says fashion designers, not hair stylists, decide how the models will wear their hair.
Blondes for Dior
Last fall in Paris, for example, "Dior models had to be blond, their hair had to be combed smooth and behind the ears. For Claude Montana's show, he wanted hair to be gelled and swirled like sculpture." Despite all the designers' individual tastes, a few trends do emerge every season.
"When clothes are worn close to the body, hair is often worn swept up," Klee says. "When the fashion is for shorter, tighter styles, as it is now, the hair is smooth and neat and more flat."
Klee and company may be backstage to carry out the fashion designers' ideas. But to get there they still need the best credentials in the business. Alexandre, the legendary Paris stylist, is one regular at the ready-to-wear presentations.
When she isn't in Paris, the German-born Klee is in her own hair salon in Frankfurt. Or, just lately, she was in Beverly Hills setting up her second shop.
Coming to the West wasn't a quick decision. She worked in London and Rome as well as Paris, and also considered San Francisco, before she made her choice.
"Los Angeles has so many different things to offer," she says. She says she wants to offer yet another choice, an alternative to the frizzled, full and long wash-and-wear "Hollywood hair" that a lot of women here like best. "In Europe women have much stronger haircuts, and neater styles," Klee says.
To keep a hair style as controlled as a runway model's requires rollers and blow dryers and styling brushes. But this close to the beach, Klee says, a good haircut and a supply of mousse are a better idea.
The Ingrid Klee salon is located at 9908 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, and Klee divides her time between here and Frankfurt.
New Fragrance Gets a Worldly Launch
Just down the street from Klee's shop, at the Century City Mall, Charlton Heston helped launch two new fragrances named after Caesar, a character he's played opposite often in his movies. Heston led an entourage of gladiators and belly dancers, a band, a Caesar look-alike (who could argue?) and a Cleopatra whose costume also appears in a Las Vegas nightclub act. They delivered one scent for men and one for women to the Broadway department store.
The scent is the newest from James Roth and David Horner of Roth/Horner & Associates, a marketing team that helped make Giorgio perfume a multimillion-dollar seller. This time they have joined forces with top brass from Caesars World, the conglomerate that owns Caesars Palace. But the new scents are supposed to evoke ancient Rome, not Las Vegas, says Roth, who explains, "the perfume's not gaudy."
"They're life style fragrances," Roth explains. "Relive the legend of the carefree days of ancient Rome." The women's perfume, priced at $160 an ounce, includes jasmine and ylang ylang. Fir and balsam are in the woodsy men's cologne, priced from $32.50. Roth says: "They're reminiscent of the abandon, the extravagance, the pagan revelry of ancient Rome . . . not that we're encouraging hedonism."
After they left Giorgio Inc., Horner said, he and Roth got offers to create perfumes for all sorts of people. "Celebrities wanting to be immortalized, ballplayers, bowlers, golfers." They all suggested that their names go on the next perfume bottle. But marketing Caesar made more sense.
A Safe Namesake
"Our guy's been dead for 2,000 years," Horner explains. "We don't have to worry that he'll get overweight or put out a bad fashion collection." He and Roth make jokes about it, but they're not playing just for laughs.
"The quickest way to achieve worldwide recognition is with a fragrance that embodies a life style," Horner said. They're banking on what they call the good life in ancient Rome, just as they once relied on the have-it-all mystique of Beverly Hills that Giorgio came to represent.
Tastes have changed since the launching of the older, bolder fragrance, Horner said. And his new product follows the trend.
"Caesar's not an overpowerful scent that hits you from across the room," he says.
Maybe not, but consider the ad campaign slogan: Wear it and conquer.