If you ask FR Gillette when he became interested in interior design, he’ll say he doesn’t remember ever not being interested. In fact, take a look at his high school yearbook and you’ll see his classmates wishing him well in a successful interior design career. However, the discovery of his natural talent for doing hair and makeup, coupled with his budding love of fashion magazines, led to him down a new and different path.
His well-documented hard work with the most esteemed fashion and beauty photographers, editors, magazines and advertising agencies provided an invaluable real-world education. Perhaps the most important lesson he learned early on was the necessity of attention to detail – but that didn’t mean he sacrificed his ability to develop new ideas quickly; in fact, maintaining an evolving style during those formative years became one of the qualities he was best known for.
By 1989 Gillette felt he had exhausted the creative opportunities in the area of hair and makeup and turned to photography to express his take on portraiture, beauty and fashion. This work brought together all of what he had learned from the greats. An innate sense of lighting, composition and awareness of environment gave his photographs a particular personality – a thoroughly unique point of view. And his subjects were as diverse as his interests: writers, composers, socialites, models, performance artists, actors, dancers and advertising campaigns. Architecture and interior design remained an ever-present source of inspiration, as well.
With the close of the nineties it was once again time for a career change: his first love was calling him back to his roots. The realm of interior design, where he could take advantage of his knowledge of composition, scale, color, and the experience of working with other creative minds toward a common goal, seemed the natural choice.