September 18, 2011

The Secrets of Florentine Women

Photo by Brian Duffy for Vogue, Florence 1964

It was one of those days when my hair was everything one doesn't want: lank, frizzy, too many lengths and no style whatsoever. Nothing would do but to get it cut THIS MINUTE. With the utterance "It's as if you have a tail" (as in the NKOTB's Jordan in the '90s) echoing in my ears, I knew it was time to find a new stylist and after dialing frantically, I finally got an appointment - yes, I can be there in 5 minutes! -at Garren.

It could only have been kismet that I was seated in the chair of Lazarus Douvos, an Aussie Martyn Lawrence-Bullard look-a-like with just as much charm. Besides sharing an overzealous enthusiam for The World of Interiors, our ideas of style were hugely influenced by living in Europe in our twenties. For me it was the classic BCBG style of Paris, for Lazarus it was Florence's bella figura.

View from the Palazzo Ginori

While working at a fashionable salon, he encountered a clientele of soignee Florentine ladies who were always impeccable, always chic. Instead of following the vagaries of trends, their hair was inevitably sleekly coiffed and lacquered so that it looked like one piece. The only departure was during summer when they let it grow long allowing them to pull it back but also reflecting the more relaxed spirit of the season.

Ascending to the attic...

After a day of clipping away, he repaired to his studio romantically nestled in the attic of the storied Renaissance Palazzo Ginori (yes, that Ginori, my porcelain-obsessed friends...)

Lazarus' Florence studio

Terra cotta tile floors, white cotton slipcovers, and a soaring view of the cities' Renaissance towers and roof tops put my sixth floor walk-up chambre de bonne to shame...

the studio's seating area

It also demonstrates - to my mind - when you have good bones, one needs very little else to make a room. Well, maybe good hair...

Lazarus and Waldo in his current Murray Hill studio

Lazarus, whose styling work can be seen on Hamish Bowles in this October's Vogue, has recently gone out on his own. Book him on 347.982.4894 or [email protected] - I'll think of ways you can thank me.
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