I was not used to art deco hotels with over sized Alice in Wonderland furniture or valet parking or inflated lips and I was hardly used to the insane buzz of the fashion world so to meet Christiaan Houtenbos in the bar of the Raleigh hotel in Miami, as he was shaving one side of the model’s head, was quite an inauguration. In fact after a few more drinks and a closer look Christiaan decided the Venezuelan’s hair should be dyed blue. I nervously touched my own hair. “No, never for you” he said “you are classic girl” We were there on a fashion shoot. It was my first time in Miami. It was one of my first jobs as a model.
Christiaan is the celebrated, resident rebel, hair stylist of the seventies, eighties and nineties who authored Garce Jone’s famous flat top hair do.
Christiaan is not afraid to walk the streets of London or New York in his yellow dressing gown or cut your waist length hair off in the middle of a dinner party, long after midnight, with slightly rusty kitchen scissors. Yes he did this to me a few years ago. Admittedly a hurricane was on its way and we were all a little jumpy but honestly what was I thinking?
“Innndiaa, Its only hair” he said the next morning. Christian’s heavy Dutch accent has never budged.
Married for over thirty years, with children of his own, he continues to bring his special brand of coiffure to campaigns for the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein, now he can add fragrance muse to his list of misdemeanors. Byredo Parfum christened Christiaan as Mister Marvelous. And they are right, because he is.