Alexandre de Paris, Hair Styling Royalty

I recently saw the Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess exhibition, currently on view at Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox. Of course, I fell in love with the dresses and jewels, but after leaving the show I kept thinking about the sketches of hairstyles designed for the princess by the legendary hair stylist, Alexandre de Paris.

Sketches of hair designs for Princess Grace.

Alexandre's logo designed by Jean Cocteau

Alexandre was born in 1922 in Saint Tropez and from an early age knew that he wanted to work in fashion. He eventually went to work with “the emperor of hairdressers,” Antoine.  Soon Alexandre was working on royal hair, becoming the stylist to the most discerning tresses, including the Duchess of Windsor, Jacqueline Kennedy, and, of course, Princess Grace. The list of celebrities that have donned his do’s goes on and on, perhaps most famously Elizabeth Taylor, who worked with Alexandre on several films (he did Cleopatra’s hairstyle in the Hollywood film) as well as in her personal life.

Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. Hair by Alexandre.

Alexandre’s hair styles are also found everywhere in the world of (especially French) fashion. You name the designer – Chanel, YSL, Dior, Ungaro, Karl, Jean Paul Gaultier – and ADP has done the hair for their runway shows and editorial shoots.

With Karl

This might give you some inspiration for your own New Year’s hair styles or, at the very least, provide some hair eye candy. Enjoy!

At the first meeting of the Haute Coiffure Francaise. Monaco, 1978.

Hair style designed for Dior Furs, earrings by Dior Boutique. Photo by Roland Bianchini. L'Officiel, 1972.

Alexandre hair style. L'Officiel, 1971.

Works Cited

Phillips, Ian. “Fashion: Alexandre the Great: What a Hairstylist.” The Independent. October 21, 1998.

Monpezat, Etienne. “L’Enfant du Coeur.” L’Officiel. No. 658, 1979. P. 147.

“Sous le casque d’Alexandre.” L’Officiel. No. 593, 1972. P. 54-7.

“The Prince of Coiffure: Alexandre de Paris.”

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32 Responses to Alexandre de Paris, Hair Styling Royalty

  1. I am sure he is the greatest hairstylist with remarkable hairstyles creations. In the fashion and entertainment business, hairstyle will make the final touch of appearance, the beauty and glory.

  2. Mar says:

    This is a very interesting post; a marvelous exhibition, Princess Grace would have been enhanced had more information about Alexandre and his hair styles been provided. Sadly the sketch for Grace Kelly get lost in the rather pallid wall on which the sketches hang, muted by the opulence of the gowns and hats in large cabinets nearby. We don’t always think about how hair can adorn and augment, or conversely, take away from a whole look. I think the Cleopatra styling is particularly effective, probably because it is so well-known. But I recall a “hat” that Princess Grace wore that looked very much like very tall twining hair and branches–just like the 1978 image above.

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