A history of one photo: Simon Hawk for Madame Figaro

Madame Figaro, December 2008.

Article: Nathalie Rheims
Photographer: Simon Hawk
Lighting: Johanne Debas
Makeup: Christophe Danchaud
Stylist: Albane Gravier
Hair: John Nollet

Welcome to another history of the photo. Today I am pleased to talk about this gorgeous series of photos circulating around the net and glamorizing MF fan’s community. Just like all of you, I was mesmerized, seduced and intrigued.

I wanted to learn all there is to learn about this talented photographer and his such glamorous work of art. Mylene shines like a diamond in every photo of the series, Doesn’t she?

Sexy, not at all shy nor insecure in her body and face, she shamelessly enchants us all…Her body lines are perfect, her eyes, lips, arms, back, neck, eye lushes, shoulders, hair….and list goes on and on …everything is just implacable. It cannot possibly be the earthy woman…as she is stronger than time, she is higher than any standards of modern beauty and beyond any criticism.

So now let’s solve a little mystery behind these photos. First and foremost who is this photographer Simon Hawk? Turned out, under the perky pseudo-name is a man we all know quite well – it is no one other than John Nollet – Mylene’s hair stylist and hair creator for the last 20 + years.


Why and when he started to use this name for his photo creations is not exactly known. Please comment below if you have information.

One thing for sure Simon is just as in demand for his talent as John is. How often truly talented people possess more than one talent. Look at Mylene! And John is from the same planet / galaxy is she is.

He makes women look even more feminine, desirable, alluring than they are in the real life. It is a very natural development of the hairstyling skills. Essentially it is the same skill just through different draft and equipment.

Monica Bellucci

Look at Simon’s recent work for Paris Match: https://www.litmediaproductions.com/paris-match

Photographer: Simon Hawk
Beauty: John Nollet
Model: Monica Bellucci

As far as his incredible work with hair, he is a creator of:

Amélie Poulain

  • the famous bob cut of Amélie Poulain

Ridicule” by Patrice Leconte
  • sculptural hairstyles seen in “Ridicule” by Patrice Leconte

Jack Sparrow’s dreadlock
  • Jack Sparrow’s dreadlocks in “Pirates of the Caribbean“.

John and Mylene

John was born in 1970 in the North of France. As a child his passion for hair styling was his inspiration. In his early years, his training ground was Perpignan, then later Montpellier, where his first breakthrough struck.

The famous chorographer DB recruited John to create the hair styles for the dance performances of So Schnell and Necessito at the Opera. His luck continued in Montpellier, when shortly after he was called upon to be an extra hairstylist on the film crew for The Return of Casanova. His artistic creations can be discovered in many blockbusters/classics including Astérix: Mission Cléopàtre, Le Concilede Pierre.. (Monica Belluci); La fille sur le Pont, Mon Ange (Vanessa Paradis);

John and Vanessa Paradis

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, Un long dimanche de fiançailles (Audrey Tautou)…His onscreen professionalism and flair attracted stars and celebrities who trusted John’s discretion and personal touch: Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Binoche, Maggie Cheung, Mylène Farmer, Elizabeth Hurley, Sandrine Kiberlain, Diane Krueger, Uma Thurman, Vincent Cassel, Gérard Depardieu, Johnny Depp, Mathieu Kassovitz. His international high profile positioned him for prestigious events such as the Cannes film fstival, the Oscars Cesars and the Golden Globes, and in the advertising for famous brands such as LOUIS VUITTON, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, Dior, Givenchy, Tag Heuer.

In 2012 he became L’Oréal Paris “Hair expert designer”.

As early as 1995, John Nollet had already taken care of Mylène for as few years as it has been reported. However, the first time that he is credited for a hairstyle of Mylène, it is on the clip of “L’Âme-Stram-Gram“.

He also confirms in the book “Belle de Scène” in 2006 that this clip was their first professional collaboration. So maybe he had done her hair privately before, but we don’t have exact info about that.
Mylène Farmer’s regular hairdresser since 1999.
Photographer (has produced several series with Mylène: 2 in 2008 and 1 in 2010, on the set of “Lonely Lisa” in 2011, another at the end of 2017 – the once I placed in the beginning of this article).

John has created legendary hair work for Mylene Tour No 5 (2009)

“It was made like a sculpture that would have grown directly from her hair. The hairstyle remains the dot on the ‘i’. It must complete a silhouette. I had seen silhouettes that Jean-Paul Gaultier had imagined for her. Clothing is an extremely important base.”

Thierry Suc,  John Nollet (Simon Hawk)  and Mylene NRJ Music awards 2009

I had the pleasure of collaborating many times with Mylène Farmer on some of her clips, on photo shoots and other events…and it was an honor for me to create this custom stage hairstyle for her that she alone could wear! “, tells us this brilliant hair artist.

John Nollet has created a very feminine and soft hairstyle for Mylene Farmer’s “Timeless Tour” (2013). Thanks to the hair that frames her face, underlined by a lateral movement of the lock, in asymmetry of a very light ponytail, tied with a dark chocolate ribbon, which rests on his left shoulder, winking to her “Libertine” period. In profile, the volume is surprisingly very “Couture” and futuristic at the same time. This effect is given by the refined design of the twists that meet at the back of her hairstyle and thanks to her Iconic red color!

INTERVIEW WITH JOHN NOLLET for Fanzine MF et Vous – 2006

How did you meet Mylène Farmer?
It was through Christophe Danchaud, a friend of Mylène, whom I had met on television or film sets, him as a make-up artist and me as a hairdresser.

What were your first collaborations?
There was this clip in China,  L’âme stram gram . It was our first job together. Mylène is a real source of inspiration. This collaboration took place in sharing and osmosis, in great mutual trust. Then I created the haircut she wears on the cover of Elle magazine, in April 1999. The session took place in New York, behind the lens of Jean-Marie Périer. It was our first series of photos together. There were others afterwards, notably with Claude Gassian. And since then, it’s me who takes care of her red color, in my living room on rue Montorgueil (we also owe John Nollet the cuts of the clips for  Je te rend ton amour  Les mots ,  Pardonne-moi ,  Fuck them all and  Redonne-moi).

And how did your collaboration for the 2006 concerts go?
There, Mylène had contacted me about six months before the show. It was the first time I worked for a concert. I was very honored and very flattered. Mylène wanted me to create a new image for her, a new face, she wanted us to see her differently. So there was a whole creative process. I started from the “Little Prince” and Mylène adhered to this idea. In all, there were two attempts before arriving at the realization of this hairstyle. I had also created a model with Bilitis Poirier, a woman who has all the talents and who did embroidery for this hairstyle. Mylène had her hair done three quarters of an hour before the show. She completely let herself go. It’s a real hair sculpture, you can see what you want in it. For example, what some take for daisies are actually just hair! It’s all hair in this cut. More about Avant que l’ombre… HERE

What are the right conditions for working with Mylène?
In fact, you have to find the right moment and the right theme. It takes the implementation of an idea that falls just. I hope to do so anyway. This is done day by day. We are in great trust together. For a new creation, time must pass and we must be, she and I, in osmosis with our hearts.

Do you have other projects with Mylène?
We just shot the clip for  L’Amour n’est rien… together. I can’t wait to see the result, because it’s a fairly new image of her!

What are your projects ?
I just finished a video for “L’Oréal” and another for “Process”. I also just did Monica Bellucci’s hair for a film in Toronto. Not to mention Johnny Depp’s look in  Pirates of the Caribbean 2 . I designed it from Paris.

Today, this Hair Artist shares his time between photo studios, film sets and red carpets around the globe alongside stars of the Seventh Art such as Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, Vanessa Paradis, Juliette Binoche, Monica Bellucci… From ad campaigns for prestigious brands to Fashion glossies, John Nollet is renowned as the A-list Hair Artist.

And which is your favorite hair creation for Mylene by John Nollet?

Published by E.V. Sky

Writer. Poet. Woman. Soul

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