PEOPLE: Hairstylist Philippe Tholimet on the role of beauty in his work
Images: Philip Meech, Mark Rabadan, Mark Kean, Dima Hohlov, Joost Vandebrug
Interview: Emma de Clercq
Special Thanks: Philippe Tholimet
Philippe Tholimet quit school as a teenager to pursue a career in hair, after his Saturday job at a local salon ignited his obsession with hair. While his parents were horrified with his choice and tried to persuade him to stay in school, Tholimet states,“I had already made my mind up. I’ve never looked back”. The Parisian-born hairstylist, now based in London, previously worked at Josh Wood and spent ten years working alongside Eugene Souleiman as part of his team. These days he can be found backstage at shows and on shoots, as well as working with a roster of celebrity clients. His work has been featured in publications including Vogue, Wonderland and Harper’s Bazaar.
What inspires you? I like hanging out in art galleries, as I’m inspired by artists of every description; painters, visual artists, cartoon illustrators, fashion illustrators… I also find watching people in the street is good for inspiration. Paris and New York are great cities for that, you can find some real characters.
What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your profession? The most rewarding aspect is to see your work out in advertising campaigns all over the world. I’d say that the most challenging aspect is to meet the requirements and needs of everyone on set when I’m on a shoot. The more people involved, the more difficult it can be.
What is the role of beauty in your work?
Beauty can be found anywhere. I can find something beautiful in anyone, and it can always be translated into an image. I like beauty with its imperfection.
What is your favourite era for hair? Definitely the 80s, especially the New Romantics. I grew up in the 80s and hair had a huge influence over people’s looks during this period. People were so creative and daring, there were no boundaries. Lots of musicians adopted the style of the movement, and fashion was incredibly eccentric and flamboyant.
Who is your hair icon? Eugene Souleiman. I was lucky to work alongside him and was in his team for 10 years. I have learned a lot from him. He is a genius with hair and also a lovely man. I have a lot of respect for him. #eugenius.