Category Archives: Alexandre de Paris

Alexandre de Paris Spring Collection, 2014

Spring is full of flowers, butterflies, Japanese fans, and a bird of paradise at Alexandre de Paris. The pieces mix layers of clear acetate with solid forms in different colors, decorated with rhinestones. Online, you see mostly black. In the stores, the limited-edition pieces are available in beige and pink.

The most complex and magnificent piece this year is this bird of paradise, as it is a mixture of solid acetate with rhinestones, geometric plumes, and feathers.

Another stunning piece is made up of three fans with butterfly decorations. Taking a Japanese theme, the first fan has one butterfly — a solid-acetate black center with white rhinestones backed up by two layers of clear acetate. On the second fan, to the left, you have the black butterfly upside down underneath a solid white butterfly, which has a touch of gold of the bottom right wing. The third fan at the back has the black and white butterflies juxtaposed.

My third favorite is this calla lily bandeaux. Beige outsides contrast with black rhinestoned insides, not exactly representative of the real flower, but very much in the French art deco tradition.

The roses and butterflies will come in many delightful spring colors this year.


For more scholarly research, please examine these books:

The Comb: Its History and Development

Art Nouveau Belgium-France

Vogue: The Covers

Alexander de Paris: Nouvelle Collection 2012

Alexander de Paris has a web store for middle-market women, ie those who cannot jet to New York or Paris, walk into a shop, and buy a one-of-a-kind piece for $4000.

The company’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection is out. Beehive hair styles are in to support innovative and experimental headbands. Designers are playing with the headband’s geometric shape to make this year’s main idea, Avant Garde.

Here are some examples of headbands you can use to decorate your beehive bun. If you have shorter hair, you can always buy a ponytail wig and put that up. (ooo, does the wig really have to match your hair color, or can you get creative? :-)

Avant Garde headbands have not gone down-market yet. I have seen the big flower on the side of a narrow headband everywhere, but not headbands whose shapes are rolled, separated, or swirled.

Then of course, each collection has its masterpiece. The knockout headband of the web store’s Nouvelle Collection 2012 is

Alexandre de Paris Spring Collection: Haute Couture Hair Ornaments

Alexandre de Paris was a hairdresser, who said, “I did the hair of royalty, politicians and stars of this world. I offered my customers perfection, demand and beauty with a mastery of the hair in its purest form.”

This is my absolute favorite corporate brand of modern hair ornaments. They make limited editions, and their designs are taken from French Art Nouveau and Art Deco history. The combs are hand made in Paris by special ateliers, which means the company’s rare pieces can be labeled haute couture. Also, because they use modern, durable materials, you can wear them.

Sometimes they make only two pieces of a design, as with this example:

Here are some roses inside camelias. :-)

These two butterflies would make a wonderful pair of side barrettes.


Alexandre de Paris brings to life one my favorite movie quotes of all time. It was spoken by Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, when she first speaks to her new assistant: “‘This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”

I bow down to the Goddess.

Anyway, ALL over supermarket hair sections, you see headbands with big flowers on them. Alexandre de Paris was the first company to make this idea for the haute couture market perhaps about 8 years ago. Here are some of the head bands from this year’s Spring Collection:

Look at the modern elliptical hole in this headband. We’ve seen them in comb tines since the 1950’s. Let’s study how long a modern-tine design in a headband takes to get to Wal-Mart.

Total BarbaraAnne. :-)

Branches swing over as the wind blows. I love this, and it also comes in white.

And look, they also put their butterfly design on a comb. Notice the elliptical holes in the tines, just like the headband.

The prices of these are anywhere from $300 to $800. In the stores, they have other design variations and rare pieces, which cost thousands now. People in Europe flock to New York to take advantage of the weak dollar.


If you want the real thing, go to the Alexandre de Paris Online Shop.

If you want an haute couture piece, which will never be available online, call Jovy in the New York store at 212-717-2122.

If you would like something that will allow you to keep your home :-), I have picked a few barrettes from France Luxe, a good quality brand that looks up to Alexandre of Paris, is quite wearable, and much less expensive. Their two-butterfly design is almost an exact copy of an Alexandre de Paris barrette I have from the 1980’s.

France Luxe Small Double Butterfly Barrette with Swarovski – Black/Crystal

France Luxe Bailey Bow on Tige Boule with Swarovski Crystals

France Luxe Bloom Barrette

France Luxe Rectangle Volume Barrette with Little Daisies

France Luxe Long Skinny Barrette with Daisies

France Luxe Double Butterfly

Christies Hong Kong Hair Comb

A student of jewelry history had a question about this tortoiseshell comb. “Where does it come from?” she asked.

It sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong for $10,777 in April of 2004 and is decorated with baroque pearls, diamonds and enamel. The lot information did not list where the piece was made. Looking at the shape of the hair pin itself, especially the curved tines, I’m thinking 20th-Century France? Frankly the piece looks like Alexandre de Paris could have made it, but of course, they use rhinestones and modern acrylic plastics. I have a hairpin in the same shape with a glass flower on top. Anyway, I’m stumped. Any ideas?

Creative Museum: Haute Couture Combs

Par le Creative Museum:

Les défilés de Haute Couture sont toujours attendus avec intérêt car on aime à être ébloui par la féerie de couleurs et de formes qui s’y déploient. Les grands couturiers donnent tout pouvoir à leur imagination pour concevoir des parures vestimentaires qui frappent le regard et soient en même temps appréciées au même titre que des œuvres d’art.

De ce fait, une création prendra tout son sens si elle est accompagnée des accessoires assortis. Coiffure, peignes, chapeau, maquillage, ceinture ou chaussures doivent ajouter une note particulière : soit accompagner, soit contraster ou encore renforcer un effet.

Il est donc intéressant d’observer les ornements de coiffure créés par les grands couturiers pour certains défilés car ils évoquent à eux seuls le monde de la mode et l’univers particulier des créateurs.

Comb by Chanel

Two combs with enamelled design, by Alexandre

High comb by Christian Dior

Pour voir plus de peignes par des designers de mode, rechercher Lea Stein, Alexandre, Chanel, Adrien Mann dans le Creative Museum:

Alexandre de Paris: Butterfly Convention

This butterfly tiara is made from acrylic plastic, where one color slumbers into another. A black butterfly outline is put on top to define each shape and mimic plique a jour enamel. I’m afraid to call the New York store and ask what this costs. When the company creates a piece like this, they may make three of them.

Plique a’Jour Butterflies

On E-bay, a monarch butterfly barrette made by Alexandre de Paris for Jean Paul Gaultier measures 5.5 inches long and 4.75 inches high: 3 to 4 times the size of other barrettes. Even though I feel the size was probably Gaultier’s idea, Alexandre de Paris’ couture designs innovate from sense of history.

This piece is special not only for its size, but for choosing to imitate plique a’jour enamel technique with modern acrylics.

Plique a’Jour (open to light) was developed in 14th Century France.
Translucent enamels were held in an open framework, which was made by soldering the metal pieces to each other. The framework could be removed after the enamels had cooled. It reached its peak during the art nouveau period, with the legendary jewelry of Lalique, Tiffany, and Faberge.

Here is a plique a’jour butterfly pin, c. 1900, from the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The gold and diamond frame sits atop red, blue, and green enamel.

Here is Gaultier’s version, made by Alexandre de Paris couture.