There are many female hairdressers in the world, but very few who can boast the CV of Odile Gilbert.
When I became freelance in 1993/4 Odile was the only successful female hairstylist working on the freelance scene.
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 on fashion editorials for famous fashion magazines with big photographers such as Avedon, Helmut Newton. Herb Ritts, Irving Penn, Steven Klein, Peter Lindbergh, Mondino and Paolo Roversi.
Her best known work is on fashion shows, 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, 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, and in 2003, she published her first book, Her Style, Hair by Odile Gilbert.
She is a multiple award winning hairstylist in her home country of France and In 2007, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of New York bought one of the top hats made of natural hair she created for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Haute-Couture AW 2006 show for their permanent collection.
So without further ado I give you Odile Gilbert!!
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?
I just wanted to travel around the world.
HOW DID YOU BEGIN HAIRDRESSING?
I went to hairstylist school for 3 years in Brittany, France.
IS THERE ANYBODY YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE IF YOU WEREN’T YOU?
No I am fine with myself.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
(Above is some of Odile’s more recent magazine covers.)
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING IN YOUR CITY WHAT WOULD IT BE?
To be closer to the sea.
MOST HAIRSTYLISTS IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY ARE MEN. YOU ARE THE MOST WELL KNOWN AND SUCCESSFUL FEMALE FREELANCE EDITORIAL HAIRSTYLIST IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE WOMEN DO THIS?
I think i have opened the door for women.
YOU BEGAN THE AGENCY L’ATELIER IN PARIS IN 2000, AND ARE YOU STILL INVOLVED WITH THE AGENCY IN ANYWAY?
Yes I am.
YOUR INCREDIBLE BOOK “HER STYLE” WAS LAUNCHED IN 2003 AND YOU HAVE A RANGE OF BEAUTIFUL HAIR ACCESSORIES, DO YOU HAVE ANYMORE BOOKS OR NEW ACCESSORIES LAUNCHING SOON?
I never talk about things that will happen until it happens!! It’s also about finding the time.
YOU CREATED THE FANTASTIC HAIRSTYLE FOR KIRSTEN DUNST IN THE MOVIE MARIE-ANTOINETTE, HOW WAS IT WORKING ON THIS FILM AND HAVE YOU WORKED ON ANY OTHER FILMS SINCE?
I have not worked on any other films since that one, but i met the most incredible people whilst working on Marie Antoinette.
LIST YOUR TOP 5 FAVOURITE BEAUTY/HAIR PRODUCTS.
For me it is all about treatment and masks. Anything that makes you feel good and your hair feel incredible!
DO YOU HAVE A HAIR HERO/HEROIN ?
The reason I work so much is to make people into my heroes and heroines.
(Above: 3 examples of Odile’s 90’s magazine covers. All shot by Peter Lindbergh.)
WHAT ARE YOU INTO RIGHT NOW ( MUSIC, FASHION , ART, FOOD )
I am into everything all ways. “The Eye Has To Travel” as said by Diana Vreeland!!!
WHAT MUSIC WERE YOU INTO GROWING UP AND ARE YOU STILL INTO IT NOW?
I like all music, music changes everything. I really do wish I could sing!!
IF YOU WERE PUT ON A DESERT ISLAND AND COULD CHOOSE ONLY 10 SONGS TO HAVE ON AN IPOD WHAT WOULD THEY BE?(AND EXPLAIN – IF YOU WANT TO- WHY YOU CHOSE THEM )
I impossible for me to have a list, I like anything and everything!
IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE BESIDES WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE WOULD IT BE.?
India or Africa.
WHO OR WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Anything, just people in general.
WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS THAT YOU WOULD WEAR?
I don’t have one, I like many of them. Whenever you have an exchange with someone it is nice.
YOU’RE PACKING TO GO ON A TRIP FOR 2 WEEKS AND CAN TAKE 5 FILMS ON ITUNES OR DVD’S WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY BE, AND IF YOU WANT, SAY WHY YOU LOVE THEM?
I only ever pack and travel with books never films, so whichever books I am reading at the time would go with me!
(Above, amazing hair created by Odile for the fashion week shows for: (clockwise from top left) Rodarte, Thakoon, Jason Wu & Narciso Rodriguez.)
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DESSERT?
Mont Blanc from Angelina in Paris.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE WORD.
Odile, big deal!!
WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
An elephant or dolphin.
WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
To go to spa’s .
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO NEXT?
Back to Paris, as I’m in London as I’m answering this.
Thank you to Odile and I hope you enjoyed this mini insight into this super talented ladies life.