PARIS–Just a few steps from Champs-Élysées, Donia Allegue’s atelier of turbans invites you in like an old-school ladies’ sitting room.
The array of mannequins topped with elaborate head pieces — some crafted with satin, pearls and reptile hides — conjures the Hollywood startlets of the Cecil DeMille days and the pop divas of the electric 1980s.
“My turbans are made to fit the same if you have your hair up or if you have your hair down. That’s what sets them apart,” Allegue said, whilst showing us around her atelier where craftswomen are busy hand weaving Swarovski crystals and pearls into raffia sun hats and visors.
Noticing a lack of turban millinery shops in Paris, Allegue opened her business in 2013, after working with houses like Dior, Fendi and YSL. The epiphany occured prior to that, when she visited an apartment with her mother. The woman who owned the home was wearing a turban, which Allegue said infused her look with a unique sense of charm.
Allegue’s creations are sold at Printemps and at Harvey Nichols in Saudi Arabia and A-list clients include actress Diane Kruger and jazz singer China Moses.
“A turban highlights your most important feature, your face,” Allegue told BACO. “You can wear a plain outfit but if you have a turban, you can really go anywhere – an evening dinner out or to a red carpet event.”
The 2015 summer collection has a Los Angeles pool party feel and is inspired by the French Riviera. Culminating in a red and blue mohawk made with goose feathers, the collection is comprised of head pieces with rare materials like banana fibers, as well as more every day pieces like baby blue cotton and royal blue neoprene headbands.
ALSO IN THE PARIS ISSUE: Video Special: Romain Brau and Kevin Auger’s Bygone Beauties, Donia Allegue’s House of Turban’s, Ex Nihilo’s Personalized Perfumes, BACO Style: French Blogger Typhaine Augusto, Marian Eeeckhout: Recycling with Style