24 HOURS …

The Aussie hair­styl­ist, who left Perth for Paris some 20 years ago, talks Ritz re­open­ings, se­ri­ous suit­cases and the sin of forc­ing small talk

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents - – As told to Eu­ge­nie Kelly

with celebrity hair­dresser David Mal­lett.

6.30AM I’m an in­cred­i­bly good sleeper. I could sleep stand­ing up, but the alarm of my iphone wakes me up. I sleep in a 1980s Ital­ian bronze bed with a big In­dian bed­spread I bought in Ra­jasthan. My sheets are thick white Da­m­as­cus cot­ton, which drives my clean­ing lady crazy. Poor thing — she’s the one who has to iron them. I al­ways have can­dles burn­ing — I prob­a­bly have about 50 all over the apart­ment. Chris­tian Dior’s are favourites, but in the bed­room I al­ter­nate be­tween our own cre­ation, Le Sa­lon en Hiver, which is like a crack­ling wood fire and amaz­ing on cold win­ter days, and the Papyrus one from Iunx. 6.50AM By now I’ve had a hot shower and dressed in my uni­form: a three-piece suit (usu­ally Margiela or Ki­ton), cus­tom-made shirt and Fratelli Ros­setti shoes (I never wear socks and am renowned for my bare-an­kle look). I’m also an ab­so­lute watch junkie and have quite a col­lec­tion, but my favourite is a gold-and-sil­ver Rolex diver’s watch and a Rolex ‘Mil­gauss’ — a present from friends for my 50th. 7AM The apart­ment I live in with my part­ner, Martin, and my nineyear-old son, Max­im­i­lien, who stays with us 50 per cent of the time, is lo­cated in a funky, arty area of Paris. I head to the kitchen and make a big Bo­dum plunger of cof­fee and eat break­fast, which is por­ridge and fresh or­ange juice. If I’m in a rush, I take a taxi mo­tor­bike to work and Di­dier, my driver, will take Max to school. But if I have a huge suit­case of hair equip­ment, I’ll take the car. 9AM Both of our sa­lons open at nine, and of­ten I have a min­i­mum of eight or nine ap­point­ments booked in. Our orig­i­nal sa­lon is lo­cated not far from the Lou­vre, in a grand 17th-cen­tury build­ing, and is in­spired by the am­bi­ence of my own apart­ment. I wanted to avoid it look­ing like an ob­vi­ous hair­dress­ing space, so the fur­ni­ture is a mix of 17th-cen­tury an­tiques, orig­i­nal art­work and 20th-cen­tury mod­ern de­signer pieces. It’s dot­ted with flea-mar­ket and hol­i­day finds: art ob­jects, cu­riosi­ties, corals, sculp­tures, geisha wigs, taxi­dermy, crys­tal lamps … To­day I’m at the Ritz Paris, where we’ve just opened a sec­ond, in­cred­i­bly chic and in­ti­mate five-seat sa­lon at­tached to the Chanel spa. Here the walls are cov­ered in gold wo­ven tis­sue, the floors are mar­ble and there’s an in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful pri­vate wash room. I wanted the mir­rors to look liq­uid, like mer­cury, so I had the wrought-iron crafts­man François Poue­nat cre­ate them, and they look like spec­tac­u­lar sports cars.this ho­tel is an ode to lux­ury, and there’s noth­ing more chic than made-to-mea­sure lug­gage, so I asked mas­ter crafts­man Vir­gile Cazals to cre­ate three cus­tom suit­cases we could carry equip­ment around in when we have ap­point­ments in guests’ rooms.we could never turn up with or­di­nary suit­cases.

11AM The or­ganic caterer who brings us won­der­ful food and juices drops off our daily de­liv­ery, but I never stop for lunch. I haven’t had a lunch break in 25 years. Lunches are for my days off — Sun­days and Mon­days. While a client is hav­ing her hair washed, I might snack, though. yes­ter­day a client brought us in some in­cred­i­ble mac­arons from Ladurée, and I love the choco­lates from Alain Du­casse. They’re like mini flo­ren­tines. Les Fines Gueules of­ten de­liv­ers steak tartare if I’m starv­ing, and Chez Georges (a tra­di­tional French bistro on rue du Mail) de­liv­ers as well. 1PM I have a 43-year-old Newyork client booked in now who sees me ev­ery eight weeks for my ‘trade­mark’ look. I’m renowned for soft move­ment. Sexy hair with a soft wave. Pin-straight on any­one over 35 sim­ply looks age­ing. 2PM I stop to go over our ap­point­ment sched­ule for the next month and nearly die. we’re booked solid, but it’s even cra­zier when fash­ion weeks are on. That’s when many of our in­ter­na­tional clients de­scend for the ready-to-wear and cou­ture shows. traf­fic is grid­locked in Paris then, mean­ing our staff get around on mo­tor­bikes to visit clients in their ho­tels, some­times from 5am on­wards. Of­ten I’m with Natalie Port­man, who I’ve worked with for 13 years and adore, dur­ing fash­ion week. Diane Kruger is another reg­u­lar. She’s su­per charm­ing, down to earth and loves that I’m quick. Léa Sey­doux is a de­light — I’ve worked with her since she was at school. 2.30PM My next client is Parisian and not in the mood to chat. French women are more re­served than Aus­tralians. I’ve been hair­dress­ing for 36 years and am in­cred­i­bly in­tu­itive — it’s im­por­tant a stylist picks up on the client’s vibe. Forc­ing some­one to talk is hardly pleas­ant. Some clients treat me like a ther­a­pist, but I tend to stay neu­tral and never give big opin­ions on life-chang­ing mat­ters. Peo­ple say they feel safe in our sa­lon. 3PM If I get a break, I head out to pick up Max­im­i­lien from school, some­times tak­ing our two-year-old minia­ture bull ter­ri­ers, Archie and Jarvis, for a walk. Archie came from a won­der­ful breeder in Es­to­nia, while Jarvis came to us from Poland. Archie is dom­i­nant, cu­ri­ous and ex­tremely play­ful, whereas Jarvis is sen­si­tive, timid and quite lazy. They even have their own In­sta­gram ac­count, @bull­ter­ror­ist. 8PM Tonight I’m fin­ish­ing early (some­times I’m still work­ing at mid­night), so I head straight to Chez Georges for a bite, or have din­ner at home with fam­ily. I love noth­ing more than an ice-cold beer if I need to unwind. I’m a mas­sive roast-chicken-and-mashed-potato fan. My favourite restau­rants in Paris right now are Ta­ble, in the 12th ar­rondisse­ment, which serves out­stand­ing fish and game meat with old-style large root veg­eta­bles; tiny Ital­ian eatery Cibus; Clam­ato, a mod­ern seafood tapas bar; and Au Pas­sage, a mod­ern French bistro hid­den in a lit­tle al­ley near the bo-bo neigh­bour­hoods be­tween Place de la République and Bastille.a few nights a week, I’ll go to the gym — L’usine Opéra, near the opera house — but of­ten it’s saved for days off. In which case I’ll take a bath, mois­turise with Ella Baché’s Crème In­tex and crawl into my freshly made bed.

“I con­stantly use the David Mal­lett L’hy­dra­tion Mask on clients, while a new favourite for tex­ture is our Aus­tralian Salt Spray. Ma­son Pear­son make the best brushes in the world, and you can never beat the Par­lux 3200 if you’re look­ing for a high-pow­ered pro­fes­sional hairdryer.”

David Mal­lett.

Mal­lett’s new sa­lon (also left), in the Ritz Paris ho­tel.

From top: vin­tage pieces and ex­otic taxi­dermy adorn Mal­lett’s orig­i­nal Paris sa­lon; David Mal­lett Le Sa­lon en Hiver can­dle, $99; Chris­tian Dior Eau Noire can­dle, $105; Rolex watch, price on ap­pli­ca­tion, rolex.com.

The Ritz Paris. Above: Fratelli Ros­setti shoes, $514, saks­fifthav­enue.com.

Mal­lett’s minia­ture bull ter­ri­ers. Above: Ladurée mac­arons are a favourite. A mix of old and new at the orig­i­nal sa­lon.

A stuffed os­trich amid 17th-cen­tury de­tails in the orig­i­nal sa­lon

From top: David Mal­lett Mask No. 1 L’hy­dra­tion, $99, and Aus­tralian Salt Spray, $54; Ma­son Pear­son Handy Pure Bris­tle Bush (medium), $295; Par­lux Par­loux 3200 Ce­ramic and Ionic Char­coal hairdryer, $200.

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