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Curator's Corner, 11/30/2014

T. LeClerc Paris in Winter pressed powder

In honor of the snowy weather that's hitting my neck of the woods I thought I'd post this pressed powder by T. LeClerc that I spotted at Beautyhabit.  I don't think I have anything in the Museum's collection from this brand and I was impressed by the understated elegance of the design, which features the Eiffel Tower amidst softly cascading snowflakes.  "Paris l'Hiver" is embossed in the center in T. LeClerc's classic Belle Epoque-style font, with their signature frieze motif encircling the wintry scene.

T.LeClerc Paris in Winter pressed powder

T.LeClerc Paris in Winter powder

T.LeClerc Paris in Winter closeup

The simplicity of the design is, oddly enough, what makes it so striking.  There's no shimmer, glitter or even more than one color, yet the illustration perfectly represents the quiet beauty of Paris during a snowfall.  It's rather unexpected too.  Most people, including me, think of Paris in springtime - it never occurred to me to consider how gorgeous the city's landmarks must look under a blanket of snow.

Fortunately, renowned French photographer Robert Doisneau (1912-1994) took some truly breathtaking pictures of the City of Lights, capturing all facets of Parisian life.  La tour Eiffel sous la neige (1964) reminds me quite a bit of the T. LeClerc palette. 

(image from

If you've never heard of Doisneau before now, don't feel bad - I had no idea who he was until I came across this article at the Daily Mail, which also included a picture of his that I actually recognized.  I remember that a poster of Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (1950) was hanging in nearly every girl's dormroom in college (except for me, of course...I had Pulp Fiction posters adorning my walls).  It's arguably Doisneau's most famous work, sort of like what Starry Night is to Van Gogh.

(image from

Doisneau mostly did street scenes and pictures of people rather than landscapes, but his whole portfolio is really amazing and is available online if you want to browse.  :)

Getting back to the T. LeClerc powder, I thought it was very refreshing in the unique scene it depicted, the subtle design and the fact that it was something a little different for the brand, as I don't think this company usually puts out collectible pieces.   Interestingly, T. LeClerc dates all the way back to 1881, so I'd love to get my hands on some vintage items from them. 

What do you think of the powder? 

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