Jonathan Huguet is a celebrity and editorial stylist for magazines, advertising and films. He has built a unique modern style made of elegance and femininity and is working with internationally renowned A-list actresses and talents such as Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, and Pedro Almodovar. In our conversation, we discuss his love for old cinema, and how charismatic actresses do inspire his work.
Jonathan: I am french with Spanish roots on my dad side. I am from Lyon where I went to Fashion school and moved to Paris when I was 19. I started with some internships here and there to try to understand the universe of Fashion, while attending EFAP, an international communication school where I started to meet stylists. A year later, I landed at Liberation (a daily newspaper in France) where I was the Fashion Editor for their Fashion supplement. It lasted around 4 years.
I grew up in an environment where my family wasn’t judgmental and let me explore what I liked, It allowed me to fully express myself and not pay attention to people’s opinions. In terms of style, I like the androgyny, I have a thin shape and I like to find clothes whether it is for men or women, I like the concept of genderless and timeless in clothes. I have always wanted to work in Fashion, it is my passion. In stylism, there are many directions you can take, you can be a designer, be an editorial photo for example.
When I was working at Liberation, I met Juliette Binoche, we did photos together. After that, I contacted her when she was preparing Cannes for her movie Sils Maria with Kristen Stewart and she gave me the opportunity to dress her for this occasion. We have been working together for 5 years now. That is how I started working with celebrities. In Parallel, I have always done an editorial for magazines. It is interesting to me to wear those two hats. I love the creative side of the Editorial for magazines. And working with celebrities, the process to create a moment with the talent and the designer, from the beginning, the making with all the persons involved in the final result, it’s fantastic.
Juliette’s team is very close to Olivier Rousteing from Balmain and he invited her to the Met Gala that year and the theme was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. Juliette is very involved in everything she does and suggested us The Lady and the Unicorn, that she loves. It was such an amazing experience, this creative process between Olivier, Juliette and I, it was a great moment.
The talent needs to feel good and herself wearing the dress or the outfit. That is my priority. The dress needs to be at the service of the talent and her personality, and not the opposite. In terms of evolution, my work is to innovate while keeping a common thread. That is an exchange with the talent, and we take in consideration the movie he or she has to present, the kind of event, what country or city the event will take place, respect the local culture. It has to be a smart decision.
I do not think there is a difference. However, what I feel interesting is to break the codes with styling men. We start to see more and more male actors who redefine codes, by wearing makeup, dresses, and assume who they are. Even Fashion designers start to evolve in that direction, offering more androgynous looks, mixing men and women in their Fashion shows.
Today, men want to express themselves with clothes, which wasn’t the case a few years ago. It helps me in my work in a way that people evolve and we see male talents being more open-minded, and more aware of this.
My first answer would be a vintage jacket [laughs], but if I had to pick a designer, I would go with a Prada jacket. I love this ’50s design, it’s a style I like to wear.
Having good manners is to be smiling and be kind.
Stay true to yourself, connected to what you love, don’t be judgmental, and I would add to always be smiling and be kind to others again.
The way you dress is very important in my opinion. It is a way to introduce yourself, it is like a costume that translates your mood. For example, some days I can wear a large sweater and a big coat because I need comfort, some other days, I will dress up and will feel very confident walking in the street. The way you dress says a lot about who you are and how you feel at the moment.
I am a cinephile and I love watching movies. That inspires me a lot. I love cinema icons, that is why I work with women like Juliette (Binoche) or Isabelle (Huppert). Anna Magnani is everything to me, what she represents!
Success to me is waking up every morning and do what you love, and feel happy about it. Actually, the biggest success is just feeling good. And independence? this is not something you need to try to get or not, everybody is independent, you are free!
I would love to work with Madonna, just being able to meet with her, for everything she represents, and what she stands for. Barbra Streisand is a strong woman who did so much by herself, very inspiring and would love to meet her as well.
Right now, I am in New York, and I love that sky, very blue, and cold weather, I would go for a comfy look with a big coat, a large scarf, and a beanie. In Los Angeles, I would opt for a ’70s look, a short and a printed shirt, sunglasses. To finish, Paris, It would be an Urban Prada outfit with high pants with a short jacket.
I have some Spanish blood, so I would definitely wake up late. Then I would watch an old Italian movie with Marlon Brando or Sofia Loren with characters who yell and scream. Spending the afternoon in vintage stores, stop for a coffee somewhere, and meet with close friends for dinner.
The biggest challenge is to always find new projects, meeting new persons. The most exciting part is the creative part, when we create a look on set, and I see it evolving. What I also like is the creative process with a talent and a designer, and knowing it will be a moment of pure beauty. Beauty is subjective obviously, but this creative part makes me happy.
If we talk about fashion, I would say it is a certain elegance and a certain balance, find the perfect harmony. What also defines the French touch is the richness of our culture and references from our designers, authors, it represents us.
Yes, I like Arturo Obegero, who is a Spanish designer. He is mixing Spanish culture including some Matador inspired outfits with a genderless style. I really like Haider Ackermann, the way he plays with colors, mixing masculinity and femininity in his collections and also for keeping a certain independence,
It was a Marvellous experience, it allowed me to meet professionals in the world of Fashion, Cinema, and that gave me a vision of the work that was very rewarding, especially at a young age and at the beginning of my career.
That is a complicated question [laughs]. Honestly, I have no idea. I am very open, so there is no much room for a secret.
Well, maybe a question about my future, like “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”
Oh, I need to answer it too? [laughs] I live in the moment, and I have a hard time projecting myself. I think I should work on my long term vision.
Mati Diop, who directed the movie Atlantics and won the Grand Prize of the Jury in Cannes last year. I went to see her movie with Isabelle (Huppert) during the Toronto Film Festival and I really loved this movie, the story, and her vision was very smart.
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