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August 2016

A trio of city-themed treasures: Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown

Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown

This was one of those collections I didn't think twice about, just pounced as soon as it was available at Neiman Marcus.  As the insert above indicates, for the brand's 25th anniversary, Bobbi Brown collaborated with illustrator Richard Haines to create 3 palettes that represent 3 of the world's top fashion cities: Paris, London and New York.

Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown

Here's Paris.  The woman's outfit is great, but I particularly love the rendering of the Eiffel Tower.

Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown - Paris palette

Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown - Paris palette

London - the trench coat is perfection:

Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown - London palette

Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown - London palette

And here's New York.  Those striped tuxedo pants look so familiar but I can't place them.  However, I'm almost positive that's a Balenciaga City bag.

Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown - New York palette

Richard Haines for Bobbi Brown - New York palette

Now for a little background on Richard Haines.  The New York-based artist started drawing at the tender age of 5.  In an interview for Opening Ceremony's blog, he says, "Everyone else was drawing airplanes, and I was drawing wedding dresses...I stayed with my grandparents every summer, and my grandfather got The New York Times everyday. When I was about ten, I was looking through it and there was coverage of the Paris couture collections–this was like 1962 or 1963. They were all drawings. You know, there were no photographs because they didn't have the technology to send them back then. So it was all of these beautiful fashion illustrations of Givenchy and Dior, and they were so elegant. I remember thinking 'Oh my god, how can someone make these beautiful drawings with just a few lines and give out all that information?' That was kind of where the obsession started."  

In scrolling through his Instagram, two things immediately jumped out.  One, Haines is left-handed.  You know how I'm fascinated with lefties!

Richard Haines

Two, he's got a great sense of humor. 

Illustration by Richard Haines(images from instagram.com)

Naturally I kept scouring his account to find some favorites.  Haines is a regular at the world's biggest fashion shows now, and he greatly enjoys the immediacy and energy of the runway:  "Drawing at the shows is incredible—there is something about the intimacy of that moment. I find that, if someone asks me to do something after a show from photos, it’s never going to be the same, its never going to have that aliveness. There’s something about the energy of the model on a runway, what that designer is presenting, the kind of the vibe of the audience and that’s all in that drawing—or at least, I want it to be, that's the goal!"  In looking at his work I can definitely see the bustling liveliness of the shows.  The lines are almost haphazard, borderline sloppy, yet still form a cohesive and powerful image.  For example, in the sketches Haines created for this year's couture shows at Paris Fashion Week, I was able to easily identify all of the clothing.  At first glance the pieces look rather hastily, frenetically drawn, but ultimately the image comes together to perfectly capture the fleeting essence of fashion.

Illustration by Richard Haines

Here's a comparison to the actual dress.

Illustration by Richard Haines - Alexis Mabille couture, fall 2016(images from instagram.com and vogue.com)

Illustration by Richard Haines - Giambattista Valli couture, fall 2016

Illustration by Richard Haines - Giambattista Valli couture, fall 2016(images from instagram.com and fashiontimes.com)

Illustration by Richard Haines - Schiaparelli couture, fall 2016(image from instagram.com)

Schiaparelli couture, fall 2016(images from vogue.com)

While Haines is a fixture at the front rows, it's street style that seems to intrigue him the most.  In his mind, runway displays aren't that much different from the street - both involve people-watching, one of Haines's favorite activities.  "I've realized I have a short attention span and fashion is perfect for that, because it's a continual feed of ideas, color, performance, beauty, and people. It's really exciting! I mean I really just love watching people, even just walking down the street here [in Bushwick]. I see these amazing kids and in its own way, it's a fashion show," he says

Haines focuses primarily on menswear, something that in my mind seems to be somewhat lacking from the oeuvre of most fashion illustrators.  I love women's fashion, of course, but it's good to see the guys getting their due.  Even though the Bobbi palettes only feature women, which makes sense since they're makeup, I still appreciate a collab with an artist who generally doesn't have such an emphasis on women's wear.

Illustration by Richard Haines

Illustration by Richard Haines

Illustration by Richard Haines

Illustration by Richard Haines(images from instagram.com)

My favorite series is one he did for high-end men's fashion site Mr. Porter (the men's equivalent of net-a-porter.)  Haines visited 6 different cities, interviewing and sketching the owners of his favorite looks.  I like to think of these as a sort of precursor to the Bobbi Brown palettes.  While these are actual people and the women on the palettes are more of a general representation of that city's style, the concept is similar.

Richard Haines for Mr. Porter

Richard Haines for Mr. Porter

Richard Haines for Mr. Porter

Richard Haines for Mr. Porter(images from blog.jedroot.com)

Haines also has several fashion collaborations under his belt.  Not a surprise, since he was a designer himself for over 25 years before returning to his original passion for illustration.  He tells Out, "I moved to New York thinking I wanted to be a fashion illustrator, but my style wasn’t really developed, and it wasn’t assertive, confident. There’s something apologetic about it, so I stopped doing it. That’s when I became a fashion designer for 25-30 years.  By the time I started it again, I had the confidence to get behind it, and to really own my work -- which was not that long ago. I think that’s when my style happened." 

Richard Haines for Dries van Noten

Richard Haines for Dries van Noten
(images from vogue.com)

In addition to teaming up with Bobbi Brown, this fall Haines also collaborated with Moore & Giles for a collection of leather goods.  I like the overall look of the illustrations.  They're sporty - most of the men are engaged in some kind of athletic activity - but still refined and gentlemanly (especially the dude in the top hat and tails).

Richard Haines for Moore & Giles

Richard Haines for Moore & Giles
(images from mooreandgiles.com)

Overall, I like the slightly disheveled, immediate feel of Haines' work.  While I do think it's a bit odd to have a collaboration between a makeup brand and a fashion illustrator whose main interest is menswear, Haines demonstrates he's equally adept at drawing well-dressed women as well as depicting a particular moment or atmosphere - perfect for capturing the individual, of-the-moment style of the world's most fashion-forward cities.

What do you think?  I wonder how much Haines would charge to draw the husband...he is immensely fashionable and I'd love to see him wearing one of his best outfits in illustrated form.  :)

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Curator's Corner, 8/28/2016

CC logoOof, can't believe I haven't gotten to Curator's Corner in a month!  I wish I could say it's because I'm so busy writing some awesome upcoming posts but sadly that is not the case.  I'm just feeling super tired/lazy.  Nevertheless I still feel the need to round up some links.

- Some follow-ups to my post on active beauty include Autumn's excellent analysis of gymnasts and makeup and Shiseido's beauty tips for runners.

- One step forward, 2 steps back.

- Vice investigates the 100-layer craze, which is still going strong, while Racked explores geek-themed makeup.

- Trends for nails include cheese and duck feet.  Once again I must assure you that I'm not making these up.  Slightly less strange is the holographic nail. Meanwhile, some more product novelties have popped up, including this rose-shaped cleanser dispenser, KFC-scented sunscreen (it's selling out, for some inexplicable reason - this is even grosser than the nail polish, in my opinion) and, um, these highlighters.

- Speaking of which, Nylon tackles the tough question of whether one should sheet mask one's nether regions

- Given Nars' past transgressions I'm wary of his new book.

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LOLThis is also hilarious. 

The random:

- Having just re-watched Pee-Wee's Big Adventure I greatly enjoyed this interview with Elizabeth Daily (a.k.a. Dottie). 

- I also loved the A.V. Club's 1996 week.  Other '90s nostalgia includes an exhibition on the Spice Girls and a genius remix/supercut of the Offspring's "Pretty Fly for a White Guy".  My bucket hat goes off to whoever came up with this.

- Yas, queen!

- These Barbie and toy dinosaur collections put my little museum to shame.

- Finally, today marks 6 years since the husband and I were married (and 16 years together in all!)  In honor of the occasion he made me this adorable card.  So clever!!

card

I didn't get the poor guy anything!  Meh.  But I do intend on doing something great for his birthday next year so hopefully I'll make up for it then.  ;)

What have you been up to? 

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Quick post: Meet Enrico!

You might remember this neat ad for Max Factor's Italian Touch that I featured in the summer exhibition.

Max Factor Italian Touch ad, 1957

I also mentioned there was a really cool bust used as a store prop floating about on E-bay, but that it was pricey.  Well, as it turns out I didn't have to worry about the cost because a certain very thoughtful and generous husband purchased it for me!  I really don't have anything like this in the Museum's collection and I was so happy he snagged it for me.  As far as store advertising goes it's pretty unique.

I've named him Enrico.  :)

Max Factor Italian Touch bust, ca. 1957

Max Factor Italian Touch bust, ca. 1957

Max Factor Italian Touch bust, ca. 1957

Max Factor Italian Touch bust, ca. 1957

Max Factor Italian Touch bust, ca. 1957

I love the sphinxes on each shoulder!  Perhaps they were borrowed from the Augustus of Prima Porta.

Max Factor Italian Touch bust, ca. 1957

I couldn't find a complete history of the campaign but it must have been quite large, given that I've seen ads in various languages.  In addition to plain old English, I also came across French:

Max Factor Italian Touch ad
(image from hprints.com)

Italian (of course...additionally, Italian film star Virna Lisi starred as the model, which further demonstrates how calculated the campaign was):

Max Factor Italian Touch ad
(image from delcampe.net)

And Dutch.  This is particularly fascinating given that the e-bay seller Enrico was purchased from was located in the Netherlands.  I also would have loved to get my hands on the little set pictured in these ads to round out a sort of capsule collection of the Italian Touch campaign, but I'm pretty satisfied with the bust.

Max Factor Italian Touch ad
(image from invaluable.com)

I also found these two English-language ads from Canada and Singapore. 

Max Factor Italian Touch ad(image from middlebrowcanada.com)

I couldn't remove the watermark from this but you get the gist.

Max Factor Italian Touch ad, Straits Times, October 8, 1957
(image from eresources.nlb.gov.sg)

In the U.S., a new shade called Roman Touch was available in several products in addition to the Italian Touch collection.

Max Factor Roman Touch ad, Deseret News, May 1, 1957
(image from news.google.com)

Max Factor Roman Touch ad, Torrance Press, April 25, 1957(image from arch.torranceca.gov)

All in all, I think this is one of the strangest, yet well-planned advertising campaigns for a vintage collection I've come across.  Normally I'd be creeped out by the idea of statues coming to life, but in this case I think the offbeat nature of it is quite amusing. And based on what Museum Advisory Committee member Sailor Babo has told me about his conversations with him, Enrico is totally harmless and has lots of interesting stories.

Sailor Babo makes a new friend!

What do you think about this latest Museum gift?  Big huge thanks to my awesome and supportive husband. :)


Friday Fun: MAC's trolling us all

Initially I was confused as to why MAC chose troll dolls as a collection theme.  Yes, a resurgence of all things '90s is upon us, but it still seemed strange to resurrect the troll doll fad.  It only made sense when I got wind of the new Trolls movie, which releases this November.

Naturally I love how obnoxiously bright the packaging is.

MAC Good Luck Trolls collection

The image on the boxes is the signature crazy troll hair.

MAC Good Luck Trolls box

I don't think I've ever seen makeup with a troll silhouette imprinted!

MAC Good Luck Trolls powder

Glitter caps!

MAC Good Luck Trolls collection

Now for a little history.  The original troll doll was created by a Danish woodcutter named Thomas Dam in 1959.  Too poor to afford a Christmas gift for his daughter, he carved her a troll figure out of wood instead.  Pretty soon the doll was the talk of the town, and the Dam Things company began producing trolls made of plastic in the early '60s under the name Good Luck Trolls.  In the U.S. the troll doll craze hit peak popularity from 1963-65 and came around again in the '90s.  Being the '90s buff that I am, I felt the need to do a little more research on the renewed interest in trolls.  I found a very useful entry on the topic here - while no longer active, this blog is great for anyone needing a dose of '90s nostalgia.  While regular trolls were popular, there were also dolls known as Treasure Trolls that sported jewels in their bellybuttons, and you would rub the belly gem for good luck.  You might remember the billikens I looked at earlier this year - one would rub their bellies for good luck, and one of the compacts I included showed a billiken with a jewel in his navel.  So maybe the Treasure Trolls were drawing on this tradition?  In any case, I just had to include these early '90s commercials for the Treasure Trolls. 

 

 

I was hoping to find more about why trolls experienced such a renaissance in the '90s.  Alas, I didn't turn up much.  This article seems to think it was the general '90s obsession with anything retro, but that's about all I found.

Anyway, as a collector I was also curious to see if there were any folks out there who had amazing troll stashes, or even museums. Behold, the Troll Hole Museum in Alliance, Ohio!  Run by Sherry Groom, the museum boasts a Guinness World Record collection consisting of over 10,000 troll dolls, figurines and other troll memorabilia. It's the largest troll collection in the whole world.

The Troll Hole(image from thetrollhole.com)

Troll Hole Museum(image from roadsideamerica.com)

And up until recently, there was a Troll Museum in New York City's Lower East Side.  The collection is considerably smaller; however, it was home to possibly the most diverse collection of trolls, including a very rare two-headed troll from the '60s.  Unfortunately proprietor/artist Jen Miller, better known as Reverend Jen, was evicted earlier this summer.  Due to health issues she was unable to work and pay the rent.  It breaks my heart to think of her collection, so lovingly amassed over 20 years, to be sold or given away.  Not only that, since the museum was actually her apartment (tours were given by appointment only) she has nowhere to live now.

Troll museum, NYC(image from timeout.com)

Troll Museum - two-headed troll

While the Troll Hole may be much bigger, I definitely gravitate more towards Reverend Jen's collection.  We seem to be kindred spirits in our approach to having museums in our homes, and also our "Board of Directors" - she clearly has a sense of humor about it the way I do with my museum staff.

Troll Museum Board of Directors(images from untappedcities.com)

I do hope Reverend Jen is able to get back on her feet.  If nothing else, I wish I had known she was getting thrown out of her apartment - maybe I could have at least stored part of her collection somewhere until she was able to find another home.

Getting back to MAC, I thought it was well done.  If I was going to design a troll doll-themed collection this is what I would have come up with.  Yes, it's a little juvenile but still loads of fun for those of us who remember the troll fad. 

What do you think of the collection?  And do you own any troll dolls?

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Trending: "active beauty"

I was browsing Sephora online, as I do nearly every day, and spotted a brand called Sweat Cosmetics.  Their tagline is "developed by athletes for active women," and apparently the brand is the brainchild of 5 Olympic athletes.  However, my gut reaction upon seeing this at Sephora was, we're supposed to wear makeup while we work out?  Naming a cosmetics brand Sweat seems to imply that we're expected to look good even while exercising.  While the brand's description insists that "Sweat empowers women and embraces beauty" I can't help but be mildly annoyed.  I couldn't quite put my finger on why and decided to do a little more investigating.  Turns out, makeup designed to be worn during exercise has been trending pretty strongly in the past 5 years or so.  Long-wear, waterproof and sweat-proof makeup are nothing new, of course, but I am intrigued by the recent uptick in brands that produce makeup specifically for working out.  And by intrigued I mean I'm not sure whether this is a step forward or backward for women. 

A few months prior to Sweat's launch, in early 2016 beautybox subscription service Birchbox announced an in-house beauty line called Arrow Cosmetics.  According to this article, Arrow consists of "makeup, skincare and body products that are lightweight, long-wearing and refreshing - designed to enhance natural beauty during (and after) physical activity."  In 2015, British brand Eyeko released their "sport" eye products, a waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and the same year Bobbi Brown introduced her #LONGWEARLIFEPROOF campaign, in which 4 professional female athletes - an Olympic skiier, an Olympic snowboarder, a world record holding base jumper and a professional surfer - used GoPro cameras to record their workouts while wearing the brand's long-wear eye products to demonstrate they could withstand the most extreme activity.  Bobbi Brown's executive director of global communications Alexis Rodiguez told Advertising Age, "[The] idea is if these athletes can use these products and push their limits, it's essentially life-proof for all women."

Going slightly further back, in spring 2013 Tarte collaborated with famed synchronized swimming group Aqualillies to create a truly waterproof makeup line featuring a dizzying array of products that would hold up through hours of swimming.  Later that year Katherine Cosmetics was launched. Founded by Katherine "Annie" Finch, the brand offers a collection called K-sport, a "lifestyle solution-driven collection of compact beauty products designed for active, women-on-the-go, living real life." (Interestingly, from time to time the brand highlights a professional athlete to be their "K-sport girl".  Currently it's a golfer...I'd be curious to see how these K-sport products perform for, say, a marathoner.)  Even as far back as 2005 the notion of makeup made just for exercising in existed with the founding of Rae Cosmetics, a line of mineral cosmetics "specifically created for women with active lifestyles...created to take the heat, like the women who wear it".

Active beauty

  1. Sweat Cosmetics Translucent Mineral Powder
  2. Katherine Cosmetics K-Sport Wow Stick
  3. Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara
  4. Tarte Aqualillies Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette
  5. Rae Cosmetics Face and Body Bronzer
  6. Arrow Cosmetics Cooling Cheek Tint

While not directly falling under the category of active beauty, there has also been a small increase in athletic-themed makeup.  Sonia Kashuk's Knockout face powder from this past spring was embossed with a boxing glove, while Kiko introduced their Beauty Games collection this summer in honor of the summer 2016 Olympics.  And MAC's upcoming It's a Strike collection features a bowling ball-emblazoned highlighter.  Even though these are, at their core, beauty-centered items, I find it interesting that their design is more sports-inspired than we've seen previously.

Sonia Kashuk Knock Out Beauty Skin Glow
(image from musingsofamuse.com)

Kiko Beauty Games collection promo

Kiko Beauty Games bronzer(images from kikocosmetics.com)

MAC It's a Strike Pearlmatte Face Powder(image from chicprofile.com)

Finally, there was also a fairly unique collaboration between Reebok and Face Stockholm.  While the output was sneakers and not beauty products, it's still interesting to see a cosmetics line partnering with an athletic-wear company.

Face Stockholm x Reebok(image from reebok.com)

So what's causing this seemingly newfangled intersection of makeup and physical activity?  One of the factors may be the athleisure trend in fashion.  Beauty and fashion are always closely intertwined, so active beauty may be the cosmetic equivalent of the laid-back yet still tailored clothing one can wear while doing yoga, running errands, or even social occasions.  Notes Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO of Birchbox, about the new Arrow line, "We were inspired by the trend of athleisure in fashion, and felt that the same elements could apply to beauty—high-performance products that help you look your best, without looking like you are trying too hard. It's that effortless, ready-for-anything beauty that so many of us are often looking for...of course we loved that we could pioneer this concept in the beauty category and we worked hard to quickly bring the idea to market. The goal with ARROW is to provide subtle color and practical skincare and body products that make women feel fresh and confident wherever their busy days take them."  And Sweat Cosmetics has partnered with the grand poobah of athleisure, Lululemon, for special promotional events.  Indeed, as more women try to juggle fitness routines in ever-busier schedules, makeup that can transition seamlessly from one situation to another is becoming a staple.  As InStyle points out about the athleisure trend, "The need for everyday comfort, too, plays a role, especially for anyone trying to work fitness into an already overtaxed schedule. Who wants to haul an extra outfit to work?"  Along those lines, most women can't be bothered to switch out their makeup one or more times a day, and active beauty fulfills the demand for makeup expressly made for exercise.  According to a 2012 survey in the UK, 7 out of 10 women apply makeup before going to the gym, while Cosmo and the New York Times have both published guides on the best makeup for physical activity.  While I still say there are plenty of existing products out there that would stand up to hearty workouts, Sweat CEO Courtney Jones Louks insists, "We know first-hand that there have not been products created specifically for women who like to break a sweat.  We wanted to change that."

The second factor may be the increased attention paid to professional women athletes and their personal style.  The focus on elite female athletes is a double-edged sword, however:  while it's great that sports media is spending more air time reporting on women athletes, the other side of the coin is the never-ending commentary on, of course, the women's looks - something male athletes don't have to contend with.  In 2014 NBC skiing analyst Steve Porino received a considerable amount of backlash for his mention of female downhill skiers' makeup during the Sochi Olympics.  The responses were swift and furious; after all, would he have commented on, say, a male skier's hair gel?  And what does makeup have to do with athletic performance?  The two are not mutually exclusive.  Plus, one must keep in mind that while women athletes are getting slightly more media coverage, it's still very little compared to men's, and to make the most of it many feel pressured to wear cosmetics.  Claire Cohen explains in an article for the Telegraph, "The first thing to say, is there can be little doubt that sportswomen are, by and large, wearing more make-up – and are generally more concerned with their appearance – than ever before...with multi-million pound sponsorship deals on the table and high resolution photography uploaded to the internet before the medals have been awarded, it’s little wonder. These women know they have a couple of weeks to become household names, secure media exposure – not to mention funding for their next round of training. After all, less than five percent of air time is dedicated to women in sport – and there isn’t a single woman in the Forbes list of top 50 highest-earning athletes."  What's more, women athletes are penalized for wearing makeup; it's a lose-lose situation.  Wear makeup or else risk being passed over for those ever-important endorsement deals, but if you do wear makeup you're clearly not committed to your sport, or, even worse, your sport isn't a "real" sport.  A sample of Twitter comments regarding makeup-wearing athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics include the following:  "Sorry. But if you want us to take women’s basketball seriously, please lose the heavy makeup while playing. It’s sport. Not fashion." "If women can wear earrings and makeup while playing, I question the legitimacy of the sport... #curling #Olympics2014." And this little gem: "Sorry, if the women are wearing makeup it is not a sport."  The firestorm surrounding women athletes wearing makeup surfaced again in 2015 during the women's World Cup.  For the 2016 Olympics thus far, there's been a more positive view, at least among the competitors themselves who note that they wear makeup mostly for the reason many of us do: self-expression.  So perhaps the active beauty trend is simply another response to the sexism faced by elite women athletes, as it may be perceived as a deliberate attempt to declare, once and for all, that wearing makeup while exerting oneself physically is not only totally acceptable but can even be celebrated.  As this article on the aforementioned Bobbi Brown campaign notes, "[In] giving the athletes an opportunity and platform to share their stories, the campaign also aims to celebrate the idea that female athletes do indeed care about beauty and the role that makeup plays in further boosting their confidence."

I wholeheartedly agree that wearing makeup while exercising can improve confidence and should not be a source of shame. I myself applied tinted moisturizer, tinted lip balm and curled my lashes before a marathon, not because I wanted to look acceptable in photos - I knew it would be sweated off within 15 minutes of crossing the start line - but because I was incredibly nervous and the ritual of makeup application calms me down.  However, I am slightly wary of these newer brands that promote makeup specifically for exercise.  I don't wear a stitch of makeup to hit the gym, and when I got wind of the likes of Sweat, et.al., I thought, wait, is wearing makeup to the gym something I SHOULD be doing?  It's like I almost feel pressured or expected now to wear makeup to the one place I never do. Cosmetics have been created just for this occasion, so presumably there are tons of women now wearing it for their workouts.  Will I look even more disheveled and out of place at the gym now?  Is my entire being somehow wrong for skipping makeup at the gym?  These were the thoughts running through my head when I first laid eyes on Sweat.  Obviously I came to my senses and realized I absolutely don't have to wear makeup while working out - these brands are just providing options for those that do.  But the fact they made me question myself in the first place gave me pause.  (For the record, I don't care if I remain the only person on the planet who is bare-faced while working out - the amount I sweat, coupled with the fact that my face turns a shade of red no amount of foundation or concealer could ever cover, renders makeup completely pointless.)  On the other hand, perhaps these are simply filling a new need for the 21st-century woman, and also demonstrate that one can still embrace their femininity while pushing their physical limits.  As U.S. Olympic runner Shannon Rowbury says, “You can be a strong, athletic, courageous woman and you can wear lipstick...I like being able to be all those things or try to help inspire young women to be all those things. It doesn’t have to be one or the other." 

What do you think of "active beauty"?  Do you wear makeup to work out? 

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