Curator's Corner, 2/7/2016
More Chinese New Year collectibles from Shu Uemura

Couture Monday: Monkeying around with Armani

Happy Chinese New Year!  This Armani palette will help you celebrate in shimmery style. YSL and MAC both occasionally release items in honor of the holiday (and both are this year), so I guess Armani is following suit.  

The red lacquer case depicts the Chinese symbols for fortune and luck.

Armani Chinese New Year palette

Armani Chinese New Year palette

Inside, the powder is inscribed with a silhouette of a monkey.  I thought this was well-done.  While more detail might have been interesting, keeping the design limited to a simple outline is probably the best way to go so that it doesn't veer into cartoon territory.

Armani Chinese New Year palette

Those born in a year of the monkey are said to be curious, sociable, mischievous and clever.  In fact, China may see a significant increase in births this year since the traits associated with this sign are so desirable.

Armani Chinese New Year palette

Armani Chinese New Year palette

I guess Couture Monday is a misnomer in this case, as I couldn't find any relationship to Armani's fashion - no special Year of the Monkey capsule collection or anything like that.  So in lieu of fashion, today I will bring you some of my favorite monkeys in art.  There's even a whole Tumblr devoted to the topic!  Some Chinese and Japanese examples.

Yi Yuanji, Monkeys and Cats, 11th century(image from

Gibbons at Play, 1427
(image from

Monkeys on a Limb by Mori Sosen, 18th century

Gibbon Reaching for the Moon's Reflection, Ohara Koson, 1926
(images from

And here are some monkeys in Western art:

A Monkey Smoking and Drinking with an Owl by Ferdinand Van Kessel, 17th century
(image from

Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte, 1884

Tropical Forest with Monkeys by Henri Rousseau, 1910(image from

The Monkey by Franz Marc, 1912
(image from

Self Portrait with Monkeys by Frida Kahlo, 1943(image from

Some other monkey business includes these home goods, a collection of lovely cards by Japanese designers, this exhibition at the Met, and you simply must check out these monkey orchids.

What do you think of the Armani palette?  And do you like monkeys either in general or as a decorative motif?


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