Paul & Joe's secret garden
Spring 2014 color trend

Couture Monday: Armani Belladonna Highlighting Powder

Well, this was a close one!  I almost didn't get my hands on this palette as I was waiting for a good gift-with-purchase event.  Little did I know not all the usual online retailers of Armani would be selling it, and counters only received a few.  Anyway, after much searching I managed to snag this palette, and reminded myself that if something is a "must-have" for the Museum, it's best not to wait to buy.

The Belladonna Highlighter is embossed with its namesake flower in a lovely champagne color with a high-shine, nearly metallic finish. 





Instead of tying the palette to their spring 2014 fashion collections, Armani went in reverse, looking instead to their fall 2013 Privé show.  The "Nudo" collection provided a fresh take on neutral tones in which the designer opted to play with texture and pattern rather than color.  In looking at the styles that came down the runway, you can definitely see how the palette relates to the overall feel of the collection.  On the more literal side, flowers were an integral part:


But the airy lightness of several of the gowns, coupled with the gleam of subtle metallic touches, is much more reminiscent of the palette than the flowers.  The models almost seem to float down the runway in wispy fabrics and flowing silhouettes, offset by glints of iridescent gold and champagne.



The texture of this jacket in particular reminded me of the fabric-like background of the palette.


Here's a close-up so you can really see the lines:

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Armani makeup artist Linda Cantello used a prototype of the Belladonna palette on the models' eyes, which tied the ethereal look together perfectly while also lending a touch of '20s glamour.

(image from

While I'm still a little confused as to why Armani would release a product that was tied to a fall collection for the spring, I do think in this case it works.  The fall 2013 couture show read much more spring in terms of color, shape and textures; there was none of the heaviness that designers tend to bring out for fall collections.  With all the elegant details incorporated in both the styles at the Privé show and in the Belladonna palette, Armani demonstrates that nude doesn't mean boring.  I also love the choice of the belladonna flower.  While I don't know the reasoning behind Armani's selection of this particular bloom, it's always refreshing to see flowers other than roses on palettes.

What do you think of this palette?  And of the fall 2013 couture collection? 

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