MOUSTACHE & DARLING

At just over 100 sq ft. Moustache & Darling is Vancouver’s tiniest hair salon, but in this exquisitely small space hidden amongst the elderly buildings of Vancouver’s historic Gastown, a whole other world exits. The world of this ‘Worshipful Society of the Looking Glass’ is a sanctuary from the grey noise of the city. Booking an appointment with Nicole at Moustache & Darling is like booking an appointment with a story.

The design of Moustache & Darling is inspired more by songs, stories and family histories than by international design trends. The space, decorated with antiques, old family photos, rare books, taxidermy birds and butterflies, and Julie Mortsad's custom designed wallpaper, is meant to enchant the eye and create an intimate atmosphere. The phrase ‘Worshipful Society of the Looking Glass’ is an adaptation of the motto of a 19th century apothecary’s union and it is these turn of the century spaces that Moustache & Darling most resembles.

Photo: KRISTOPHER GRUNERT


THE CLIENT

Nicole Lefaivre is a Vidal Sassoon trained hair stylist and the creator, owner and sole stylist of Vancouver’s smallest and most magical salon: Moustache & Darling. Nicole has been obsessing over, dreaming of and making beautiful, women’s and men’s hair since her first job in her mother’s salon at the age of fifteen. Nicole has always seen hair dressing as an artistic and aesthetic practice rather than as simply a part of the superficial and trend obsessed beauty industry.

Previous to Moustache & Darling she was the co-owner and designer of Barbarella Hair Saloon. Both Moustache & Darling and Barbarella Hair Saloon have been featured in Wallpaper magazine.

Photo: SHANNON MENDES


THE WALLPAPER

The physical space of Moustache & Darling is narrow and very tall and Julie Mortsad's wallpaper serves to give depth and dimension to the space, giving clients the sense of a world unfolding in front of them. The design, with its intricate fairy tale like detail and deep rich colour, is always a talking point for new clients and a fond favourite of Nicole’s large list of regular clients.

Nicole chose Julie Mortsad to create the illustration for her Rollout custom wallpaper because Julie’s aesthetic very closely resembled her own. She wanted something that, like the esoteric old folk music often heard in Moustache & Darling, was at once timeless and otherworldly yet also personal and emotional. Nicole also simply believes in supporting her friends art-making and the salon is full of works by local artists, designers, photographers and musicians.