Curator's Corner, 10/26/2014
MM Mailbag: Makeup ad from the late '90s/early 2000s

Pola Muselle Nocturnal

The lovely PJ at A Touch of Blusher posted about a very exclusive artist collaboration for Japanese brand Pola Muselle.  You might remember the Pola company from a previous post I did on an event held in London that featured one of the curators of the Pola Museum (also thanks to A Touch of Blusher.)

I was intrigued not only because the museum currently lacks anything from this historic brand in its collection, but also because I wanted to see whether the patterns on the products matched the artist's work.  Japanese artist Kaori Miyayama was selected by Pola to create the Nocturnal fall collection.  After some sleuthing to see if her designs made it onto the products, I chose one blush and the eye shadow palette.

Pola Muselle Nocturnal Blush

The design comes from one her works in a series entitled The Roots of Heaven. I find this to be appropriately named given the tall spindly branches entwined with fluffy clouds stretching upwards.  The pattern extends to the very edges of the fabric, alluding to a seemingly indefinite continuation past the sky.  It's earthy and ethereal at the same time.

The Roots of Heaven by Kaori Miyayama
(image from

I especially like it installed in multiples in this Italian church.  With this light, see-through fabric, there's an airiness in this installation that's more apparent than it would be hanging on a wall in a gallery.  And their incredible height and verticality better emphasize the idea of ascension into a heavenly realm. 

The Roots of Heaven by Kaori Miyayama - installation view
(image from

Now for the eye shadow palette.  The box in and of itself is so pretty.

Pola Muselle Nocturnal Eye Color box

I have to say the patterns on the outside of the case as well as the ones on the shadows themselves stumped me.  I looked at them every which way and while they vaguely resemble one of the pieces from The Roots of Heaven, I don't think there are exact duplicates.

Pola Muselle Nocturnal Eye Color palette

Pola Muselle Nocturnal Eye Color

I thought perhaps the pattern on the outer case came from this piece, #2 in The The Roots of Heaven series.

The Roots of Heaven by Kaori Miyayama - #2

Upon closer inspection, however, I think it came from #1, shown here (first one on the left).  However, there was no closeup of that one at Miyayama's website so I can't be certain.

The Roots of Heaven by Kaori Miyayama #1-3
(images from

I can't give a detailed explanation of her work - little information was available online - but I will say I like it.  It's organic in that it references nature but also has a spiritual, otherworldly aspect  that I find quite peaceful and contemplative, especially in the colossal fabric hangings.  I could see myself in a state of tranquility after gazing up at them for an extended period of time (similar to how I get when looking at Rothko).   Anyway, I'm always pleased to see a company team up with artists who may not get much mainstream exposure, a highly effective strategy Pola borrowed from the master of artist collaborations, Shu Uemura. 

What do you think?

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