Artist Info: Odile Gilbert

January 26, 2013

In case you are like I was and did not know a thing about hairdressers outside of my little Toni & Guy bubble, I thought this might help. I am going to start posting general info and work by artists that I have come to know and think you should know of as well. I hope its useful. If there is anyones work that I would want to emulate, it would be Odile Gilbert. So, thats where we will start. Keep in mind, this is just info scraped from the recesses of the internet. Its just here to give you some incite and make it easier. When this website is big enough, ill ask Odile the questions my own damn self!

Odile Gilbert

Biography (Wikipedia)

She started her career in 1975 as first assistant to the famous hairstylist Bruno Pittini, in his salon and studio. Working along with Pittini allowed her to meet celebrities and work on fashion shows and advertising photo shoots.
In 1982, she moved to New York and started working for fashion and beauty editorials in famous fashion magazines with big photographers such as Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Irving Penn, Steven Klein, Peter Lindbergh, Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Paolo Roversi, among others.




Renowned fashion and perfume houses, such as Calvin Klein, Lancôme, Giorgio Armani and Jean-Paul Gaultier, entrusted her with styling the hair of models in their advertising campaigns. Her best known work was on fashion shows, on which she worked in tight co-operation with the designers, in some cases for many years.


In 2000, she opened her own agency in Paris, l’atelier(68), to take care of her career and also represent new talents to the beauty industry. In 2001, she created her hair accessory line, Odile Gilbert Créations. In 2003, she published Her Style, Hair by Odile Gilbert, prefaced by Karl Lagerfeld. In 2005, Sofia Coppola calls her to do the Art Direction of the main character of her next movie, played by Kirsten Dunst, Marie-Antoinette. In 2006 she received from Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the French Minister of Culture and Communications, the honorable insignia of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. To date, she is the only female hairstylist with this honour. In 2007, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of New York bought for their permanent collection one of the top hats made of natural hair she created for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Haute-Couture AW 2006 show.



New York Times:

“I love to be backstage and in the background,” she said as she slicked a dab of pomade into the model’s backswept hair. “For me what’s important is to forget about yourself.”


“A fixture in the Paris fashion world for a decade or more, Ms. Gilbert is one of the most respected hair stylists in the business. She is also among the most self-effacing.”


Jason Wu Spring 2013 RTW



Indeed, Ms. Gilbert is a deft interpreter of other designers’ visions, and has lent her sleight of hand in collections as diverse as those of Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani and John Galliano.



She is known for eschewing trends and defying categorization. Her low-key demeanor may not suggest a wild streak, but it is most certainly there, and she has freely indulged it over the years.


In the late ’90s, for instance, she created a fretwork of twigs crowning Linda Evangelista, a style that gave Ms. Evangelista the look of a tortured saint. Around the same time, she expressed her fantastical vision in the elaborately plaited “horns” she sculptured for the model Alek Wek, giving her the fierceness of a bull about to charge.


For John Galliano, she created the aqua-tinted corkscrew curls that turned his models into 18th-century cocottes, and for Jean Paul Gaultier she once topped a cluster of unruly curls with a miniature galleon. Working with Sofia Coppola on the 2006 film “Marie Antoinette,” she practiced a kind of confectioner’s art, fashioning styles that looked like towering pastries.”


Numer Korea


Odile treats hair like an art form,” Mr. Wang said Saturday, adding that she can also create “something very pragmatic.


In many ways, she said, her job is “like cooking. You use products. You create different shapes and textures. You are working from a recipe, like you are creating a pastry.”


Odile Gilbert 1



W Magazine 

How did you get your start?


I graduated from hair school in Brittany, where I grew up, and moved to Paris in the early seventies. I began assisting Bruno Pittini, who was working at his salon and on magazine shoots, movies, and in theater.


What was the first shoot you did on your own?


It was with Helmut Newton for French Elle, and I didn’t sleep at all the night before. I really didn’t know what I was doing—I was so young. But I must have done a good job because I continued working with the editors.




If you couldn’t be a hairstylist, what would you be?


A photographer, or even a painter! I have always loved photography, and that is why I love doing hair on set. I remember walking into Richard Avedon’s studio for the first time, and there was his famous portrait Dovima With Elephants—it was an Oh, my God! moment.


Where do you find inspiration?


I’ve always been inspired by my travels. It’s all about getting to know different cultures. Now, with the Internet, you just push a button for pictures—and voilà!






       LulaMagazine Oliver Jacquet  





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