Interview
olivier-de-frahan

Olivier de Frahan

Modeling and movie careers alike rely on the steady and practiced hand of Olivier de Frahan.

When it comes to plastic surgery, Dr. Olivier de Frahan’s technique is so perfected that, to the ignorant eye, the results of his work are virtually undetectable.

Dr. Frahan’s passion for perfection began at a very young age. Thanks to his parents’ careers in fabric industry, he grew up exposed to the world of Parisian fashion, watching models strut down runways in haute couture, exposing flawless collarbones and plump, pouted lips. His appreciation for beauty grew as he did, and he is now considered one of the world’s true masters of cosmetic surgery.

Modeling and movie careers alike rely on his steady, practiced hand.

His practice goes beyond enhancing beauty, however. It is also his job to preserve it. As the voice of a professional, Dr. Frahan knows when to say ‘no’. He knows how to recognize treatable insecurities, or natural beauty that should go untouched. Modeling and movie careers alike rely on his steady, practiced hand, so when he works, he must know that his efforts will create something good.

Interested in the high stakes career of this secret artist, we sat down with Dr. Frahan to ask him a little more about his exciting life.

BWB: What is your approach to beauty and surgery?

I think that beauty is an indefinable concept – there is no unique model of beauty. Indeed, there are beauty criteria, but I do not think there are any beauty rules. These criteria might be morphological, ethnical, variable (depending on the era’s aesthetic demands), or dictated by trends guided by the media.

Beauty is a sensation one feels from someone, like a fragrance. A person’s beauty is unique, genetically, and it is this particularity that gives it its value.

Ultimately, though, beauty is a sensation one feels from someone, like a fragrance. I still am surprised all the time when new faces – unlike any model or photo I’ve seen before – produce that feeling for me. This is the true miracle of beauty in its diversity, its plurality. A person’s beauty is unique, genetically, and it is this particularity that gives it its value. I often explain this to patients who want to look like a particular top-model or an actress. They are willing to loose this unique side of their own beauty, the difference that makes them who they are.

Sometimes, patient-identified ‘defects’ can work in perfect harmony with the patient’s face, and trying to correct them can break this fragile balance. Knowing how to say no is very important to me.

In my practice, I am obsessed with yielding a natural result that preserves the identity, the uniqueness and the personality of the patient. Whether it is the eyelids, it is so important to respect someone’s eyes; with a facelift, it is importance to enhance and not transform the face. Sometimes, patient-identified ‘defects’ can work in perfect harmony with the patient’s face, and trying to correct them can break this fragile balance. Knowing how to say no is very important to me.

Now we see more women waiting for the right time to choose surgery. I think that we are headed towards a better, natural trend.

BWB: Beauty standards are changing in that fewer women are seeking out injections. What are your thoughts on this?

We live in a virtual era of fake images. Over the last 10 years, the trend for many doctors has been to fill the wrinkles with “fillers”, then to work on the shape of the face with a particular lifting effect, and a swelling technique for the tissue structure. The benefit of this method was that it avoids surgery. Though there have been some good results, there have been a lot of “over-treated” patients who boast exaggerated cheekbones and lips that so far away from natural beauty. People have noticed this unfortunate series of events, so the trend has started to reverse. Now we see more women waiting for the right time to choose surgery. I think that we are headed towards a better, natural trend.

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BWB: What are women asking for these days? Do American, European or Eastern European women want different things?

With the exception of a real flaw to correct, women – wherever they come from – always have the same goal when they come for a consultation. They want to be more beautiful or they want to stay beautiful, they want to look younger or they want to look better. A lot of women I see want a brighter, less tired look in their eyes. They also want a more toned or better-defined face, or they want to improve the shape of their body. Because of the globalization of images and models, there are no particular demands specific to countries and culture. The American woman tends to reach for perfection and doesn’t mind that much that the change will be obvious, whereas the French woman has a more discreet and limited approach.

The only surgery you can contemplate early, if there is a need, is the eyelids. The results are much better while the skin is still young.

BWB: What is the ‘best’ age to start correcting things in the face?

There is no “right age” to remodel a face. There is a “possible time” and it is different for everyone. It is often when one witnesses a loss of harmony and a slackness of the structure of the face. Most of my patients fall between 45 or 60 years old. Some women remain in harmony for all of their lives and do not need anything. The only surgery you can contemplate early, if there is a need, is the eyelids. The results are much better while the skin is still young.

We also have a high demand for face-lifts that simply refresh the face, rather than transform it.

BWB: Your clientele include the most spectacular models, the most renowned actresses and the most elegant women from across Europe. What are the most ‘asked-for’ procedures?

Younger girls ask for Botox that yields a natural result and doesn’t freeze facial expressions. They also want fillers to reduce shadows, and discrete changes to reshape the lips. Liposuction is also requested a lot. They often don’t seek weight loss, but desire a sense of harmony in their body’s shape that involves reduction in targeted areas. Some even ask lipofilling to accentuate and reshape the curvature of the buttocks. Many clients also ask for eyelid surgery, for it is an area that tends to show aging faster. Here, the greatest, most essential challenge to overcome is working in a way that respects the unique character or “look” of a person to obtain a natural result. We also have a high demand for face-lifts that simply refresh the face, rather than transform it. Last but not least, patients often want changes in the nose, most often a fix in the tip of the nose that will better define it.

BWB: After a surgical procedure, what methods of care do you recommend?

After a procedure, I recommend getting lots of rest and a lymphatic drainage by one of my specialized assistants. Drainage is important but relaxation is also very important. Avoid the sun and avoid smoking during the healing process. I would also suggest applying a moisturizing ointment for 2 weeks after the procedure instead of your usual cosmetics.

BWB: You live in the most beautiful city in the world. What are your favorite destinations in Paris?

  • Hotel and restaurant St James club-16e (quality)
  • Sur mesure by Thierry Marx (Mandarin Oriental and a dream for the palate)
  • Ferdi, Rue du Mont-Thabor (great atmosphere, South American flavor, delicious)
  • Le Duc, Boulevard Raspail (not the most recent but the best seafood restaurant in Paris)
  • The terrace of the Plaza Athénée
  • The terrace of the Hotel Gabriel
  • La Société place St. Germain

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