Dior

Couture Monday: Tie one on with Dior

I was so excited for the Bastet palette that I completely forgot I hadn't featured Dior's regular spring collection.  The centerpiece of the collection, the Cherie Bow palette, pays homage to the designer's fondness for bows in any and all forms.  Says the press release, "Among the timeless codes of the history of Dior, the bow is one of the most enduring. When Christian Dior presented his first collection in 1947, he created the first Miss Dior perfume to commemorate the occasion. Each bottle of Miss Dior – available exclusively to Dior couture customers – featured a bow tied around its neck. 'I like bows to finish a neckline, decorate a hat or close a belt,' said Christian Dior. 'Whether small, large or enormous, I like them in any style and any material.'  The bow embodied a playful femininity embodied by the Christian Dior brand, acting as an essential punctuating element, an eye-catching, finishing touch of a dress. Known as the 'Fontanges Bow,' the iconic accent serves as a charming echo of the ribbons that Louis XIV’s mistress wore in her hair, and quickly became a recurrent reference at the House of Dior, decorating, among other things, the oval medallions of the House."  As for the palette itself, it "features the classic Fontanges Bow reinvented by Dior jewelry designer Camille Miceli with three elements that come together to form a delicate bow shape, sealed with a pearl duo clasp reminiscent of one of Miceli’s iconic designs."   You can read more about the origins of the Fontanges Bow here.

Here is the palette.  After reading the description as well as the overview of the use of the bow throughout Dior's history, I was a bit underwhelmed by the design, especially after seeing it in person.  The hard plastic used for the outer casing looked cheap, which was surprising given how luxe it seemed on last spring's Garden Party palettes.  The overall shape seemed bland to me as well.  Thus, I did not purchase it for the Makeup Museum.

Dior-spring-2013-palette
(image from nordstrom.com)

It's a shame Dior didn't create a more imaginative design given all the examples the house could choose from.  As the press release states, bows were a much-loved motif for Dior.  From the 1950s...

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(images from vam.ac.uk and omgthatdress.tumblr.com)

...through the '80s (the dress on the left is from 1965; on the right is from 1987)...

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(images from butterhotshoes.com and vogue.fr)

...and all the way up through today's collections, the bow is a mainstay in Dior pieces.

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(images from style.com)

After reading that the bow was used for Miss Dior perfume, I did a little digging to see if it made an appearance in the ads for the fragrance.  Indeed, the bow was popular in the early ads (from 1949 and 1954.)  In these you may recognize the style of Rene Gruau, who also drew the New Look silhouette that appeared on the Tailleur Bar palettes:

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Even in the '80s Gruau held tight to the bow motif.

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(images from hprints.com)

Finally, a contemporary example of the bow for Miss Dior perfume, as modeled by Natalie Portman:

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(image from stylenow.info)

The bow isn't just for fragrance ads or on the runway - it's also used for Dior accessory ads.  Mila Kunis and Jennifer Lawrence are the most recent faces of Dior.

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(images from allclutchbags.com and glamour.com)

With all these examples, you would think the Cherie Bow palette would have been a little more inventive.  Additionally, there was no reason Dior should reference the work of their jewelry designer given the bow's extensive manifestation throughout Dior's history. 

What do you think of the Cherie Bow palette?  Could Dior have done more with its design?


Couture Monday: Vincent Beaurin for Dior

I spotted Les Tablettes de Bastet back in February at British Beauty Blogger and couldn't find it online anywhere.  (As of this morning, however, it's available at the U.S. Dior website).  Through my searching I came across Dior Beauty-Palazzo in Las Vegas, which advertised the palette on their Facebook page.  Much as I hate Facebook, I was thrilled to see some mention of it at an actual boutique.  My fingers couldn't dial the number fast enough!

Look how pretty they wrapped it for me. 

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The outer case is a sleek grey which beautifully compliments the heavy grey stone of the palette itself.

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Insert:

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Apparently only 1,450 were made.  The edition number and Beaurin's signature are inscribed on the back.

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The stone case is magnetized.  I must say the two stone pieces clacking together made me nervous about the palette getting damaged.

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Now that we've seen the pictures, I bet you're wondering what this palette is all about.  Les Tablettes de Bastet was created by artist Vincent Beauin, who had previously taken part in Dior's "Lady Dior as seen by" project in which contemporary artists concocted their own interpretations of the iconic bag.

Dior Magazine (online) has a good summary of the inspiration for the palette.  "Christian Dior loved artists; and when he himself was young, dreamt of becoming an architect. From this childhood dream he would maintain an overwhelming love for art and those who made it, becoming friends with Jean Cocteau, Christian Bérard, Max Jacob and many more. The house of Dior has continued to forge this direct link with the world of art, regularly collaborating with numerous contemporary artists. Vincent Beaurin, the French painter and sculptor, is the most recent to create an original work for the house: 'Les Tablettes de Bastet', an eyeshadow palette inspired by the Egyptian divinity Bastet, the goddess of music and dance, of feasting and love, 'like a very ancient stone object that bears the traces of myth and ancestral practices,' according to the artist. 

The palette is composed of two magnetized tablets in Trianon gray – one of Christian Dior's favorite colors – of which one is punctuated with three disks of natural pigments in shades of sapphire, saffron, and silex. This artwork in the style of a devotional object expresses, for Vincent Beaurin, the desire to place 'the practice of make-up in a much wider expanse of time than just a single season.' It's an ode to the color and sobriety, the  purity and the accessibility of art; a step into the core of the output of this French artist's who, already in 2010, reinvented the Lady Dior as a green and red talisman made of polystyrene and quartz sand."  Here is his take on the Lady Dior bag, if you're curious.

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(image from dior.com)

This palette is an extension of Beaurin's previous work.  In 2011 and 2012 he made several sculptures based on the Egyptian goddess Bastet.  Beaurin's take on this goddess:  "In ancient Egypt, Bastet was the daughter of the sun-god Ra. In the form of a cat or a woman with a cat’s head, she’s the goddess of music, dancing and feasting. She has the magic power which stimulate love. Bastet is the guardian goddess of women. She has fearsome fits of anger, because something feline is always lurking in her. So she’s identified with the dreadful Sekhmet, sent to earth to punish men for their arrogance. Bastet is a multi-faceted goddess, incarnating gentleness and fierceness."

-3000, 2012:

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(images from behance.net)

Bastet, 2011:

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In this view, you can see that Bastet's silhouette is replicated on the palette insert.

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(images from laurentgodin.com)

Beaurin is also known for his "Spots", series of colored circles made of polystyrene and quartz sand mounted to the gallery's walls.  The color combinations lead to a soothing, almost hypnotic effect.  We can see the influence of Triptyque Bleu (2011) in the Dior palette:

Beaurin-SPOTS-2011
(image from artslant.com)

Now, how does all this relate to the Dior palette?   While I couldn't find out exactly why Beaurin opted to reinterpret ancient statues of Bastet or any in-depth explanations of his fascination with the goddess, this four-page interview at Beaurin's website is chock full of details about the Dior piece.   Some of the more notable quotes:

- Beaurin sees the house of Dior as aligning closely with Bastet.  "Dior is also a hieroglyph, a very old story, and why not, a story about a goddess."

- Beaurin's choice of the word "tablet" stems from his perception of the word, which he believes "establishes a link between writing, memory and ancient objects, often made of schist, on which people crushed pigments to produce eye make-up."

- In addition to expanding on the "Spots" works, the round shape for the colors was chosen so that they would be better suited to use of the palette.  "Each colour is a fullness in itself. In a way, each colour is a world, a planet.  Similarly, our eyes are round. The circle is a full shape. It recurs often in my work, perhaps precisely because it involves abstraction, going beyond form. Something
round also seems better adapted to the touch than something angular...A lot of people ask me if they can touch my pieces. This project is a way of answering them.  You’ll notice that there’s no brush to take up the colour and apply it. Fingers are the sole tools, with the skin, here the eyelid, as the sole destination."

- The palette clearly expands on Beaurin's own work but also shows his admiration for Jean Arp's biomorphic forms. "Through my project’s simplicity, the weight of the tablets, the softness of the materials, the warmth and intensity of the colours, by the involvement of a woman’s body, her skin, mystery, the notion of space, and all the feelings resulting from that, it has biomorphic echoes...eyelids are to female faces what wings are to butterflies."

- The most interesting part of the interview for me was the artist's explanation of the colors he chose.  On making the palette consist of just three colors, he says, "Three colours are enough to create the interplay of a chromatic infinity, a whole complexity. Three monochrome disks on a grey ground make an abstract landscape."  Indeed, this overview of Beaurin's work states that he creates abstract landscapes using the spots.  The colors chosen by Beaurin - Saffron, Sapphire and Silex - are part of his fascination with the shape of the letter S.  And while Beaurin has never been to Egypt, the colors function as a sort of "prism" - his personal conception of Egypt is expressed through these particular hues.  "The repetition of the S, the initial letter of the name of each colour, gives pace to the way the words are uttered, Saffron Sapphire Silex. This pace is part of the dynamics, of the relations occurring between the elements making up the landscape. I also like S for its design, two inverted spirals, an unfinished 8, and for its phonetics, the phonetics of silence...this object is also a vehicle, an instrument of sight and projection and--why not?—a sort of Egyptian prism."  Additionally, the colors have "an atmospheric character" that show up best against the dark grey of the stone.  Beaurin integrated the grey that Dior was so fond of, but also says he was influenced by Cezanne's love of working under grey skies as well as "the Ardennes sky, unchangingly grey, like slate roofs in the rain, turning ink-like or silver."  He adds, [U]nder a grey sky or against a grey backdrop, colours come out unreservedly, without any tension. Grey helps to optimize the way we observe colours, their radiance, and their persistence when they disappear and their reactions when you put them together."  Finally, Beaurin notes that while "Spots" typically combine two colors within each circle, the circles in the Dior palette are monochromatic.  "The spots are part of a purely meditative and contemplative relationship...two colours are articulated. They meet each other and are mixed together in a zone of intense vibrations. The Bastet tablets are a sort of arrangement, where three disks of monochrome colour are in a way in orbit with each other. They are as if in mid-air and their encounter is waiting for desire and the intervention of the person whose eyelids will be the ideal surface for mixing them."

So there you have it.  You can also check out this strange (and, like his Spots, quite hypnotic) video on the palette directed by Beaurin.

While I do love this piece, I think its appeal lies more with the art collector than the makeup fan.  I honestly don't think a lot of beauty fiends would actually use it.  Beaurin's color theories are intriguing and are implemented quite well in his artistic endeavors, but they don't necessarily translate to makeup - it's difficult to say how one would apply these colors, as they don't seem to be in harmony from a cosmetic standpoint.  And while the magnetic closure is a sophisticated, artsy touch, I can tell you that without some sort of hinge to hold the two pieces of stone together, the palette would be a bit cumbersome to handle.  Thus, unlike Dior's Anselm Reyle collaboration, this doesn't have a lot of mass appeal (but maybe it's not supposed to).  Nevertheless I adore Les Tablettes de Bastet because it incorporates not only the two motifs ("Spots" and Bastet) that Beaurin is best known for, but also his entire artistic outlook.

What do you think?  


Couture Monday: Dior welcomes you to a golden jungle

Like the revamped Tailleur Bar palette, Dior seemingly has recycled another palette from seasons past.  The fall 2012 makeup collection, entitled Golden Jungle, contains a leopard print palette that borrows from the Mitzah palette from last fall.  Actually there are two leopard palettes, Golden Khaki and Golden Browns, but only the latter was released in the U.S.  I would have liked to have both but ultimately decided it wasn't worth tracking down Golden Khaki.

Here it is, just for fun:

Dior-golden-khaki
(image from retailtherapy.onsugar.com)

And here is Golden Browns. 

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I noticed that this particular leopard spot is exactly the same as the one that's in the middle of the Mitzah palette.

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Anyway, here is the Golden Browns palette with flash:

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Unfortunately, the U.S. also did not receive this cool nail duo that yields a crocodile skin effect, which is a nice addition to a jungle-themed collection.

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(image from retailtherapy.onsugar.com)

According to the collection's press release, Dior's famous leopard print has been "revamped":  "In February 1947, Christian Dior presented his first collection to the international press in the Dior salons of Avenue Montaigne in Paris. Along with the Huit and Corolle lines that would inaugurate the era of 'The New Look,' the couturier revealed another of his favourite themes: Leopard Print. Fashion editors were smitten, the room burst into applause and women rediscovered the mysterious allure of this iconic, timeless print.  At once avant-garde, sophisticated and sensual, the Jungle Motif has been a signature of the House of Dior from its debut. Actress Marlene Dietrich and the muse and friend of Mr. Dior, Mitzah Bricard, were its first fervent ambassadors. With each decade and runway show, variations of leopard print are cleverly reinterpreted by Dior Couture. In the Dior Autumn/Winter 2012 makeup collection, Tyen revamps the Jungle Motif with another hallmark of Dior, a touch of shimmering gold, embodying the luxury of the urban jungle and inspired by the deep, earthy tones of the jungle."

I'm not sure why they chose to revamp it this for this season, as leopard print did not make an appearance in either the ready-to-wear or couture shows.  However, there was some houndstooth pieces at the ready-to-wear show. 

Dior-fall-2012-rtw
(images from style.com)

Why not have used that instead of essentially copying the Mitzah palette from last year?  SighDior Beauty had been on a hot streak collectible-wise but this season the company is just recycling previous items.  I hope they return to originality and come up with something that pays homage to the designer but isn't a rehash of what they've done before. 


Couture Monday: Dior Tailleur Bar...again

You may remember that Dior released a gorgeous palette in the fall of 2010, which depicted the designer's "New Look" as sketched by Dior illustrator Rene Gruau.  The company released the same palette this fall, only with different colors.  I'm puzzled by the decision and wasn't sure whether to purchase it, as it's the same design as the 2010 version.  I eventually bought it...a collector can't resist serial numbers!

Let's take a look at it and compare to the 2010 palette.

The box is the same pebbled white with the Dior name in the middle.

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The pamphlet shows a photo of an eye shadow brush just about to dip into the palette. 

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The layout is the same (image on the left, text on the right) but the photo is different for 2012.  In 2010 Gruau's original sketch was chosen for the pamphlet image.

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Inside the pamphlet, the copy is the same for the both 2010 and 2012:

However, the 2010 pamphlet contained the description in French as well as English, where the 2012 only included English.  "February 12, 1947:  Christian Dior presents his first Haute Couture collection.  The public is amazed:  this new vision of an elegant woman, with accentuated curves and a regal posture would come to be a revolution that took the fashion world by storm.  Instantly named the 'New Look' by Carmel Snow, Editor-in-Chief of American Harper's Bazaar, the 'Tailleur Bar' (Bar Suit), perfectly embodied this new silhouette.  The jacket, with its nipped-in waist, and the twirling skirt became the absolute symbol of the Dior silhouette.  Rene Gruau, long-time associate of the Couturier, immortalized the famous Bar Suit in a sketch that captured Monsieur Dior's genius in a few cleve strokes  This legendary image is now embossed on a new Dior limited edition eyeshadow palette."

Both contained a demonstration of the looks that could be created with the palette.

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And the "New Look" modeled:

Dior-new-look
(image from customfad.com)

Dior-new-look-mannequin
(image from metmuseum.org)

Here's a version of the jacket in grey, just like the palette (although the collar and pockets are different than the original jacket).

New-look-jacket
(image from vam.ac.uk)

So let's get to the palette itself.  It's similarly colored to the 2010 one, but the background is pink rather than grey and the hat is light grey instead of deep blue.

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With flash:

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For comparison, here is the original 2010 palette:

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I was trying to figure out why Dior decided to recycle a palette they had done previously so I checked out their fall 2012 ready to wear show to see if a modern "New Look" figured prominently.  It was not main theme of the show, but there were some pieces with a New Look feel - fitted jackets and full skirts hitting below the knee.

Newlook-fall2012

Edgy leather gloves updated the very feminine and ladylike gloves included with the '40s New Look:

New-look-fall2012
(images from style.com)

I thought these pieces were okay, but a little underwhelming.  As one critic said,  "['Soft modernity'] was a notion whose nebulosity dogged the catwalk, where deflated New Look looks simultaneously evoked Dior's stellar past and its lunar (as in moonstruck) present... it felt like Dior by the numbers...there was an intangible lifelessness to the clothes."

I have to say that this critique can be applied to the palette as well.  2010 and 2011 seemed to be golden years for Dior beauty, as the original Tailleur Bar palette, Mitzah palette, and Lady Dior palette were released - and all of them featured an original design that perfectly translated a bit of Dior history and iconic fashion into cosmetics.  This 2012 Tailleur Bar is simply a repeated design in new colors.  Disappointing, yes, but I guess if you missed out the first time around this is a decent replacement.


Couture Monday: Pleated rays from Dior

Welcome to the Makeup Museum's On the Water week!  I'm kicking it off with a water-inspired eye shadow palette from Dior's summer collection.  From their press release:

“'On vacation, you can wear all the colorful and casual clothing that you like, but you must always be elegant,' said Christian Dior. Inspired by the art de vivre of the French Riviera, the Dior Croisette Collection combines the peace of the French countryside with the splendour of Saint Tropez.  These locations have always been a prolific source of inspiration for Christian Dior. From Dior’s first swimsuit collections and seaside fashion creations in the Fifties to the current Cruise Collections, the French Riviera also embodies the brand’s most daring, fresh and colorful lines today.  Between the shimmering turquoise of the Mediterranean Sea and the sparkling gold of the sand, through soft coral and bikini pink, the Croisette reveals all its elegance and optimism in sunny and aquatic-inspired shades. The skin is warmed up and illuminated in a natural glow effect, while the eyes are dressed up with luminescent sunny shades or fresh azure blues. The lips are colorful and subtly sparkling while the nails complete the look with coral and blue shades inspired by the most glamorous emblems of the French Riviera." 

As a side note, I must agree - the colors in this collection are spot-on for creating this look.  For my personal non-Museum stash (i.e., things I actually wear) I picked up Orange Pareo lip gloss, a shimmery sheer orange, and St. Tropez nail polish, a pale aqua.  I'll be pretending I'm a rich jetsetter spending a few weeks on the Riviera whenever I wear them.  :)

Anyway, I got the eye shadow quint in Swimming Pool.  The embossed, sunburst-like pleats mimic those found on Dior dresses.  Swimming Pool is "meant to recall a dive into the Mediterranean".  Well, a pool isn't the same as a sea so I'm not sure why they named it Swimming Pool instead of Mediterranean, but whatever - both are water and that's good enough.

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With flash:

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While this isn't the most impressive piece from a design standpoint, given how intricate some of Dior's other palettes have been, it definitely is in keeping with Dior's 2012 spring/summer ready-to- wear collection.  Pleats abound in the evening dresses, both short and long:

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(images from vogue.it and dior.com)

I'm sure Dior was one of the fashion houses responsible for making pleats one of this summer's hot trends, as evidenced by this round-up in Allure magazine:

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This is another one of those Museum items I'm tempted to use - the colors are so fresh and summery. 

What do you think of Dior's summer collection?  And do you do pleats?


Couture Monday: let it snow with Dior

I know it's odd to be posting a wintry palette such as this at the end of April, but Dior's Asia-exclusive Icy Halo collection came out a little over a month ago, and I simply couldn't wait till next winter to share the stand-out from the collection:  the Voile de Neige Light Amplifying Face Powder.

The outer case is a beautiful pearly white that seems much more expensive than white plastic normally is. 

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Inside, white shimmering snowflakes gently drift against a background of pale pink stripes with the Dior name in the lower right corner.

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With flash:

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According to the Dior website, the palette was designed by Dior makeup artist Yasuhior Tokunaga especially for Asian skintones.  "Like the sky reflected in snow...A hazy, barely blue sky, ice crystals that toy with the light... Dior draws inspiration from the beauty of winter to create Diorsnow Icy Halos.  Inspired by the purity of snow crystals, Diorsnow Voile de Neige is applied as a final touch of beauty whose transparency reveals the skin's radiance. The 4 Voile de Neige shades were specially designed for Asian skin.  Once blended, the four delicate shades give the face beauty and synergy. The radiant pink gives the complexion a healthy rosy glow. The pale pink neutralises the yellow of the skin tone, giving it greater freshness. The soft beige swathes the skin in a lightly golden halo. Finally, the pearly pink catches the light in incredible fashion. The four shades are rich in new-generation shimmers that reflect almost 100% of the light, just like snow. "

I wonder how the concept is different from the Lumières de Neige palette that was released in 2009:

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(image from weloveshopping.com)

I like the idea of "ice crystals toying with the light" and the snow's luminous reflections.  If I wasn't collecting this palette I'd use it for an ethereal glow.  I also would like to be wearing it should I ever  experience an installation like this.  Designer Tokujin Yoshioka created an otherwordly installation for design chain Kartell's flagship store in Milan to go with his "Invisibles" collection - furniture made of sturdy clear acrylic that will leave the sitter feeling as though they are floating in mid-air.

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(images from architecturephoto.net and cubeme.com)

Says the artist for the Snowflake installation:  "I will create a serene world with numerous transparent prism sticks in plastic. The accumulation of transparent sticks is tinged with white color just like real snow. I believe that the installation will offer visitors extraordinary experiences as if stepping into the snowflake."  This guy has great ideas - chairs that make you feel weightless and installations that mimic being nestled within a pristine snowflake?  Both sound fantastic. 

Getting back to the Dior palette, I think I prefer their other limited-edition palettes that reflect the history of the couture house (Mitzah, Tailleur Bar, etc.), plus I feel as though the design could have been a little more inventive.  The snowflakes are all the same shape, but no two snowflakes are exactly alike, correct?  They could have made them all a little different.  Still, this is rather pretty and will make an excellent addition to winter exhibitions.  If only I could get my hands on the 2009 version!


Couture Monday: Have a garden party with Dior

I bought Dior's spring 2012 palettes back in January, but wanted to wait till it was closer to spring to post about them.  As it's officially spring in 2 days, today's installment of Couture Monday is dedicated to Dior's Garden Party collection.

From the press release:  "'After women, flowers are the most heavenly creation.' — Christian Dior 
Christian Dior grew up in Granville, on the cliffs of Normandy, in a house buffeted by strong winds, and seemingly unsuited to the creation of a garden. However, the young man’s creative strength and relentless hard work defied nature, and today one can still admire the garden in bloom and in particular, the fantastic rose garden planted with his own hands.  Christian Dior also loved the excitement of parties, and often hosted the aptly named 'Grand Balls of the Century' with enchanted beauties from the Normandy coast and Paris alike. The theme of the festive garden is still alive today throughout many Dior creations. The Dior spring color collection is inspired by Dior’s fantastic garden."

Fantastic it is!  Before we get to pictures of the gardens, however, let's take a look at the eye shadow quints and combination palettes.  The embossed roses are pretty on their own, but the lace pattern woven around them is a nod to the designer's couture flower gowns and elevates these palettes to museum status. 

Garden Pastels:

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With flash:

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Garden Pinks:

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With flash:

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Here are the combination palettes, housed in a glossy white case with a basket-weave pattern.  Milly Garden Clutch:

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I adore the little metal rose clasp:

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With flash:

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Granville Clutch:

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With flash:

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According to the Dior website, "Ever since the emblematic 'Corolle' line in 1947, flowers have been a favourite  theme in Dior Couture creations, running through the choice of colours,  prints and silhouettes."  Since I don't associate Dior with florals I decided to take a peek through some of the past and present collections to see if flowers were prominent.  Were they ever!  Feast your eyes on some vintage Dior flower dresses.

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(image from iheartweddingdress.blogspot.com)

I love the cascading petal effect from these 1949 beauties.

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(image from achicdirection.com)

"Nuit d'aout" (August Night), spring 1954:

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"May", 1953:

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"Chambord", 1954:

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(images from styleiseternal.net)

Fast forward to the present day. Some 60 years later Dior is still working florals into the collection.  Spring 2009:

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Spring 2012 Couture:

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But my favorite of all the Dior flower/garden-inspired designs came from the spring 2010 couture show. 

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Pansy.dress(images from style.com and dailymail.co.uk)

I'm not sure why I didn't think Dior did florals...I was definitely misguided! 

Now  let's look at the gorgeous Dior gardens in Normandy.  You can read more about the history here

Dior Granville Garden in Normandy:

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(images from musee-dior-granville.com)

Granville sign

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Granville.garden3(images from jardinsclariere.blogspot.com)

After seeing these pictures and the palettes, I think Dior's beauty department did a great job embodying the spirit of the designer's childhood home as well as his style.  Pretty but not precious, the flowers in both the brand's couture gowns and the Garden Party palettes show Dior's unique take on florals. 

What do you think?  Are these palettes just run-of-the-mill rose designs or something better?


Couture Monday: Anselm Reyle for Dior: it's electrifying

Anselm_reyle_pour_christian_dior_3544_north_320x480Ah, another beauty from Dior.  This time, instead of going back into the archives (Tailleur Bar and Mitzah palettes) or mixing old and new (Lady Dior palette) the company collaborated with German abstact artist Anselm Reyle to create a fresh, contemporary twist on classic Dior style.  The collaboration is also a nod to Dior's original aspiration of owning an art gallery.

The collection was unveiled with much fanfare at Art Basel Miami back in November, where Dior had a pop-up shop showcasing the goods.  Before I get to the palette, let's take a look at how elaborate the launch was and the other items in the collection.

 

 

 

 

Here's the pop-up store:

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(image from fashionstylexxx.com)

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They even pimped out a food truck in Reyle's print created especially for the collection:

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(images from jesuswassize0.com)

The highlights of the collection were most certainly the bags.  Decked out in variations of Reyle's custom print, they formed an electric array of totes, satchels and clutches.

Dior AR bags

My favorite item from the collection (besides the palette, of course) was this pair of wedges.  Wouldn't these be fun for summer?

AR Dior shoes

The palette wasn't the only beauty item, however:  there is also a range of nail polishes.

AR-Polishes
(images from alapeach.com)

 Finally, the palette.  Here is the front of the booklet that came with it:

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The interior of the booklet in an eye-popping florescent green:

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The velvet interior of the box, complete with satin purple ribbon:

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The palette itself:

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With flash:

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Reyle's tilted twist on Dior's classic cannage pattern:

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This description from the Tate summarizes Reyle's style:  "Reyle 'samples' familiar motifs from art history – particularly Modernist painting and Abstract Expressionism – and brings them up to date; as he puts it, 'taking a stereotype in order to breathe new life into it'. Reyle's paintings echo various (and sometimes contrary) abstract painting styles of the past: gestural smears, hard-edge stripes or poured and dripped paint, bringing to mind the work of artists such as Karl Otto Götz, Kenneth Noland, Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman...In his sculptural works, Reyle takes objects like wagon wheels, haycarts or 1970s ceramic vases and lamps and imbues them with new life – giving them shiny surfaces, startling neon shades or coloured lighting."

I suspect Dior approached Reyle because he's known for his use of neon - a 2012 trend the fashion house was complicit in setting - and also to make their classic, ladylike bags and other accessories fresh and edgy ("breathe new life into it"). It's worth pointing out that Reyle doesn't just use bright colors in paintings; many of his found-object work utilizes neon lights, as in Arise (2010):

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And an untitled work from the same year:

2fb9dbba88d83487a0f96225eab7e9ae(images from gagosian.com)

In an interview with Dazed Digital, Reyle discusses how he infused the collection with his signature style.  "I tilted the Cannage which may be considered as a kind of intervention and deconstruction of the well-known and most classical signature of Dior.  In my art, I also often take found things as a starting point that are further developed, modified and brought into a new context.  Similar to this, the camouflage pattern is a motif which I already used for my material paintings instead of the typical support of a white canvas. For me it’s interesting to see how it has been adapted by the pop world from its military background and how it then loses the original meaning. It remains a kind of empty phrase. Usually the camouflage hides something, but here it’s the opposite - it is very visible because of the signal neon colours... I am interested in combinations that seem to be dissonant at first sight."  Indeed, between the tilted cannage pattern and the drippy, almost psychedelic camouflage pattern, the palette does reflect the artist's interest in making radical changes to traditional motifs.  To my eye, the pattern is a continuation of paintings like this:

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(image from gagosian.com)

Additionally, it's no surprise that purple and dark grey were chosen for the palette, as they are prominently featured in the artist's work (not to mention that they make for a great eye shadow combination that works well on most women):

Monochrome Age, 2010:

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Mystic Silver, 2011:

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And this untitled work from 2010 actually uses both colors together:

Untitled 2010 purple and silver
(images from gagosian.com)

Overall, I think Dior was spot-on in choosing this artist and I think Reyle, in turn, did a fabulous job of reinterpreting and modernizing Dior's accessories while still making them accessible and wearable.  What do you think?


Couture Monday: the roar of Dior (and a Museum smackdown!)

As you may have noticed, leopard print, while always a classic, is particularly huge this season (especially for accessories).  So it's appropriate for Dior to have released this beautiful palette as part of their Mitzah Bricard collection, which pays homage to Dior's muse/creative consultant and her love of leopard print.  The collection is available exclusively at Sephora in the U.S., having been released previously in other parts of the world.  You can check out their blog post on it, but here is the background from Dior's website:

"Christian Dior admired his beloved muse, Mitzah Bricard, as much for her refined and distinguished taste as for her mysterious personality that inspired him throughout his career.  Legend has it that Mitzah used to wear a panther print chiffon scarf at her wrist to hide a scar. Fascinated by her elegance, Mr Dior decided to include this magnificent Jungle motif in his collections from 1947 onwards. 'Madame Bricard is one of the rare people for whom elegance is their sole reason for living,' Christian Dior."  Two things I find interesting:  1. is leopard print the same thing as panther? 2.  the whole leopard/panther print that Dior included in his designs was based on this woman's way of concealing a scar.  I wonder if he would have been as intrigued by this print otherwise. 

Here is Mme Bricard.  She is quite stylish, mais non?

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(image from dior.com)

Now that we've covered the history behind the collection, let's get on to the most exquisite piece of it, the eye shadow palette.

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With flash:

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I'm not really sure how or why Dior is coming out with all these very inspired pieces, but I'm loving it! And I must admit this lovely palette in particular was one of the reasons I caved on some beautiful Christian Louboutin leopard-print pumps back in the summer (eek!)  But why stop at shoes?  In in honor of the current craze over leopard print, it's time to have an old-fashioned palette smackdown.  It's gonna be a rumble in the jungle, Makeup Museum style! 

Rumble in the jungle poster

Hopefully you remember the the Dolce and Gabbana Animalier bronzer released earlier this year.  If not, here are some pics.

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So looking at those vs. the Dior Mitzah palette, who wins the battle of the leopard print?  Will the history and glamour behind Dior's offering, along with its bigger size, crush D & G?  Or does the Animalier bronzer, with it modern spirit, sex appeal, and shimmer have the edge?  Let me know in the comments!


Couture Monday: luck be a Lady Dior

Ah, another beautiful limited edition palette that celebrates Dior fashion.  This one features the iconic Lady Dior bag.

The insert, which gives a little history of the bag (so I don't have to!):

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The palette:

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I especially love the Dior charm detail on the bag handle:

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With flash:

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I thought it would be worth noting that the bag in the palette is modeled after a real-life tweed and crocodile Dior bag which made its debut in the spring/summer 2011 collection:

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(image from trendfashionstyle.org)

I like that Dior contained the history of the palette in the insert but that the actual bag featured is a recent version - it's old meets new.  I also think they got it "right" this time.  Previously Dior had released another makeup palette inspired by the Lady Dior bag, but in my opinion, it was pretty tacky and uninteresting - an ugly black metal compact key chain thing with lip gloss inside.  At the time it was released I didn't think it was that bad, but after looking at this new Lady Dior palette, it seems amateur!

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(image from footluxe.com)

The new Lady Dior palette really ups the ante and is so much more refined, no? 

Stay tuned for more Dior fun with the Mitzah palette.  :)