salon secrets

John Nollet: Advice On Becoming A Stylist To The Stars

August 30th 2017

A stylist who has worked with the likes of Monica Bellucci and Nicole Kidman, John Nollet has also been behind some of cinema’s most classic looks, like Audrey Tatou’s trendsetting bob and fringe in “Amélie”. This immensely experienced stylist to the stars talked to FAB about his unusual career, the demands of his job, and his vision of hairdressing built upon his own passion and a few lucky encounters.

Be Passionate & Full Of Energy

“I think I always wanted to be a stylist and I’m lucky enough that my family and friends supported me from the start. My job still brings me joy and satisfaction every single day, so I know I made the right decision. When you’re passionate about what you do, you like to share it with everyone you can, which creates a great working energy. You’ve got to be passionate, to let yourself be obsessed by your work. It’s often something very personal, too, something intimate.”

Open A Salon & Take Risks

“Opening my own salon wasn’t actually my main goal. I didn’t want to fall into the same old routine everyday. So I started out by styling a dance group, then I found myself working at the Opera House in Montpellier where I got to discover styles from different periods of history. That experience really made me want to work in cinema and a little while after I ended up as assistant stylist for ‘Germinal’, working with the likes of Gérard Depardieu.”

“Back then I was just happy sticking on all the mustaches, but getting to rub shoulders, even briefly, with the film’s stars, made me realise I wanted to continue moving on up.”

Be Ready For That Moment Of Luck

“When I arrived to Paris, I spent a lot of time working with actors, trying to understand their needs and priorities, which really helped me define my own objectives and develop my talents. One day, I heard about a stylist-casting session for ‘The City Of Lost Children’, a film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet that had Jean-Paul Gaultier designing the costumes. I devoured the script, went to the audition and got picked! All of a sudden I was thrust into a magical new world. After that I worked on ‘The Apartment’, with Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel. Then, things started to really speed up. I was lucky enough to style the actresses in Francois Ozon’s hit-film ‘8 Women’, as well as Vanessa Paradis in ‘Girl On The Bridge’.”

John Nollet and Monica Bellucci
Credit: Davide Gallizio __ D&G Make Up

Adaptation: Studying Styles & Understanding Desire

“Being a stylist for celebrities means sharing an intimate experience with them and learning to understand them.”

He follows:“Not only are you touching them, but you’re using your technical skills to give them the best version of what they want. It’s this level of demand that has always stimulated and challenged me. To keep up, I look at all of the appearances of the person I’m going to style and think up a different direction we could go in, so that I have fresh and interesting suggestions to make to them. Most of all, a haircut is something architectural that sets hair free, so it’s crucial to get things right and to never be afraid of trying something different.”

Develop Your Own Identity & Projects

“I am obsessed by artisans and creators, they’re what inspired my fourth hair jewelry collection. I wanted to unite different art styles and techniques like plumasserie (feather work) and embroidery. For my couture pieces, I’ve even created jewels using hair and colored them afterwards! My ambition is to be the world’s first company dedicated to hair haute-couture. That’s why I always make a huge effort to personalise each item I design, just like you would for tailor-made clothing.”

john nollet’s hair ornaments
Credit: John Nollet