« May 2016 | Main | July 2016 »

June 2016

The French Riviera by way of Greece: Konstantin Kakanias for NARS

Teaming up with an illustrator rather than a photographer was quite a refreshing change of pace for NARS.  For their summer collection the brand collaborated with Greek artist Konstantin Kakanias to create a collection inspired by a weekend getaway to the French Riviera.

Konstantin Kakanias for NARS

Konstantin Kakanias for NARS

Clockwise from top left: NARS Topless, Deep End, Tan Lines and Pool Shark

Clockwise from top left: NARS Topless, Deep End, Tan Lines and Pool Shark eye shadows

NARS blushes in Sexual Content and Liberation

NARS blushes in Sexual Content and Liberation

Aaaaand I just realized I'm missing 2 of the lip covers - there should be 4 total.  How did I space on ordering those?!

NARS Lip Cover in Overheated and Get Dirty

Anyway, Kakanias shared his inspiration in a very short interview which shows him at work creating the illustrations. "I'm very happy Francois Nars gave me this opportunity to have an imaginary weekend, and to create this weekend with these women...I imagine them by the sea, I imagine them by the sunset in the south of France, their reflections on the water, hidden by leaves, having a glamorous yet chic and fun life and really capture the magical beauty."

 

Let's take a peek at some of Kakanias's other work.  While most of it seems to be for the New York Times Magazine, he's done many other collaborations, including one for Templeton fabrics and illustrating a book by famed perfumer Frédéric Malle

Here are a couple of pieces from Paris fashion week back in the fall of 2013.  While stylistically very different, the subject matter reminds me a little bit of Alber Elbaz's work for Lancôme in that it captures not just the clothes seen at fashion week but the atmosphere - in addition to what's coming down the runway, they depict scenes of the industry's most notable figures mingling and the never-ending attempts by paparazzi to catch them in action.  The two also seem to share a sense of humor about the fashion world, which I always appreciate.

Konstantin Kakanias - Paris fashion week

Konstantin Kakanias - Paris fashion week

Konstantin Kakanias (images from nytimes.com)

Kakanias also has experience with interpreting makeup looks, so the NARS collab wasn't unfamiliar territory.  Check out these illustrations of the gold eye shadows seen at the spring 2014 runways.

Konstantin Kakanias - Dior spring 2014 makeup

Konstantin Kakanias - Dries Van Noten spring 2014 makeup

Konstantin Kakanias - Gucci spring 2014 makeup

Konstantin Kakanias - Jason Wu spring 2014 makeup(images from tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com, cocoafab.com, myfunnyvalentineblog.com and livingly.com)

What I'm most fascinated by though is his depiction of his alter ego, Mrs. Tependris, whom he introduced in 1996 for a New York Times Magazine article. Mrs. Tependris is "a caricature of an art collector and a high society doyenne who Kakanias uses as 'a metaphor for the state of contemporary art and its superficial reception by the public'".  This character even has several books chronicling her adventures. 

Konstantin Kakanias - Mrs. Tependris

Here are parts of her diary from the fall 2013 couture shows in Paris.

Konstantin Kakanias - Mrs. Tependris

Konstantin Kakanias - Mrs. Tependris


Konstantin Kakanias - Mrs. Tependris(images from nytimes.com)

Prior to her turn at the 2013 shows, Mrs. Tependris hit the big screen in an animated short film called "Tependris Rising" in 2012, after a 4-year hiatus.  “I love her, but sometimes I get angry with her and swear I’ll never draw her again, then out she comes again,” said Kakanias of the project, which really served as a marketing piece for L.A. label Co's fall 2012 collection.  Mrs. Tependris's absence from the fashion world was explained by her being cryogenically frozen.  She is so impressed with her rejuvenated appearance that she must get back to the runways, post-haste.  I don't know what I love most in this film -  the spider who recognized her during her departure from the cryogenics lab, Kanye's reaction when she announces she's back, the big underwater dance number at the end set to Bowie's "Let's Dance", or her response to the assistant when he asked if she was in the show:  "I'M the show!" she says. 

 

Mrs. Tependris was, of course, voiced by Kakanias.  The idea of a female alter ego by a male artist also reminds me a little of Marcel Duchamp's Rrose Sélavy...I think it would be great if both she and Mrs. Tependris each had their own dedicated makeup collections. ;)

Getting back to the NARS collab, I admire the way Kakanias adjusted his style ever so slightly to express Nars' vision for his collection.  While his other illustrations are, of course, fashionable, I think he upped the glam factor for Nars.  These women seem just a tad more chic and sophisticated than what he's done previously.  I also like the way he matched the collection's colors on their faces in the boxes for both the eye shadow and lip glosses, i.e. the models are wearing the enclosed shade.  While I still think a collection featuring only Mrs. Tependris would be pretty baller, I'm happy with this.

What do you think of Kakanias's work and the NARS collab?  And do you have an alter ego?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Summer 2016 haul

Happy first day of summer!  Yay!   I overdid it this time but there were just so many pretty things this season.

Summer 2016 haul

The list: 

  • Chanel glossimers in Dzhari, Sahara, Tanami and Sirocco; nail polishes in Èmeraude and Cavalière; Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation
  • Lipstick Queen Eden
  • YSL Mascara Vinyl Couture in I'm the Madness (I LOVE it and now want all the colors!)
  • China Glaze nail polish in Papa Don't Peach
  • OPI polishes in Princesses Rule and This Color's Making Waves
  • Essie polish in DJ on Board
  • Dior nail polish in Cruise, lip gloss in Everdior and Milky Tint in Milky Peach
  • By Terry Baume de Rose in Mandarina Pulp
  • Too-Faced Melted Matte lipstick in Who's Zoomin Who
  • The Body Shop Pinita Colada body butter (OMG I want to eat it...been hoarding a couple more jars!)
  • Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream lipstick in Orange 440
  • Lancôme Drama Liqui-Pencil in Paradis
  • MAC Soft Serve shadow in Jealous Girl
  • Bobbi Brown gel eye liner in Sapphire Shimmer (so excited this was re-released!!)
  • Bobbi Brown cream eye shadow in Nude Beach
  • Boscia White Charcoal Mattifying setting spray
  • Bobbi Brown Beach shimmer powder
  • Bite Beauty lipsticks in Kale and Squid Ink
  • Chanel Empreinte du Desert quad
  • Jouer Mermaid palette
  • Becca Tigerlily blush
  • NARS eye shadows in Topless and Deep End
  • Guerlain KissKiss lipstick in Fancy Kiss
  • Bobbi Brown lipsticks in Boho Bronze and Pink Gold
  • Chantecaille cream eye shadows in Seashell and Lagoon
  • Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks in Junkie and Heroine

Some closeups.  Here's Bobbi Brown Boho Bronze and Pink Gold lipsticks.

Bobbi Brown Boho Bronze and Pink Gold lipsticks

Bobbi Brown Boho Bronze and Pink Gold lipsticks

Lipstick Queen Eden, Guerlain Fancy Kiss and Dolce & Gabbana Orange:

Lipstick Queen Eden, Guerlain Fancy Kiss and Dolce & Gabbana Orange

The weird lipsticks I'll probably be too chicken to wear:

Too Faced Who's Zoomin Who, Urban Decay Heroine and Junkie, Bite Squid Ink and Kale

Urban Decay Heroine and Junkie, Bite Squid Ink and Kale

The glosses:

Dior Milky Peach and Everdior

Chanel Dzhari, Tanami, Sahara and Sirocco

Cheek stuff and another By Terry lip balm...I loved the ones I got in my spring haul so much I had to get more!

Becca Tigerlily, Bobbi Brown Beach shimmer powder, By Terry Mandarina Pulp

And some eye stuff:

Bobbi Brown Nude Beach shadow and Sapphire Shimmer gel liner

Chantecaille released 4 cream shadows they were calling Mermaid Eye Color, so naturally I had to get a couple.  And I can never resist a pretty mint green.

Chantecaille Seashell and Lagoon, MAC Jealous Girl

Chanel summer 2016 quad

The colors are so gorgeous in this Jouer palette but once again the name is what really motivated me to buy it. ;)

Jouer Mermaid palette

I can honestly say I've been wearing the hell out of everything and loving it, except for the Jouer palette (which just arrived yesterday) and the crazy colored lipsticks...but I hope to get the courage to test them out soon. 

What did you haul this summer?  Any questions about what you've seen here?  As always I'm too lazy to do full reviews and the Makeup Museum isn't really that kind of beauty blog anyway, but I'm happy to answer any questions in the comments or you can email me.  :)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Curator's Corner, 6/19/2016

CC logoThis week's links. 

- I've always been fascinated by makeup product names, and this name generator is easily one of the funniest makeup-related things I've seen, like, ever.  (Also, Autumn's book officially releases Tuesday!  I'm patiently waiting for my pre-order to show up.)

- What possessed this woman to apply 100 coats of polish to her nails is beyond me, but it was an interesting result nonetheless.  In other nail news, these beautifully detailed cityscapes give new meaning to the term "nail art". 

- You knew it was just a matter of time before the rainbow trend extended from brows and lashes to eye liner.

- Refinery29 brings us a really cool photography exhibition on braids.

- In beauty history, the Glamourologist features a truly stunning early 2oth-century patch box that I'd kill to have in the Museum's collection, while Glamour Daze has a great little read on traditional geisha lip color (and did you know that there's a small museum run by the manufacturers of one of these lip colors in Tokyo?!  You can actually learn to apply it and buy it too.  Must make a pilgrimage.)

- Hey, jealousy: a new study seems to indicate that women are jealous of other women who wear makeup.  Meanwhile, Influenster polled over 5,000 millennial women to get their thoughts on the beauty industry and their own beauty practices.  The results were largely unsurprising; however, I did find it odd that pink won as the most popular color for nail polish - I thought millennials would be geared to a more non-traditional color. 

The random:

- Art Daily rounds up some cool shows I want to see, including one devoted to cats in ancient Egypt and a retrospective of shoes that spans over 2,000 years.

- In '90s nostalgia, Beck's Odelay turns 20, and an artist created an entire series of mixed-media works based on the 1993 film True Romance.

- My favorite old crank and spirit animal will be returning for another season.

- Finally, even though my dad refuses to get online despite my best efforts, he's still the greatest dad so I'm wishing him a very happy Father's Day!

How was your week?  And what was your lipstick's name?  Mine was Jungian Bosom.  :D

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Kye for Shu Uemura

I have to admit that the packaging for this collection didn't immediately set off my curadar (curating radar), but given the frenzy over K-beauty over the past 2 or so years, coupled with the fact that Kye is an important up-and-coming fashion designer, I figured it would be a worthy addition to the Museum.  And you know I can't resist Shu's limited-edition cleansing oils. ;)

Kathleen Kye was born in the U.S., raised in Seoul and attended London's Central Saint Martins.  Her clothing line, which was launched in 2011, is notable not just for its edgy, high-fashion streetwear aesthetic, but also for its focus on unisex design.

Kye for Shu Uemura

The pattern on the Shu collection incorporates a seemingly random group of motifs along with Kye's signature.  Uh-oh, I thought - is this just a bunch of stuff Kye slapped on there without any thought?

Kye for Shu Uemura

Kye for Shu Uemura cleansing oil

Kye for Shu Uemura cleansing oil

Nope! I was thrilled to see that the pattern wasn't just an arbitrary scattering of icons that the designer happened to throw on there.  Shu featured this handy dandy little chart explaining the meaning behind most of them. 

"I try to take some serious themes and issues to something light and beautiful." - See more at: http://www.vogue.it/en/talents/new-talents/2013/01/kathleen-kye#sthash.NOgX9LCN.dpuf

Kye-shu-uemura-icons(image from shuuemura-usa.com)

Some of the symbols were also borrowed from previous fashion collections, such as the band-aid (from spring 2014):

Kye spring 2014

And the tattoo-inspired (to my eye anyway), spring 2013 print, where I'm assuming the bird, skulls and roses came from.

Kye spring 2013(images from kyefashion.com)

Kye tells Vogue, "I try to take some serious themes and issues to something light and beautiful."  I'd also add fun and modern to that description.  The symbols pay homage to Korea's history but also demonstrate a playful twist.  I particularly love the representation of the country's national animal in gummy form.  Kye also shows her understanding not just of Korea's heritage but also the present cultural climate for the country's bustling youth through the "24" and the alarm clock symbols.

Overall, while this isn't my favorite Shu collab, I think Kye is the perfect designer to team up with to celebrate Korea's youth culture and the influence it's having on the rest of the world.  And I always appreciate when the artist puts some actual thought into what they're making for the cosmetic brand they're collaborating with rather than either blindly copying old designs or slapping on whatever is appealing to them at the moment.

What do you think?

Save

Save

Save


MM Mailbag: they don't make nail buffer packaging like this anymore

I received a rather intriguing inquiry from someone trying to identify an object that once belonged to his deceased aunt.  I was up a creek initially but luckily the interwebz allowed me to unravel the mystery. 

First, the object in question.  It's obviously a nail buffing stone, but beyond that I had zero information...

Kopp & Joseph Youpla nail buffing stone

Kopp & Joseph Youpla nail buffing stone box

Kopp & Joseph Youpla nail buffing stone

Kopp & Joseph Youpla nail buffing stone

...until I found this print.  I totally can't remember what search terms I typed into Google to pull this up, but I'm glad I came across it.

Kopp & Joseph nail stone ad by Alfred Boeld, ca. 1911(image from fineartamerica.com)

According to the description, "Stein der Weisen" means "Philosopher's Stone".  The man on the right is turning the woman's nails into gold using this seemingly magical nail buffer.  I wasn't familiar with the lore of the Philosopher's Stone, but the stone apparently possessed alchemic properties, hence the transformation of this lady's nails into gold.  The artist for the ad was Alfred Böld; unfortunately I couldn't find any sort of official bio for him.  This site says that he worked primarily as an advertisement artist and was active till about 1926. 

Just for fun, here are the other two works of his I was able to find online. This one, also from 1911, is for something Google Translate calls "head washing powder", which I'm assuming is shampoo.  In any case it's lovely.

Alfred Böld ad, 1911
(image from artnet.de)

The other image was a poster from 1912 for...well, I have no idea.  Google Translate gave me the exact same words I typed in to translate.  Some kind of event or festival, I guess, since it has specific dates.

Poster by Alfred Bold, 1912
(image from plakatkontor.de)

It's a shame there's not more on Böld, as I'm liking the few works by him that I could access.  To my delight there was more information available on Kopp & Joseph, which I stumbled across in this book (which honestly seems like a depressing read.)  The nail buffing stone was a quite popular item, and the company not only made cosmetic items but was also a wholesaler for them (see p. 80).

Here's a picture of their storefront in Berlin around 1927.  It's so pretty, I wish drugstores still looked like this.

Kopp & Joseph storefront, Berlin, ca. 1927
(image from lempertz.com)

What I couldn't figure out is how a German item ended up being sold in the U.S. market and for approximately how long it was sold here.  The original ad dates from 1911, and the person inquiring informed me that his aunt was born in 1912, so the nail buffer had to have been sold in the U.S. at least through the 1930s (I highly doubt she was purchasing such an item as a child.)  At my request, the inquirer kindly unwrapped the insert that I had spotted inside the box so I could hunt for more clues.

Youpla nail buffing stone insert

This was the big break in the case, so to speak.  How an extensive history of a seemingly obscure company ended up online I don't know, but wow was I lucky it exists!  The George Borgfeldt company manufactured many things - they were particularly known for dolls and toys - but I noticed "druggist sundries" was listed among the many departments, so obviously this is the same company that produced the nail stone.  The history also says that the company was known as George Borgfeldt & Co. from 1883 through 1933, and was liquidated and changed to George Borgfeldt Corporation in 1933 and was in operation till 1961.  Given that it's listed as Geo. Borgfeldt & Co. on the inside wrapper and the date of the original German ad is 1911, I initially thought the product had to have been made between 1911 and 1933.  However, I found a 1915 U.S. patent for Geo. Borgfeldt nail items, including "enamel, polish, paste, bleach, pomade and tints for the finger-nails,"  so that means it's unlikely it was sold in the U.S. prior to 1915, as Borgfeldt would have had to secure patents and translate everything on the package into English before selling.  Additionally, the company moved to new headquarters in 1910 and stayed there until 1931. The address for this is the same as the one on the insert:  16th street and Irving Place.

Geo. Borgfeldt & Co. headquarters, ca. 1910 (image from 14to42.net)

Given what we know about the patent date and the address, that means the particular nail buffer in the inquirer's possession was sold in the U.S. between 1915 and 1931. So my initial hunch was correct - the item dates to the early '30s.  Also, since the Borgfeldt company was primarily an importer of items outside the U.S. and Kopp & Joseph operated partially as a wholesaler, my best guess as to how this nail buffer ended up being sold in the U.S. is that Borgfeldt scoped out popular items from different countries that they could get wholesale and distributed them here with their name.

The inquirer also asked about the monetary value of the nail buffer.  Unfortunately for him, most vintage cosmetic items, no matter how cool the packaging is, don't go for much.  Sure, there are some rare and in-demand items that fetch several hundred dollars, or even artifacts that go for thousands, but generally speaking these things simply don't carry a high price tag.  I found another example of a Youpla item on e-bay which sold for a whopping $7.99. 

Vintage Youpla nail polish

I'd be curious to see how the polish actually works, since the packaging is so different than the bottle and brush we usually associate with nail polish.  In these pictures it reminds me of a pack of Lifesavers.

Vintage Youpla nail polish(images from ebay.com)

Based on the price of this item, but also taking into consideration the excellent condition of the nail stone, the fact that it was a best-selling item and the packaging was based on actual artwork, I estimated it could be sold for about $20-$25 for the average person browsing vintage beauty items.  If there were someone out there who is either a rabid collector of Philosopher's Stone ephemera or one who focuses exclusively on vintage nail products, it could go for slightly more, maybe high as $50.  But I know I certainly wouldn't pay more than $35 and I'm someone who truly values the historical and artistic significance of objects like these.

To conclude, I'm so glad online searches came through, especially since when I first laid eyes on the piece I had absolutely no clue what I was looking at and was sure it would be impossible to find anything.  While I wish there was more on the artist behind the packaging, I was very pleasantly surprised to come across any information on both Kopp & Joseph and the George Borgfeldt companies.  Given the difficulty I've had with other inquiries in the past (and there are still more I couldn't answer, but those are for another edition of MM Mailbag), I was so very happy to provide some pretty good details about the item.

What do you think? 

Save

Save

Save

Save


Setting sail with Paul & Joe

This will be another quick post since I don't have much to say, other than that Paul & Joe serves up some cuteness for summer yet again. 

Paul & Joe summer 2016 makeup

You know you can't resist the cat lipsticks...

Paul & Joe summer 2016 lipsticks

Unfortunately I think the one the left is missing his eyeball!  Poor little fella, blind in one eye.  Fortunately his whiskers will help with balance and depth perception, right?  (Yes, I am concerned about his vision...but I'm trying to remember that it's just a lipstick and the cat isn't actually, you know, alive).  And I also have more of these from the fall 2015 collection.

Paul & Joe summer 2016 lipsticks

The palettes were predictably adorable.  I especially loved the interiors - can't beat dolphins and boat-shaped eye shadows.

Paul & Joe summer 2016 palette 001

Paul & Joe summer 2016 palette

Paul & Joe summer 2016 palette 002

Interestingly, the prints for the second and third palettes are taken from the resort 2015 collection.  I'm not sure why they used it, but I guess it made for a good summer collection and they had already borrowed things from both their spring 2016 and 2015 collections.

Paul & Joe resort 2015

Paul & Joe summer 2016 palette 003

Paul & Joe resort 2015

Finally, there was this face powder, adorned with illustrations of vintage bathing beauties and playing card motifs in a cheerful yellow, white and red pattern.

Paul & Joe summer 2016 powder

This was also taken from last year's resort collection.

Paul & Joe resort 2015

Beautyhabit was giving out this clutch as a gift-with-purchase.  You might remember this print from the summer 2014 blotting sheets.  This is easily one of my favorite Paul & Joe prints so I was very pleased to get my grubby little paws on it.

Paul & Joe GWP bag

So what do you think?  Not their most inspired but as usual, it delivers a burst of summer fun with some delightful prints.  I have a feeling, however, that their fall collections are going to take the cake. ;)

Save

Save


Curator's Corner, 6/12/2015

CC logoThis week's links. 

- I am mesmerized by this gemstone-inspired lip art

- Broadly had a nice history of junk food-themed beauty items...too bad it didn't mention my take on the subject.  Speaking of food-related makeup, check out this pizza highlighter.  Amazing!

- Cool off with some refreshing watermelon hair.  Or if you're already looking forward to fall, try forest hair.  Whatever you do though, don't use a drone for a trim.

- A lot of little girls dabble in their mother's makeup, but this Australian 6 year-old takes it to the next level.

- Meli at Wild Beauty presents a genius hack for Clarisonic brush storage.

The random:

- Duh.

- In '90s nostalgia, Nylon explores the trends from the decade that have yet to make a comeback, and Belle & Sebastian's Tigermilk turns 20.

-
Summer's  here and so is mermaid mania!  This is a workout class I'd actually be excited to take, and I could dry off afterwards with this towel.  But I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of a Splash remake.  That was the movie that made me obsessed with mermaids and I don't think anyone should mess with the original.

What's new with you?

Save

Save

Save

Save


Quick post: summer fun from Anthro

 

I was browsing Anthropologie a few weeks ago and came across the latest collaboration for the store's Artist Studio line.  This time Anthro teamed up with UK-based illustrator Lou Taylor for some truly fun summer goodies.  More from Anthro's website:  "Brighton-based illustrator Lou Taylor draws inspiration from midcentury fashion illustrations, Busby Berkeley dance routines and pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Patrick Caulfield. Her motifs repeat instantly iconic images against citrus-bright backgrounds for an eye-catching, joyful effect."  In both the short video above and in the prints used for this collaboration I can definitely see these influences, particularly Busby Berkeley's "By A Waterfall" number from 1933.

I didn't buy everything but I sure wanted to!

Lou Taylor for Anthropologie summer 2016

Lou Taylor for Anthropologie summer 2016

Lou Taylor for Anthropologie summer 2016

Lou Taylor for Anthropologie summer 2016

How cute are these mini printed nail files?!

Lou Taylor for Anthropologie summer 2016

Taylor's illustrations are produced on a variety of items, with brooches being the most popular.  Many of the prints for the Anthro collection were borrowed from her bather-themed Lido line.

Swimmers scarf by Lou Taylor

Bather brooch by Lou Taylor

One of Taylor's favorite muses is Carmen Miranda, who appeared on the Tahitian Monoi fragrance packaging for the Anthro line.  Here she is in brooch form.

Carmen Miranda brooch by Lou Taylor

Lou Taylor for Anthropologie Tahitian Monoi

Some of her other work...we just need some Abbi and Ilana earrings and we'll be all set!

Yas Kween brooch by Lou Taylor

Here is the artist's ode to her favorite film, Pretty in Pink:

Andie brooch by Lou Taylor

Duckie brooch by Lou Taylor

But I think the one that rings my bells the most is Taylor's Lipstick City items from her Pop collection, for obvious reasons.

Lipstick necklace by Lou Taylor

Lipstick print by Lou Taylor(images from lou-taylor.co.uk)

Taylor tells Anthropologie, "A lot of [my artistic process] happens in my mind—I’m always planning and daydreaming. When I sit down to sketch, it’s pretty much a finished design. I create papercuts of my work first so I can play with patterns in real life as well as digitally...My mum is a painter and has been a source of constant inspiration in my life. I think I’ve always had a paintbrush or pair of scissors in my hand. I took the plunge and went full-time four years ago, and I’ve never looked back!"  Here's to many more of her whimsical creations.

Will you be picking up anything from this collection?  In addition to the Anthropologie items I have my eye on that lipstick necklace, or maybe the earrings (yes, she ships to the U.S.!)

Save

Save

Save

Save


Chris Chang for MAC

With this post I'm attempting to forget about MAC's previous misstep.  Fortunately, their collaboration with quirky designer Chris Chang is doing the trick.  After earning her degree at Parsons and an 8-year stint for Prada Taiwan, Chang launched her own line called Poesia.  Reflecting the designer's "fascination with the symbols and icons of her childhood dreams," the line seeks to embody the idea that "clothes should be easy and wearable without burdening women with unnecessary discomfort in structure and silhouette."  It seems fairly straightforward, but when you actually look at Chang's creations, there's a lot more going on than that description implies.  So let's take a peek at some of the MAC collection. 

Naturally I adore the bold shades chosen for both the packaging and the products themselves.  In a press release for the collection, Chang notes, "Color is the integral fuel of my imagination and the spirit MAC and I share. This collaboration is a dream come true for the maximalists of the world."  I would definitely agree that this is the polar opposite of minimal makeup!

Chris Chang for MAC

MAC/Chris Chang box

MAC/Chris Chang lipsticks

The packaging features a silk screen print Chang designed specifically for MAC, containing a mishmash of motifs from her previous collections.

MAC/Chris Chang powder

Unfortunately I couldn't place every detail, but here's an attempt anyway (plus it gives me an opportunity to present some of Chang's fashion).  The vase on the left of the powder case may be inspired by those seen on some pieces from the spring 2016 collection.

Chris Chang/Poesia spring 2016

The butterflies are borrowed from the spring 2015 collection.

Chris Chang/Poesia spring 2015

The birds and goldfish appear on the wallpaper at Chang's website...

Chris Chang website wallpaper

Chris Chang website wallpaper

...but could also be nods to the spring 2015 and 2016 collections.

Chris Chang/Poesia spring 2015


Chris Chang Poesia spring 2016

Overall I think the print on the powder most closely resembles one from the spring 2012 collection.

Chris Chang Poesia spring 2012

Chris Chang Poesia spring 2012(images from poesiaworld.com)

The images on the outer boxes reference Chang's original concept for the MAC collaboration, which was "Kunqu madness".  She explains to Allure:  "The theme is Kunqu Madness. Kunqu is one of the oldest performance arts from China that combines singing, poetry, acrobatics, and dance—and a lot of hand gestures. And Kunqu has a very specific, avant-garde look. The makeup and costumes are exaggerated, so when I was asked to collaborate it took me five minutes to decide that this is going to be around Kunqu. In the collection there are all of the colors you see in the costumes."  For Chang, I'm guessing a big part of the appeal of modernizing Kunqu is the "maximal" nature of it.  She tells Pop Sugar, "When I was going to [Parsons School of Design] in the '80s, people were always talking about minimalism: 'when you’re done with your design, take that one last thing away.' I felt so awkward in this whole teaching method. I thought, 'minimalism?... I’m definitely maxi.' There’s something about Kunqu that’s also very maximalistic and extreme — the makeup, the singing — and also, it’s very poetic."

Chris Chang/Poesia for MAC

Here are some photos of Kunqu performances - I think Chang's idea of "Kunqu madness" is perfectly executed.

Kunqu(image from wikipedia.org)

Kunqu
(image from arts.cultural-china.com)

This picture is particularly fascinating, as I think the butterflies and birds resemble those found on Chang's pieces.

Kunqu-white

The MAC collaboration is not the first time Chang has referenced Kunqu:  check out the headpieces worn by the models for the spring 2012 collection.

Chris Chang spring 2012 runway(image from forbes.com

As a follow up on Chang's views on color, she also told Allure, "[T]here's no color that you can't wear—it's only a matter of how you wear it and how you apply it. It's 2016, and a woman is about to become the president. All of those rules are so outdated, but that's actually a big part of the Asian mentality. Thinking things like 'I can't wear green' or 'I can't wear orange' because it's not becoming against sallow, Asian skin. I say throw that out the door. It's a different time now, you know?...These colors should be used as war paint. Even if it's something just on the lid, it should be worn as paint, really. And I think that's where the direction for makeup is going. It should be worn like abstract art."  Indeed, at a special fashion show held in Shanghai just for the MAC collection, models had the collection's colors applied in a rather avant-garde style.

MAC/Chris Chang fashion show

MAC/Chris Chang fashion show

Chang herself also got in on the war paint action.  She looks pretty fierce!

Chris Chang(images from thatsitmag.com)

This aligns with the designer's outlook on makeup and fashion:  "I've never dressed or designed thinking, Is this appealing to men? Would men find this sexy? That mentality opens a lot of doors for me, for both how I can dress and how makeup should be worn. It's so satisfying for women to enjoy fashion and makeup. Who cares about men?"  She then elaborates, "Women are strong. We’re equal, if not even better. Makeup and clothes are definitely to please a woman and not to please a man. I hate that [phrase], 'man repellent', so we should dress for ourselves.  Love and relationships are such a small part of what a woman can do." 

Chang definitely has it all for me - an appreciation for cultural practices that are thousands of years old, the ability to honor those practices through giving them a thoroughly unique, futuristic take, and a love of crazy bold colors that are worn without giving a damn as to what people find flattering or attractive.  I've never been afraid to wear color, especially on my eyes, but Chang's perspective makes me want to flaunt it in a less traditional fashion (like trying out blue or green lipstick instead of hot pink or grey, which is about as colorful as I get for lips).  I have purchased some pretty out-there lip shades but have yet to find the courage to wear them.

What do you think?  Did you pick up anything from this collection?  And are you a "maximalist" when it comes to makeup shades?