By Maggie Mulhern | 10/03/2008 3:57:00 PM


Jennifer Buzzell took this shot from the dinner cruise.

27 hair professionals from around the United States went on the “L'Oréal Professionnel World Tour Paris” for six magical days of education, camaraderie, tour busing, tower scaling, the whole bit. I forced myself to go along.

Paris is amazing (duh), but also amazing was the team from famed salon Alexandre de Paris who offered intense education to this inspired, excited and motivated group. In two days 6 absolutely FANTASTIC new “up-do’s” were executed on stage and described via interpreter. Of course we learned a couple classic sophisticated silhouettes, but then also learned how to add extensions and “dreds” for a more youthful or “trend” look. Each look, I swear, was created with no less than one full can of Infinium. The Alexandre team followed each morning demonstration with an afternoon hands-on session. The “L'Oréal 27” then recreated each look on mannequin heads.  All of this took place at the L'Oréal Professionnel Academy on Rue Royale, just blocks from the Place de la Concorde.

The Alexandre de Paris artists on stage.

A sophisticated “Up-Do” by the Alexandre de Paris team.

Although known for their elegant designs, the team give “dreds” equal time.

I spent much of the “between” time with my buddy Arlene Benza, Senior Director Public Relations for L'Oréal Professionnel. We visited Mona Lisa at the Louvre, scaled the Eiffel Tower (okay, we took the elevator), fought off artists at Montmarte, slurped hot chocolate at Angelina’s and checked out the famed ice-cream haven Berthillon on the Ile Saint-Louis. We were in and out of so many old buildings in just two days that our feet blistered. At some point you ask yourself “could I possibly tour another church?” and then you pass Sacre Coure or Notre Dame and HAVE to step in.

Arlene Benza visits Mona.

Karl Lagerfeld (separated at birth from George Washington) was caught shopping with Jennifer Buzzell

While Arlene and I played tourist, others shopped…bumping into some really expensive stuff and eventually Karl Lagerfeld. Pam Anderson was staying at our hotel (the Westin…fabulous). We had to evacuate one morning and I swear someone deliberately pulled an alarm so that he could see Pam in her jammies (or whatever she wears/not wears to bed).

When you evacuate...ALL have to evacuate. The chef crew is looking for PAMELA too!

The grand finale to this simply INCREDIBLE event was a dinner cruise down the Seine to see all the most beautiful iconic Parisian symbols from this unique view. It was tres bon!

I was there with photographer Roberto Ligresti who was able to grab some great shots of our favorite model at Place de la Concorde (you will see the incredible finishes in an upcoming issue.) A crowd gathered and someone asked me what this photoshoot was for. I had taken 4 years of French in high school so proudly said “Pour cheval.” The woman looked at me quizzically…”For a horse?” she asked. “Ooopppps,” I said. “I mean cheveux…hair….cheveux. You know…this.” (I grabbed my hair.)  She burst out laughing. So embarrassing. Madame Fitzpatrick (my high school French teacher) is probably flipping in her  “tombeau”.

The morning of departure was so sad. Attendees were all over Andrew Bartfield, Vice President Education and Shows and Gloria Saponaro, the travel genius, who put this whole thing together. “Sign me up for the next one in June!” they shouted. aussie! (I hope that still means ME TOO!)





ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maggie Mulhern

Maggie Mulhern is the Beauty & Fashion Director at Modern Salon magazine.


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