Bal des Createurs – multi-disciplinary salon and space
by Chené Koscielny
When two friends suddenly look impossibly glamorous and I discover they’ve seen the same hair stylist, I ask for his number. That’s how I discover Christophe Durand, renowned hairdresser, make-up artist and owner of the multi-faceted venue Bal des Createurs, in the trendy Bains area of Plainpalais.
Even on a gloomy, wet Saturday morning, it’s immediately obvious that this is no ordinary salon. The luxury concept space, inspired by similar venues in Paris, is a hair salon, bookstore, art gallery, make-up and massage studio all in one. Modern and bright, with quirky design and a ‘librairie’ of trendy magazines from Paris, the salon promises style with a capital S.
Christophe arrives on the scene, dressed in black with an elegant grey brush cut, looking very suave. He starts quizzing me about my life, pausing every now and then to give instructions to staff or take phone calls from clients. I feel like I’m on a busy movie set. The consultation lasts longer than any I’ve ever had and at the end, I feel Christophe really ‘gets’ me. As a yoga teacher and journalist, he surmises that image is not that important and low-maintenance is a priority.
Straightforward and serious, he advises that the ‘en bloc’ colour on my hair is too harsh and that the shoulder length cut is making me look older than my 47 years – great! In fact, I don’t need much colour, as he can’t find any grey hairs. Hurray! I love him already. My ponytail for yoga is too severe and needs to be softened with a few wisps around the face – because ‘seduction is very important’. Ooh la la!
“Seduction is very important” says Christophe.
Christophe tells me about a brand of ‘vegetal’ hair colouring, made from only natural products called Marcapar (created by a hair stylist in Lyon). This product has no chemicals and won’t turn your hair to straw, the way normal hair dyes can. My neighbour in the salon this morning, a lady in her 50s, has been coming to Christophe since he opened his first salon in Geneva about 20 years ago, swears by this product and by Christophe. However, when he tells me your hair first turns green, then a little orange before it settles into its natural colour, I hesitate and opt for a sprinkling of ‘natural’ looking highlights instead. I vow to do some research about Marcapar before my next visit.
The salon has an arrangement with nearby Lebanese restaurant Roudayna (roudayna.ch), which means you can choose something delicious such as a handcrafted authentic Lebanese Kebbeh or a Fatouche salad to munch on while you’re being pampered. The salon has its own bar and juice bar service and is popular for pre-dinner apéros, with or without a foot massage!
The venue is an inspiring creative space, with high ceilings and huge windows offering anything from make-up, massages, apéros, stylish accessories to funky artworks. The venue is also available for hire for private events, exhibitions etc.
Having worked in the world of luxury and beauty for almost 30 years, Christophe has advised big brands such as Bourjois, Zenith, Tag Heuer and Chopard on advertising and brand image. During the last 20 years, he has orchestrated catwalk shows for big name Design Houses such as Chanel, Thierry Mugler, Kenzo and Paul Smith. He has also opened Parallèles (one of the hippest hair-salons in Geneva); created ICÔN, a magazine of visual expression and organised upmarket events, before opening the Bal des Createurs in 2011. Living in a renovated barn on the slopes of the Salève, Christophe enjoys being close to nature but at the same time not more than 20 minutes from work.
The salon is undoubtedly not cheap, but I walked out feeling like a movie star and my husband, who usually hardly notices when I’ve been to the hairdresser, thinks I look years younger. Result!
So, if that’s what it takes to be beautiful in Geneva, it’s money well spent and I’m worth it, I decide!
25 rue de l’Arquebuse, , 1204 Genève. Telephone: 022 320 00 55.
32 boulevard Georges Favon, 1204 Genève. Telephone: 022 328 52 18.