Sarah Moon, Mystery and Sensuality (part one)

29 Mar
Sarah Moon by Sarah MoonSarah Moon by David Bailey

Sarah Moon (born as Marielle Hadengue), is a French photographer. Initially a model, she turned to fashion photography in the 1970s. Since 1985, she has concentrated on gallery and film work

Sarah Moon is born in Vichy in 1941. In WWII her Jewish family is forced to leave occupied France for England, where, as a teenager, she takes up a study drawing.  At nineteen she starts working as a model in London and Paris (1960–1966) under the name Mallriee Hadengue. During these days she becomes interested in photography, taking shots of her model colleagues. In 1967, she finally decides to spend all her time on photography rather than modelling, adopting Sarah Moon as her new name.


Cacharel 78



Cacharel 1975

Cacharel textiles

Cacharel commercials



She soon becomes consultant and photographer for Cacharel fashion house, which advertisement films made her win the Lion D’Or in 1979. She also gets commissioned for some of the most important magazines of that time, among which there are Vogue, Marie-Claire, Harpers’ Bazaar, Elle.

Sarah successfully captures the fashionable atmosphere of London after the “swinging sixties”, working closely with Barbara Hulanicki, who has just launched the popular department store Biba.


Biba by Sarah Moon

Ingrid Boulting face of Biba Cosmetics shot by Sarah Moon

Biba by Sarah Moon

Ingrid Boulting photographed by Sarah Moon for Biba,  Vogue UK, March 1971

Biba by Sarah Moon

Biba in Seventeen Magazine January 1971 Biba in Seventeen Magazine January 1971 

Seventeen Magazine January 1971, Photography Sarah MoonBiba in Seventeen Magazine January 1971 


In 1972, Sarah Moon shot the Pirelli calendar, the first woman to do so. She worked in Paris, at the Villa des Tilleuls, in a rich, blurry colour reminiscent of Degas’ paintings of ballerinas. The models are small women, childlike, with rosebud lips and dressed, mostly, in archaic underwear. What little bare flesh there is seems accidental — and quite unvoyeuristic. The pictures are certainly sensual but quite unsexual. The air is of a fin-de-siècle brothel in which the customers and bosses have gone home, leaving the girls to themselves. The Villa des Tilleuls was the Paris headquarters of the Gestapo.Hers is a world of young women — girls, almost. The few men in it are hidden, sometimes behind animal masks. 

Pirelli calendar

Sarah Moon Pirelli Calendar 1972

Sarah Moon Pirelli Calendar 1972

Sarah Moon Pirelli Calendar 1972

Sarah Moon Pirelli Calendar 1972

Sarah Moon Pirelli Calendar 1972

Sarah Moon Pirelli Calendar 1972

Sarah Moon Pirelli Calendar 1972


“Each photography is the last witness, or even the last evidence of a moment that would otherwise be lost forever; it is the sense of loss, and of time passing by …”

Sarah Moon


Early Editorial Photographs 

vogue italia 1972Vogue Italia 1972

Vogue Paris, February 1973Vogue Paris, February 1973

Vogue Paris 1973 photography by Sarah MoonVogue Paris 1973 

UK Vogue (April 1972)UK Vogue April 1972


Marielle Hadengue, with boyfriend, Francois Fould. BillMarielle Hadengue, with boyfriend, Francois Fould, wearing `his’ & `her’ shirts made from cotton the French call `Farmer’s Satin’. Ph. Bill Ray


info: Vogue Italia, WikiPedia and YouTube

7 Responses to “Sarah Moon, Mystery and Sensuality (part one)”

  1. Mike Richards 4 August 2017 at 13:28 #

    Decadent, moody and magnificent!

  2. Bert Chambliss 18 April 2018 at 14:28 #

    Fantastic site. Plenty of helpful info here. Im sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you to your effort!

  3. ed christin 16 May 2020 at 21:00 #

    the third photograph in the BIBA section is by Hans Fuerer, not Sarah Moon, a photo of Stephanie Farrow holding lilies that was used for the mail order catalog in 1969

  4. Malcolm 30 November 2021 at 14:49 #

    The first picture of Sarah Moon is by David Bailey, not Sarah.

    • A.G.Nauta couture 30 November 2021 at 15:06 #

      Hi Malcolm, which picture do you mean? So I can rectify… Thanks, Netty

      • Malcolm 13 May 2022 at 16:44 #

        The very first picture where she has her eyes closed and is holding a cigarette. Bailey shot this photograph.


  1. Sarah Moon X Nars – Brands&Co. - 17 December 2017

    […] vous ne voyez toujours pas, Sarah Moon est celle qui s’est fait un nom grâce à sa publicité pour Cacharel puis Vogue, Chanel, Dior… Bref, le gratin du […]

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