Welcome to the fall exhibition, finally! I know you're probably more excited about holiday releases at this point, but I still wanted to do a proper fall exhibition, late though it is. I had originally planned a very different exhibition - a retrospective devoted to an extremely talented and successful makeup artist who has become my obsession over the past few years - but ultimately decided that, much like my failed '90s makeup exhibition, I just couldn't do it the way I envisioned. I was also concerned that in the unlikely event of "Mother" herself catching wind of it, she might be a bit peeved that I staged an exhibition dedicated to her work in my bedroom, as I think it would be rather insulting to someone of her renown. I'm not letting go of the concept, of course, but it will have to wait until I can use a proper gallery or museum space for it*. So in lieu of that, I thought this fall I'd do another exhibition I've been wanting to do for a couple years now. Every autumn I seem to be more entranced by the magic and mystery of the forest. Perhaps it's my 11 year long status as a city dweller, or my love of woodland critters, but lately I've been loving the idea of relaxing in front of a roaring fire in a beautiful rustic cabin somewhere in the forest...or since I'm not really the outdoors/camping type, maybe a short evening hike in the woods surrounded by moonlight and the sounds of the animals would be more my speed. In any case, the vibe I was going for was about 20% enchanted, 1% scary (hey, the forest at night can be a little unnerving), but 79% peaceful and calm.
I thought this wonderful illustration by Alexandra Dvornikova perfectly represented the particular forest mood I was trying to capture. It's even better in its original animated version.
I'll be doing a follow-up post on why I chose the objects I did, the ones that didn't make it in and some other things that inspired me. In the meantime, welcome to fall 2017 at the Museum!
(Click to enlarge.)
Top row, left to right.
You would not believe (or be-leaf? haha!) how many vintage compacts I found with leaf patterns.
Okay, okay, I KNOW the Moschino seems out of place as it's technically a teddy bear and not one you'd find in the forest. But a certain little Museum intern begged me to include it, since there are so few bear-shaped makeup items. The Lamis King lipstick case is the only other one I can think of and that one is definitely more of a wild forest mama bear, what with being perched on a tree stump cuddling her cub.
I was positively elated to find not only these two compacts but also the original ad, as it contains the name and date of the design. I have no idea why that little dude is standing next to it though. I mean obviously it's part of an article, but it's just...weird. I'm guessing he was a jockey?
Second row, left to right.
This little sparrow is actually from the fall 2015 collection and not 2014, which means the label is wrong. Whoops.
So pleased to come across this compact and in such good condition. I was determined to find an ad for it and I did! Not a magazine ad but there was a newspaper one, so I "clipped" it online and printed it out.
I realize the ad is for a completely different product than the compact, but they're both full of appley goodness. :)
Third row, left to right.
I feel like indie companies are really leading the way in terms of creating some new and innovative brush designs. These flower-filled ones seemed a little spring to me at first, but then I read they're filled with seasonal dried flowers so I figured they were appropriate for fall. And the deep green of the pouch is very autumnal as well.
These items were also quite a find! I literally typed "fox lip balm" into Google and landed on this site, which sells a line called Folklore. And fortunately they ship to the U.S. I was also so happy to see this vintage squirrel compact - felt like I just had to buy it since it's the husband's spirit animal. It's not in quite as good shape as this one, but all the marcasite was still intact so I went for it.
So sad that the label for this is basically blank, but I still never uncovered any more information about these mysterious Shiseido Chinese zodiac figurines.
Last but not least in this row, the owl shelf. This one's for my mom since she loves owls. :)
The eyeshadow on the left is another piece from Paul & Joe's fall 2015 collection and the highlighting powder is from the holiday 2014 collection. The eyeshadow with the two owls is from fall 2005, and I remember being dismayed that I couldn't find their fall 2005 runway collection anywhere online so I could see if it had the owls. Then a few years ago I was flipping through an issue of Lucky magazine (I still miss it) and lo and behold, spotted the owls in action - not on clothing but on a pillow in some rich hipster chick's living room. How serendipitous! Of course I tore it out and saved it in case I ever exhibited the eyeshadow (and also because I'm a hoarder.)
Bottom row, left to right.
Chantecaille Save the Forest and Protect the Wolves palettes:
This one is another mystery. I've seen this shape of Helena Rubinstein compact before and the date was listed as 1962, but have been unable to find it in any ads. I'm wondering if these were only distributed in countries outside the U.S. since they're relatively hard to find and don't appear in any American newspapers. Obviously the Heaven Sent compacts with the angel date sometime after 1941 since that's when the fragrance was released, but this one with the deer on it is strange - I have no idea why it would be connected to the Heaven Sent fragrance. My hunch is that it's actually related to their Moonlight Mist scent. Still, the compact's shape and style look way earlier than 1962 or even 1956 when Moonlight Mist was released.
Speaking of Helena Rubinstein, an exhibition devoted to her just opened at the Jewish Museum in Vienna, so if you're able I highly suggest visiting. :)
And finally, Stila fall 2006 blush and eyeshadow trios:
And that concludes the fall 2017 exhibition! Did you feel as though you were deep in an enchanted forest, hearing squirrels romping and leaves crunching under your feet? I hope so! And let me know what your favorite item in the exhibition was. :)
*I missed the deadline for MICA's call for proposals for their annual Curator's Incubator show, but I plan on submitting one next year.