Givenchy

A baby's breath bouquet from Givenchy

I can't believe I'm just now getting around to writing about this lovely little piece from Givenchy, as I've had it in my possession since, maybe, March?  But I figured it's better late than never when discussing pretty makeup items.  Alas, this will be another quick post since I couldn't find much information about the inspiration behind this bronzer.

The outer case, while furnished in Givenchy's signature sleek shiny black with gold lettering, doesn't really compare to what's inside.

Givenchy summer 2017 bronzer

Behold!  An explosion of beautifully embossed blooms spreads over the entire surface of the bronzer.

Givenchy summer 2017 Gypsophila bronzer

Givenchy summer 2017 Gypsophila bronzer

I also picked up the lipstick - minty green becomes quite sophisticated when rendered in leather.  I don't have anything else to say except that mint green is one of my favorite colors so naturally I had to buy it.

Givenchy summer 2017 Gypsophila lipstick

Givenchy summer 2017 Gypsophila lipstick

Givenchy summer 2017 Gypsophila lipstick

Back to the star item:  the Gypsophila bronzer borrows its pattern from ones that went down the spring/summer 2015 runway.  Gypsophila, I discovered, is just a fancy name for baby's breath.

Givenchy spring/summer 2015

Givenchy spring/summer 2015

While the print is pleasing on its own, the addition of pearls sewn onto the flowers really takes it up a notch.  The pattern stands out more given the raised, smooth texture of the pearls and their subtle sheen.  It's these pieces that most closely resemble the pattern on the bronzer - the single pearls on some of the leaves as well as the curved rows are nearly identical to the bronzer's flowers.

Givenchy spring/summer 2015

Givenchy spring/summer 2015(images from vogue.com)

I'm not sure what meaning baby's breath has for Riccardo Tisci, formerly chief designer for Givenchy, other than that it's allegedly his favorite flower.  The blooms were described in the show's press release as "poisonous romantic flowers", whatever that means - are they intended to be dangerous or sweet?  I guess both?  Who knows...especially since baby's breath, to my knowledge, isn't poisonous at all.  I also can't figure out why a print from 2 years ago by a designer that's no longer with the company is showing up now.  It just shows there's really no alignment between the fashion and cosmetics sides within Givenchy. 

Having said all that, this bronzer is a showstopper for sure.  While I'm not including it this summer's exhibition as it didn't fit the theme so well, I will hopefully remember to add it to the checklist for next spring. 

Thoughts?


Quick Couture Monday: Ornate beauty from Givenchy

Well, hello pretty powder!  As soon as I saw the intricate pattern on Givenchy's Poudre Lumière Originelle I snapped it up and figured I'd research the pattern later.

Givenchy spring 2016 highlighter

Givenchy spring 2016 highlighter

Givenchy spring 2016 highlighter

The design allegedly comes from a lace pattern.  I tried my hardest to find a match in Givenchy's fashion collections but came up short.  It's similar to these, from the fall 2015 and fall 2016 collections, but not identical.

Givenchy-lace

I dug through every single runway show at vogue.com to find it but still couldn't.  The pattern on the palette looks most similar to this gown from their fall 2011 couture collection, particularly because of the dots along the edge of the solid bands and the triangular portions near the shoulders. 

Givenchy fall 2011 couture
(images from vogue.com)

However, as evidenced by this close-up, it wasn't exactly the same.

Givenchy fall 2011 couture(image from thelittleredballoon.tumblr.com)

Sigh.  While the powder is gorgeous, I wish Givenchy had used an easily recognizable pattern from one of their dresses.  This technique worked beautifully for Chanel, and given the abundance of Givenchy's amazing lace work over the years it wouldn't have been too much of a stretch to pick out one piece to borrow for the palette.  Also, Givenchy spectacularly rendered another one of their patterns in bronzer form, so it's not unfamiliar territory.

What do you think? 

 


True luxe: Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

As soon as I saw these new lipstick cases at Chic Profile I knew I had to have one, no matter the cost.  There were only 600 Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto leather cases produced and I was determined to snag one for the Museum.  Givenchy's Artistic Director for Makeup, Nicolas Degennes, worked with master gold and silver leaf artist Hiroto Rakusho to create these beauties.  They are all hand-painted with 22 carat gold, so supposedly no two are alike.  I wanted to see for myself so I ended up splurging on two cases from Harrod's (which customs held hostage for over a week) and I am pleased to say that they are truly unique. 

The cases are packaged in a fancy black woven box with a mirrored label.

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

I have to say I'm a little disappointed that these aren't numbered.  There were 1,450 Dior Bastet palettes made and those had the number etched on the back.  Less than half that amount was made by Givenchy, and for something they're touting as this rare and collectible (and given the hefty price tag) each one should be numbered. 

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Some detailed shots.

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Here's the other case.

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

I tried my darndest to find comprehensive information on the collaboration between Degennes and Rakusho, but what I was able to translate didn't make a lot of sense.  From what I could gather, Degennes and Rakusho met through a mutual friend/translator and began the design process in late 2014.  Rakusho was enthusiastic to work with Degennes due to his understanding of the traditional colors of Japan, along with the fact that Degennes gave him free reign to create whatever patterns he wanted - he trusted him completely.  The duo considered the possibility of making the cases from from kimono fabric or washi paper, which are the traditional mediums for Japanese metallic leaf art, but ultimately settled on leather.  This decision maintains Givenchy's signature lipstick packaging and also allows for a more durable product, as leather is hardier than fabric or paper.  Even though I can't imagine anyone carelessly tossing one of these cases into their makeup bag, it's still a smart move to make the case as sturdy as possible.  I also think purely from an aesthetic standpoint, the leaf looks really cool against the texture of the leather - it toughens it up a bit without losing the delicacy of the leaf.

Additionally, this site had a brief explanation as to why Degennes was in Japan in the first place, as well as his original inspiration behind Le Rouge Kyoto:  "Givenchy’s artistic director for make-up, Nicolas Degennes, has spent the past 15 years taking research trips to Japan to inform his own collections...in homage to the hand-painted screens of Kyoto’s ancient temples, Degennes teamed up with Hiroto Rakusho – a master of gold and silver leaf – to create unique pieces of art to wrap around 590 hand-made limited-edition lipsticks...they provide a fitting reminder of the two halves that seem to permeate everything in Japan: a rich cultural history, hiding just beneath the surface, which dances happily alongside a hunger for the bright, the shiny and the new. 'I’ve learnt a lot about [Japanese women’s] approach to beauty...how to play with textures and play with your look. What’s fantastic is how the women here can transform themselves, but in subtle ways.'"

Now a little bit about the artist himself.  Hiroto Rakusho was born and raised in Kyoto.  He learned the craft of gold and silver leaf application from his father, who was also a prominent artist trained in this area.  In 1997 Rakusho was awarded certification as a master of traditional handicrafts from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.  He is a pioneer in the technique of digitally reproducing historic masterpieces housed in museums and temples, such as these folding screens. 

Hiroto Rakusho, Wind and Thunder Gods

Hiroto Rakusho, Bugaku Dancers

Hiroto Rakusho, Kabuki Drama

Hiroto Rakusho, Crest of Wave(images from gold-leaf-kyoto.com)

However, more recently Rakusho expanded his oeuvre to include his own personal art as well as collaborations with other artists and designers. In 2002 he registered his name as an independent brand, and ever since he has been exhibiting in galleries across Europe and the U.S.

Hiroto Rakusho, Gold

Hiroto Rakusho, Red

Hiroto Rakusho Infinity(images from hiroto-rakusho.com)

Givenchy's Le Rouge Kyoto may have been Rakusho's first foray into beauty, but he is no stranger to the world of Western fashion: in 2010 he teamed up with the Chado Ralph Rucci label on several collections.  Launched by designer Ralph Rucci in 1994, the Chado line's namesake refers to a Japanese tea ceremony and is inspired by Rucci's love of Japanese cultural traditions.  Obviously a partnership with a master of metallic leaf art, which holds extraordinary cultural significance in Japan, was a match made in heaven.  Some pieces and the original artwork:

Hiroto Rakusho/Ralph Rucci

Hiroto Rakusho

Hiroto Rakusho/Ralph Rucci

Hiroto Rakusho/Ralph Rucci

Hiroto Rakusho/Ralph Rucci(images from hiroto-rakusho.com)

Getting back to the Givenchy collection, I must admit that I have only the vaguest grasp of the actual application of the metallic leaf. The basic process is that gold and silver is hammered out into thin sheets, then the leaf is either glued to washi paper with a certain kind of lacquer or cut into extremely thin threads and woven into fabric, usually silk. 

Hiroto Rakusho at work

I guess what I'm not certain of is how the leaf is painted to make the colors on the lipstick cases.  It's hard to tell from photos and I couldn't find any video of the technique.  In the picture below I can see how he's attaching the gold leaf but I don't understand how the painting works...does he put the leaf on top of the paint?  How is it sticking to the leather?  What kind of paint is it, anyway?  I couldn't tell even looking at the cases in person!

Hiroto Rakusho at work

Anyway, while I'm still a little fuzzy on the details, here are some prototypes in their yet-to-be-wrapped form.  Neat!

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

Givenchy Le Rouge Kyoto

I love seeing that there were actual discussions about the collection, and Degennes and Rakusho seem pleased to be working with one another.

Nicolas Degennes and Hiroto Rakusho

Hiroto Rakusho and Nicolas Degennes
(images from tw.mobi.yahoo.com)

To conclude, naturally I loved this collaboration.  Givenchy's timeless style combined with incredibly luxurious materials handcrafted by a world-class artisan is an absolute win.  Not only are these cases unique, but beautiful to look at.  Plain metallic leaf would have been gorgeous, but the addition of abstract, subtly colorful patterns makes them even more exquisite and lends a modern touch.  Once again though, I must express my displeasure that these were not numbered editions.  Also, for the price it may not have killed Givenchy to include a lipstick refill.  But overall I am happy as these are collectors' pieces and so very perfect for the Museum. 

What do you think?

 

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Couture Monday: a lipstick bouquet from Givenchy

This lovely little lipstick case almost slipped through my fingers!  I finally caught up on some June issues of various magazines and this Givenchy case was in nearly every one.  Luckily, even though I was late to the party it was still available at Sephora

Givenchy Le Rouge Couture Edition

Givenchy Le Rouge Couture Edition

Givenchy Le Rouge Couture Edition
I wasn't sure if I needed it for the Museum's collection until I saw that the floral pattern was lifted directly from Givenchy's fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection. 

Givenchy Fall 2013 ready to wear(images from style.com)

The print had quite the celebrity following, including the likes of Joan Smalls and Kim Kardashian. 

Joan Smalls - Givenchy rose moto jacket(images from fashionbombdaily.com and fashionising.com)

Kim Kardashian in Givenchy - Met gala, 2013
(image from huffingtonpost.com)

While the print is quite pretty, I personally think it works better in small doses.  For me, even putting it on a punk moto jacket (worn by a supermodel, no less) couldn't save it from looking dowdy to me.  That's why I think it's an excellent choice for a lipstick case.  I do wonder why Givenchy chose to release this in 2015, however - the print is from a collection that's two years old, so why they decided to put it on a lipstick now is beyond me.  Then again, the company did use a pattern from the 2012 resort collection on their summer 2014 bronzer, so maybe there's just a general 2-year lag between the fashion and beauty collections.

What do you think? 

p.s. I just now realized I didn't take any pictures of the lipstick itself, oops.  Fortunately HelloJaa has some excellent photos and swatches, so check them out if you're curious.


Couture Monday: Givenchy summer 2014 bronzer

I feel as though every summer cosmetic companies up their design game when it comes to bronzers.  Givenchy hopped on the too-pretty-to-use bronzer bandwagon this year with its Terre Exotique Healthy Glow Powder.  I didn't even know what the pattern was when I first looked at it; all I knew was that it was a must-have for the Makeup Museum.

This little treasure comes outfitted in a sleek black case with a coppery chain detail.

Givenchy-summer-2014-bronzer-case

My first impression of the design was that it looked vaguely organic - leaves of some kind, but I had no idea what the raised portions of the patten were.

Givenchy-summer-2014-bronzer

Givenchy-summer-2014-bronzer-side

Givenchy-summer-2014-bronzer-closeup

Givenchy-summer-2014-bronzer-detail

I figured the pattern had its origins in Givenchy's fashion, as it seemed too intricate to be something that was designed solely for this bronzer.   Low and behold it appeared, quite colorfully, in the 2012 resort collection. 

Givenchy-resort-2012
(images from style.com)

Here's a better image of the print.  An abbreviated version appears in the bronzer - only the central part of the pattern (outer leaves of the irises and bird of paradise flowers) and some chains were used.

Givenchy-iris-print
(image from artesoul.tumblr.com)

Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci was so taken by the blooms of Hawaii for his 2012 resort collection that the above print appeared on nearly every piece that came down the runway.  But the body-conscious silhouettes gave a hard edge to the brightly colored pattern.  As one critic remarked, "flora has never looked more urban or street."  

Indeed, the print was also used for the packaging on the Jay-Z/Kanye West album Watch the Throne (Tisci has previously designed the cover for their H.A.M. album in 2010.)

Givenchy-watch-the-throne-cover
(image from rollingstone.com)

Watch-the-throne-package
(image from freshnessmag.com)

It's still a mystery to me as to why this pattern ended up on the bronzer this year rather than in 2012 or even 2013.  Was Givenchy running out of ideas and figured this would work well?  Or is it that it's just a fabulous print and the company wants to get as much mileage out of it as possible?

In any case, I think the bronzer is quite lovely, even though it may have worked slightly better if it had multiple colors or at least outlines of the flowers.  I'm glad I found the print on which it's based because you can't initially tell what it is in the pan - it didn't immediately read irises and birds of paradise to me, just symmetrical, pretty shapes.  After seeing the original design you can better recognize the tropical flowers and see how appropriate the pattern is for summer.

What do you think? 


Couture Monday: A luxurious stay with Givenchy

Monday is almost over, but in honor of all the spikes and studs I witnessed at the Met's Chaos to Couture show, I wanted to take a look today at this palette from Givenchy's Hotel Privé spring 2013 collection. 

Givenchy-Hotel-prive
(image from armocromia.com)

According to the press release, the collection was inspired by "the various French hotels [International Artistic Director] Mr Degennes stayed in, their atmosphere, colours, materials, the feeling of comfort they give."

The design on the palette is a play on Givenchy's signature prism motif, which appears on many of their other products including blush, eye shadow and lipstick. 

Givenchy-prisms
(images from sephora.com)

To my eye, the repeating pattern of the metal prism in the spring 2013 palette gives it a very punk, edgy feel while still retaining the elegance the house of Givenchy is known for (hey, the guy DID dress Audrey Hepburn).

Indeed, the punk vibe wasn't just my imagination.  The Chaos to Couture show included several pieces by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, including this suit with gold prism studs from the fall 2007 collection.

Givenchy-outfit

Givenchy-side

For once, my punk obsession proved to be right on track! 

While I didn't think the palette was special enough to purchase for the Museum, it was definitely worth a mention.  What do you think?


Quick post: Givenchy Poudre Croisière

I came across this bronzer at Sephora over the weekend and was curious to know what the pattern was.  To my eye it looks like squares of crinkled silk.

Givenchy.poudre
(image from sephora.com)

Compare it to this silk fabric:

Crinkled silk
(image from ec21.com)

Unfortunately the product description doesn't say what the design is supposed to be.  However, I spotted the spring  "Capri" collection from new-to-me brand Collistar at BeautifulwithBrains a while back and couldn't help but notice the striking resemblance between their palettes and the Givenchy powder.

Collistar-Capri(image from collistar.com)

According to this source, the weave pattern on the Collistar palettes "aims to recall the hand-woven fabrics of Italian craftsmanship, in addition to the straw/wicker baskets that complete the Capri holiday look."  Interesting!   Given how similar these are to Givenchy's bronzer I think it's safe to conclude that the pattern on the latter also recalls fabric.  Both the Collistar and Givenchy palettes, therefore, would have been fitting for the Woven exhibition - too bad I didn't grab them before it went up!  (Although I don't think I can even buy Collistar in the States).


What do Miró and Givenchy's Ombre de Lune have in common?

Givenchy Artistic Director Nicolas Degennes created simple but beautifully designed moon-inspired eye shadow/highlighter palettes for the fall 2011 collection.  According to Sephora, "In his love of the impossible, Nicolas Degennes wanted to create a multipurpose must-have product. The result was the savvy Les Ombres de Lune, an all-in-one highlighter for cheeks, eyes, and complexion that also works as an intense eye shadow...like a celestial muse floodlighting the darkness with its bewitching brightness, the moon embodies the essence of a soft and mysterious beauty, a magnetic aura, in the same vein as Givenchy Couture. Inspired by this sensual night star, the Collection 'Je veux la Lune' invites us to dream the impossible."   I like that the collection name ("I want the moon") is expressed both literally in the moon design and figuratively in the "impossibility" of the product itself - it's difficult to come up with a palette that has both an all-over highlighter and an eye shadow dark enough to create a smoky eye.  Usually multi-purpose products are one neutral shade.

Givenchy lune 1

Givenchy lune 2
(images from harrods.com)

Now, while I'm sure M. Degennes was not looking at Joan Miró's Dog Barking at the Moon (1926) when he came up with these palettes, but the starkness of the moons in these reminds me of it. The way the moon shape stands out from the background looks similar to Miró's work, at least to my eye.

Dog_Barking_at_the_Moon
(image from 001galerie.com)

Additionally, one could argue that they're similar in they both express a dream - in Givenchy's case, a dream of "impossibility" and in the Miró, a "dream of escape": "Like many of the works that the artist painted in Paris, this piece registers Miró's memories of his native Catalan landscape, which remained the emotional center and source of his imagery for much of his life. The work's genesis can be found in a preparatory sketch showing the moon rejecting a dog's plaintive yelps with the phrase 'You know, I don't give a damn,' written in Catalan. Although these words were excluded from the finished painting, their meaning is conveyed through the vacant space between the few pictorial elements that compose this stark yet whimsical image of frustrated longing and nocturnal isolation. Against the simple background of the brown earth and black night sky, Miró has painted a colorful dog and moon, and a ladder that stretches across the meandering horizon line and recedes into the sky, perhaps suggesting the dream of escape. This remarkable combination of earthiness, mysticism, and humor marks Miró's successful merging of international artistic preoccupations with an emphatically regional outlook to arrive at his distinctively personal and deeply poetic sensibility."

And, okay, I must admit this is one of my favorite paintings so maybe I was just looking for an excuse to post about it.  :)


Couture Monday: Givenchy's passage to India

The makeup artistic director for Givenchy, Nicolas Degennes, created an India-inspired theme for the line's spring/summer 2009 collection.  While at first I thought the colors didn't have much to do with India, an interview with Degennes for Vanity Fair explained his thoughtful construction of the collection.   "The must-have products re-interpret the radiance of Indian saris, with Precious Sari Glitter Eyeshadow and Sari Glow Iridescent Blush, while Magic Kajal Eye Pencil Intense Look beautifies the eyes with a stroke of bewitching black. Adorned with bindis, the cases take refinement to the extreme, featuring mirrors and applicators that evoke the opulent decorative style of India...The Bollywood vision of the sari, embroidered with mirrors and gold, evolved into Precious Sari Glitter Eyeshadows in Maharani Silver and Maharani Gold. The refined architecture and colors of Jaipur Palace were my inspiration for Sari Glow luminous cheek powder. Orange for the earth, omnipresent in all its shades and variations, is captured in Maharani Orange. For a touch of sweetness and demure femininity, there is Maharani Pink. Earth and henna are so much a part of India, and inspired Rouge Interdit Lip Colors in Maharani Rose and Maharani Henna."  Judging from this interview, there seems to have been a lot of consideration going into the collection in terms of color selection, which makes the Curator happy.  But what about the packaging?  

Givenchy-close
(photo from vanityfair.com)

Compared to the elephant-embossed compact Lancôme released last fall for their Indian-themed collection, Givenchy's packaging is definitely more subtle, with a delicate pattern adorning the edges of each product.  I liked that you can tell it's India-inspired without it hitting you over the head.  Another thumbs-up for the latest creation from Degennes!


Couture Monday: Givenchy's pocket watch lip gloss

P218923_hero

I love pocket watches - they have a vintage air about them even if they're not actually antiques.  (Plus my fiance wears one so I guess I'm a bit biased.)  I was pretty happy to see Givenchy breaking the makeup-as-jewelry mold with this "watch" containing a highlighter for lips and cheeks.   I'm not particuarly fond of these pieces as I find them to be relatively useless gimmicks (I have yet to see someone actually accessorizing with these) consisting of fancy silver and gold metal packaging with a lackluster product, but this stands out to me.

Other companies have released wearable makeup items (see pictures below) and they're always the usual jewelry items.  Yves Saint Laurent released a heart-shaped pendant containing two lip glosses for last year's holiday season, while Dior came out with a pendant lip gloss this past summer as well a lip gloss gloss a few years back. 

Charms 
(photos from sephora, neiman marcus and nordstrom.com)

Givenchy's watch goes beyond the typical accessory, eschewing a charm bracelet or locket for an item usually worn by men, which I believe makes it a bit edgier.   After seeing the product name is "Sweet Dandy" I dug around and discovered that the muse for Dior's fall 2008 collection, the dandy, was the same inspiration for Givenchy's watch.  Creator Nicolas Degennes was taken with the "sophisticated ambiguity of the dandy style...with its mixture of masculine and feminine codes." I could launch into a very long discussion about traditional gender roles and how certain products signify gender, but suffice it to say I think Degennes definitely hit the nail on the head with the watch - it's a perfect blend of male and female  accoutrements.   The item does fall short of relating in any way to the fashion house's fall clothing lineup (the ready-to-wear line by Riccardo Tisci  has a "Latino Gothic" feel, according to the press release), but it is a well-executed realization of Degennes's original concept.