Curator's Corner, 8/17/2014
Still going strong: colored mascara

Couture Monday: a new wave from Lancôme

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Lancôme has quite the history of teaming up with top designers, including Alber Elbaz, Olympia Le-Tan and Jason Wu.  This summer the company collaborated with three rising Paris-based designers:  Jacquemus, Alexandre Vauthier and Yiqing Yin, who were tasked with creating a very exclusive (read:  expensive) line of handbags, dubbed Nouvelle Vague, filled with Lancôme's best-selling products.

I was pretty excited to see what these three could come up with since I first heard about the collaboration back in April.  Let's take a look at each bag and see if it's a good reflection of the designer's aesthetic.

First up is Yiqing Yin.  Born in China, she emigrated to Paris at the age of 4 and later studied at the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs.  According to her website, "her aim has been to create a garment that protects and reinforces, being at the same time a second skin and a supple armour...she imagines structures which are never fixed, shapes that are always in mutation."  I like the bold geometric lines and overall boxiness of the bag - there's something powerful about it.  The lamé gives it a glam touch.



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In Yin's clothing designs we see more of the strong geometric silhouettes, along with dabbles in various textures.  From delicate feathers to rough-hewn wool, Yin can seemingly make any fabric bend to her vision of a "supple armour".  


I can also see why she used lamé in her Lancôme design - this woman is not afraid of shiny materials!

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Next up we have a very cheerful bag from Simon Porte Jacquemus, a 24 year-old self-taught designer who started his own line at the age of 19.  Right when I saw the shape and color of the bag, I knew it came from a young'un.  Indeed, he says of his aesthetic, "I’ll always be sporty and young...[Jacquemus as a brand] is a whole universe, a concept. Something could be a 'Jacquemus'-y shirt, or a 'Jacquemus'-y’s more of a playful spirit, clean, fresh, and at the same time raw. If you put photos in front of me, I could tell you whether things were Jacquemus-y or not!"



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The bag's shape directly references some of the pieces that came down the runway for his fall 2014 collection.  I find this quote from him to be a perfect description of the collection: "If I had a bigger budget I would do more couture moderne:  more refined, more exacting, spectacular space-age pieces from the ‘60s; that's what I like.  But always mixed with T-shirts and sneakers."  Bigger budget or not, I do find these pieces to have a futuristic '60s vibe.


I also thought the strap attachment on the Lancôme bag looked similar to the yellow strips adhered to this coat.


Circles are definitely this designer's muse as of late.  In addition to Jacquemus's clothing, they appear in many of the images used in his campaigns.



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Of the three I think this one is the most youthful and fun.  I couldn't pull off this bag, but I appreciate the style.

Finally, we have Alexandre Vauthier, whose sleek black clutch features his signature gold bar across the front.  As for the fold-out mechanism, he says, "I wanted to have something that opened up like this, very technical. I’m very crazy and obsessed by horlogerie [the practice of clock-making], as well as the precision of haute joaillerie [fine jewelry], like when you cut a diamond. I want to have something that represents this kind of work." 


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A streamlined clutch made its way into both his fall ready-to-wear and couture collections, making a subtle counterpoint to the intricately detailed (and undeniably sexy) dresses he created.

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This bag is my favorite since it seems to be the most versatile of the three - I could easily see myself carrying it with a number of outfits (I think it would pair especially nicely with those leopard print Louboutin pumps!)  I also like that there are individual straps to keep the makeup in place.

I wish I could get all three for the Museum since I feel each one represents their respective designer very well, but given they range from $500 to $1,300 each, it's not happening.

What do you think of these?  And which is your favorite? 

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