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August 2015

Vintage acquisition featuring Volupté and Elizabeth Arden

The husband and I were wandering around the neighborhood last week and spotted this very cute little vintage store called Bottle of Bread.  I didn't see any makeup, but I summoned my courage to ask the owner whether she ever came across vintage compacts or makeup ads.  I'm glad I asked because she had several stored away in a back room - she had just moved locations and hadn't put them out yet!  So I got to take my pick from a few she had obtained at an estate sale.  I settled on this very glam Volupté clutch.  I loved all the details - the sharp edges, the brushed silver tone with mirrored sides, the dainty chain and the blue rhinestone clasp.

Volupté silver tone clutch

Volupté silver tone clutch

Volupté silver tone clutch

Volupté silver tone clutch

The inside is chock full of neat little compartments, and looked to be in great condition.

Volupté silver tone clutch

Volupté silver tone clutch - powder compartment

Volupté silver tone clutch - powder puff

Apparently you could put your cigarettes in this compartment.

Volupté silver tone clutch - compartment

There was also a hidden compartment behind the mirror - how cool is that?

Volupté clutch - mirror compartment

Of course I was curious about this particular type of clutch so I set about doing a little research.  I found a few that resembled it, including this one which has green rhinestones and a fancy silver buckle, but no chain.  The seller says it's from the 1950s so I have some sense of the date of the one I purchased.

Volupté clutch with buckle
(image from bagladyemporium.com)

This one is also nearly identical except for the rhinestones and lack of a chain.

Volupté silver tone clutch

Instead of a chain, there's a black fabric bag.

Volupté silver tone clutch(images from ebay.com)

I came across many others like this, but most of them were gold-toned with a bar in the front.  The mirror didn't have a compartment behind it but rather two small clips for a comb.  Other than that, the interior was the same.

Volupté Sophisticase clutch(image from etsy.com)

I found out that these sorts of clutches were named the "Sophisticase" by Volupté and featured their patented "Swinglok" mechanism.  For the most part they didn't have chains but rather black fabric carrying cases.  My hunch is that they came out with slightly different models over the years, so that's why mine is a little different than most of the ones I came across online.

Volupté Sophisticase with box(image from ebay.com)

I did manage to find one other Sophisticase with a chain, so the one I bought wasn't an anomaly.  The seller claims this one is from the '40s though, so I really can't say with certainty which decade mine is from.  I'd say it's definitely '40s or '50s, which was when Volupté, along with Evans, dominated the carryall market.

Volupté clutch with chain(image from ebay.com)

What's even more intriguing was the lipstick that happened to still be inside the bag.  The previous owner stashed an Elizabeth Arden lipstick in the compartment.  It's a nice tube in excellent condition, but it wasn't the tube that made me curious.

Vintage Elizabeth Arden lipstick

It was the "A" with a pair of wings engraved on the cap that piqued my interest.

Vintage Elizabeth Arden lipstick

I had never seen this motif before so naturally I had to see if there was a story behind it.  I found this rather striking ad from the early '40s for Victory Red lipstick (you can read about the original photo here).

Elizabeth Arden Victory Red ad, 1941(image from pinterest.com)

And here's the lipstick itself where you can see the wings on the cap.

Elizabeth Arden Victory Red lipstick(image from pinterest.com)  

There was also a very nice Victory Red set that featured a gold-toned lipstick case with the wing motif stamped in red.

Elizabeth Arden Victory Red set(image from etsy.com)

Here it is again - the tube looks identical to the one I have except mine doesn't seem to have the wings in red.  I don't think it wore off, I think it's because maybe only the Victory Red shade had the wings engraved in red whereas other shades didn't?  In any case, while I found these tubes to be the same, I still don't have an exact date.  The set above is listed as being from the '50s, whereas the lipstick below is listed as being from the '40s. 

Elizabeth Arden Victory Red lipstick

Elizabeth Arden Victory Red lipstick
(images from ebay.com)

Anyway, a few years after the launch of Victory Red the company released Winged Victory.

Elizabeth Arden Winged Victory ad, 1945
(image from ecrater.com)

According to this newspaper ad, it was available starting in January 1945.

Elizabeth Arden Winged Victory newspaper ad, January 1945
(image from news.google.com)

So I'm assuming the wings came about to complement the variations of Victory Red, which was created at the start of World War II in 1941, and continued with the introduction of Winged Victory in early 1945*.  I'm curious to know whether the V shape formed by the wings was intentional since seemingly every product was advertised with a "V for Victory".  

The company continued to use the wing design on many other products after the war was over.  If you look really closely at the items featured in these ads, you can make out the wings.

Elizabeth Arden ad, 1947
(image from etsy.com)

Elizabeth Arden ad, 1949(image from ebay.com)

Here's a shot of an actual jar of Pat-A-Creme:

Elizabeth Arden Pat A Creme, ca. 1949(image from pinterest.com)

Elizabeth Arden ad, 1949(image from ebay.co.uk)

The use of the wing design continued through the 1950s.

Elizabeth Arden ad by Rene Gruau, 1955
(image from hprints.com)

Interestingly, this ad was done by Carl "Eric" Erickson, who also did illustrations for Rouge Baiser.

Elizabeth Arden ad, 1957
(image from americanartarchives.com)

Elizabeth Arden ad, 1958
(image from pinterest.com)

The wings were still fluttering in 1959 for this tie-in to Chrysler's Imperial car.

Vintage Elizabeth Arden lipstick(image from rubylane.com)

According to the description at Ruby Lane, Chrysler launched a new ad campaign for the Imperial in the January 1959 issue of Vogue with product sponsorship by Elizabeth Arden.  The car was available in Arden Pink, which was allegedly Jackie O's favorite lipstick shade, and you could order the car from Vogue directly.  Additionally, for $25 you could purchase the exclusive Imperial Travel Case to go in the glove box.


EA-Chrysler-set(image from imperialclub.com)

Anyway, the description at Ruby Lane also states that the wings in this case are connected to the bird emblem on the Imperial, as seen on the left in the ad above.  I'm not sure I agree, but it's interesting that they continued to use it.

Speaking of Arden Pink, here's an ad from 1960.

Elizabeth Arden ad, 1960(image from hair-and-makeup-artist.com)

1966 was the date of the last ad in which I could see the wing motif appear on the products.

Elizabeth Arden ad, 1966(image from etsy.com)

What does all this mean for the lipstick?  Well, unfortunately, like the clutch itself, it could be from several decades.  (I googled the shade name on the bottom - New Fashion - and turned up nothing.) The shape of the tube was identical to several tubes of Victory Red I came across, but those were listed by the sellers with varying dates, so since I don't know the exact years they were made I can't pinpoint it for the lipstick I have.  The ads didn't seem to show those types of tubes either so no help there.  As for the wings, I couldn't find a satisfying answer as to their significance and usage throughout the years, but perhaps it's in this book.

So...thoughts?  Do you ever come across vintage finds in your town?  I gave the store owner my card, so hopefully she'll be in touch with more vintage makeup goodies.  :)

*The Glamourologist had a post on Elizabeth Arden and wartime makeup so I was hoping there would be some mention of those wings in it, but I keep getting the dreaded "The page you were looking for does not exist" message when I click on the link.  I searched both her new site and Facebook page and couldn't find it.  I couldn't even find an email address to contact her!  But I bet if anyone has information on Elizabeth Arden during wartime, it would be her.

Craig and Karl for Sephora

Here's another spring collection that I'm just catching up on now.  The Craig & Karl Sephora collection may ring a few bells, as this design duo was also behind one of Kiehl's holiday 2014 collections (which I failed to write about as I was suffering from the stomach flu to end all stomach flus last December).  Craig Redman, based in NYC and Karl Maier, based in London, somehow manage to make cohesive designs that showcase each of their strengths despite the geographic distance between them.  Together they "create bold work that is filled with simple messages executed in a thoughtful and humorous way."  Looking at the collection they came up with, I'd say that's an apt description.

In total it's a rather large collection, but I think some items weren't offered in the States.  I don't recall seeing the bath and body and nail products at the U.S. Sephora website, but they did appear in France and Australia.

Craig & Karl for Sephora

Craig & Karl for Sephora

Craig & Karl for Sephora

Craig & Karl for Sephora

Craig & Karl for Sephora

Craig & Karl for Sephora

Craig & Karl for Sephora

Craig & Karl for Sephora
(images from thedieline.com, musingsofamuse.com, and packagingoftheworld.com)

Not much background information was given as to why Sephora chose Craig & Karl, but the company was quite pleased with the outcome.  As a rep told Cosmetics Business News, "For summer, we were looking for a fresh, pop and coloured collaboration...Craig & Karl are two unique and very talented designers that truly share our brand image and brand values. The collection is full of joy, happiness and, of course, colour...It was a true pleasure to work with them, so we’d of course be open to working with them again down the road.  We like surprising our consumers, so if we were to collaborate again then it would be something completely different...we have built a very interesting partnership with them in order to deliver the best quality and translate to the suppliers what they had in mind at the beginning of the project. The colour expertise of Craig & Karl mixed with our packaging and industrial knowledge produced an awesome result that we couldn’t be happier with.” 

That's a nice bit of PR, but does collection really reflect Craig & Karl's aesthetic?  A quick visit to their website told me that yes, it's totally spot on.  Compare the dots, stripes and criss-crossed lines on the Sephora packaging to the patterns on this Washington Post ad.

Craig & Karl Washington Post

Or the eye and lip motifs on the duo's work for MCM.

Craig & Karl for MCM

I especially enjoyed the spread they did for Vogue Japan.  It takes the idea of Craig & Karl makeup quite literally - it's not the packaging that bears their signature patterns and colors but the models themselves.

Craig & Karl - Vogue Japan

Craig & Karl - Vogue Japan

Craig & Karl - Vogue Japan

Craig & Karl - Vogue Japan
(images from craigandkarl.com)

Full of Craig & Karl's exuberant colors and playful motifs, the Sephora packaging is a great representation of who they are as designers.

So why didn't I buy anything?  To be blunt, I'm not a big fan of their work.  I respect what they're doing and I think they're very talented, but it doesn't appeal to me personally.   I just can't bring myself to spend money on something I find so, well, ugly.  Additionally, the items from the collaboration aren't things I see as a necessary acquisition for the Museum.  Remember that I wasn't all that taken with Antonio Lopez's work but I still bought many pieces from the MAC collaboration because I feel that it was something a makeup museum should own and display.  Craig & Karl, however...it may be shortsighted, but I don't think this is really a must-have from a collecting standpoint, nor can I see it being used in an exhibition.

What do you think?

Curator's Corner, 8/23/2015

CC logoI'm still here...had a terrible headache most of last weekend so I couldn't prep any posts for this past week. :(  Hopefully I'll write something this week. In the meantime, here are some links.

- How do I get this job?

- Meet "tontouring," the latest fad within the contouring trend.

- Nouveau Cheap has the scoop on the upcoming Cover Girl/Star Wars makeup collection.

- Japan-based cosmetics retailer Ainz & Tulpe introduced these really cool interactive shop windows in Tokyo. 

- Check out this oral history of the accent nail manicure and a more general history of nail art.  

- There's also a must-read article on the history of black lipstick.  Funny story: Arabelle actually contacted me a little while ago to see if I had any leads on this topic!  I was so flattered.  Alas, I couldn't help - I explained that in 2013 I started working on a special exhibition with the working title of Black Magic:  A History of Black Lipstick and Nail Polish, only to essentially abandon it when I couldn't find much info, at least not online. 

- Going further back in history, Two Nerdy History Girls reposts a two-part article on 18th-century hair styles and how they were achieved, while Beautiful with Brains shares a 19th-century guide to growing longer eyelashes.

- I was relieved to see that the new practice of microwaving off your armpit hair, does not, in fact, involve a traditional microwave.

- Oof, Sephora messed up again (epically, you might say) and people are pissed.  But there were some nuanced, balanced responses over at Swatch & Learn and Cafe Makeup.

The random:

- Rolling Stone interviewed Kathleen Hanna on the recently reissue of Revolution Girl Style Now.  *happy sigh*

- In other '90s news, Garbage's self-titled debut album turned 20, Alanis Morissette is releasing a deluxe edition of Jagged Little Pill to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and there's finally an update on the long-awaited Ab Fab movie.

- The number of visitors to the Met's recent China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition has surpassed the previous visitor record held by the McQueen exhibitionRelated:  "The bottom line is that however much we love to look at art, everyone gets dressed in the morning." 

- More pumpkin spice madness.

How have you been?


Cute and creepy packaging finds, round 2

Today's post highlights two recent collections that once again show the enormous range in makeup packaging design.  As I did last time, I'll start with the cute.  

Both Adrienne at The Sunday Girl and Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog reviewed these Clinique travel bags that are currently being sold exclusively at duty-free stores, so that means I will not be getting my greedy little paws on them (which sucks as I really need two of them for the fall exhibition.)  Each bag is not only adorably illustrated with motifs of a given city - New York, Paris, Hong Kong, and London - but are also filled with the best-selling products from each city.  That's a pretty genius concept and one that also yields a truly useful makeup set.  I so rarely buy sets or even palettes because I know I won't use everything in them, but when a company offers its top-selling products in a variety of colorways in amazingly cute packaging, it's a home run.  I'd use every product in these bags (well, maybe not the Chubby Sticks as I have...issues with their name) and of course the bags are purchase-worthy on their own given the illustrations.

Clinique travel box - New York

Clinique travel box - Hong Kong

Clinique travel box - London

Clinique travel box - Paris(images from dutyfreehunter.com)

I doubt Clinique hired an outside artist to create the illustrations, but whoever made them did a fantastic job.  I could also see these working on stationery - wouldn't they make great wrapping paper? 

Now on to some creepy (to me, anyway) packaging.  Chic Profile posted this Estée Lauder gift with purchase for edgy store Opening Ceremony.  You know I love quirky, weird fashion and makeup and I actually enjoy browsing Opening Ceremony on occasion, but this was decidedly off-putting to me.  Not to mention the fact that you'd have to spend $500 to get the gift.  Then again, given Opening Ceremony's inventory that wouldn't be difficult to do.

Estée Lauder Opening Ceremony gift with purchase(image from openingceremony.us)

Something about those disembodied hands grasping each other into infinity just creeps me out.  Sort of reminds me of a more fashion-forward version of a horror movie where zombie hands rise up from graves grabbing at the living.  A rather ugly shade of orange is used for the flesh of the arms, making them look burned, while the nails are blue, further heightening the dead hand effect.  I love blue nail polish but here I think it looks corpse-like given the overall design.  I mean I realize the blue is the same shade as the background, but they should have chosen a different color scheme.  I still don't like the pattern in black and white, but it's not as bad.  It's also worth pointing out that the disembodied hand is par for the course for Opening Ceremony, so it's not completely out of left field.  It was even the star motif for their fall 2014 collection, inspired by Belgian folklore. I guess I just don't like it in any context.  I especially don't like it in these colors, and I don't think it's a suitable print for a makeup tie-in.

Thoughts on these pieces from Clinique and Estée?  Are they as disparate as they seem to me?

MM Mailbag: Another Stila surprise!

Vintage Stila memorabilia

You might remember how overjoyed I was in late 2013 when a mysterious person emailed me and asked to bestow a mighty lot of Stila memorabilia.  Well, back in the spring a different mystery Stila aficionado contacted me and asked if I wanted her vintage Stila ephemera.  As with the previous donor, she refused to accept payment, even for postage, and sent me an enormous package chock full of lovely Stila cards and other goodies.  See, Stila fans are the best!!

Now that I'm done gushing about the extremely generous people who graciously donated these items, let's take an in-depth look.

Stila postcards, ca. late 1990s

Stila postcards, ca. late 1990s

Stila postcards, late 1990s/early 00s

Stila postcards, late 1990s/early 00s

Stila postcards, fall 2001 and 2002

Stila pamphlets

Stila 2001 holiday look book

Stila 2001 holiday look book

Even the outer envelope for this has an adorable illustration:

Stila 2001 holiday lookbook envelope

How adorable is this mini 3-ring binder?!

Stila mini binder

Stila mini binder

I think is from around 2003, since the "Look of the Month" palettes had some of the same illustrations and were released at Nordstrom in January 2004.  For example, the little lady below was used in the April palette.

Stila mini binder

The donor also included some pretty cool Anna Sui postcards. 

Anna Sui postcards

Anna Sui postcard

So wasn't that nice?!  Whoever sent this my way, thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my Stila-loving heart!!  I'm still in awe from the generosity.

Which is your favorite from this glorious batch of rare Stila items?  I love it all, of course, but I think I'm partial to the white postcards, which look to be very early in Stila's history...but the postcard with the girl catching pairs of rouged lips in a butterfly net is pretty spectacular too.


Charlotte Tilbury/Norman Parkinson collection

Charlotte Tilbury - Norman Parkinson collection

I always like to see an inspired collection with special packaging from a relatively new brand.  For her summer collection, Charlotte Tilbury borrowed the work of British fashion photographer Norman Parkinson.  I hadn't heard of Parkinson until now and greatly enjoyed discovering his photos, which, to my eye, are the epitome of glamour.  Tilbury worked with Parkinson's grandson Jake Parkinson Smith to choose the images that best represented her vision for the collection.  She explains, "With this collection, I not only wanted to immortalize Norman Parkinson in makeup form, but also capture the DNA of his vision of beauty: he was an alchemist with light, capturing the sun and the differing effects of mood-lighting on the skin in a really unique way."  As you'll see, the selected photos perfectly suit Tilbury's lineup of glowy bronzers, blushes and lip colors that are spot-on for summer.

First up is a cream bronzer compact featuring legendary model Jerry Hall in her very first Vogue cover shoot, which took place in Montego Bay in 1975.  Interesting tidbit:  Hall's good friend, fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, accompanied her on the trip.  His name should ring some bells among makeup junkies as his illustrations were used for MAC's fall 2013 collection, and as one of "Antonio's Girls", Hall posed for the promo images.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronzing Glow

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronzing Glow

Here's the original pic.  I love the expression on her face - so sassy.  Tilbury also created a lipstick called 1975 Red that was inspired by the shade Hall is wearing in the photo.

Norman Parkinson, "On Call", 1975(image from normanparkinson.com)

The image used on the makeup bag shown in the first photo of this post is taken from another 1975 shoot with Hall, this time at the coast of the Black Sea in Russia.  I'm digging those Manolo slingbacks.

Norman Parkinson - Jerry Hall, 1975(image from normanparkinson.com)

I also got this beautiful cream blush which I would love to actually wear instead of keeping it pristine for collection purposes.  The compact features a 1956 photo of Parkinson's wife Wenda posing on the beach at Pigeon Point, Tobago.  According to the Norman Parkinson archive, "Parkinson and Wenda worked together for Vogue on countless occasions – she was his most enduring muse and features in many of his most iconic images. They were married in 1947 and remained together for the rest of their lives."  Awwww!

Charlotte Tilbury Colour of Youth blush

Charlotte Tilbury Colour of Youth blush

Norman Parkinson - Wenda Parkinson in Tobago, 1956

Lastly, I picked up this highlighting powder with a photo of model Carmen dell'Orefice, posing in the Bahamas for the July 1959 cover of British Vogue

Charlotte Tilbury Dreamy Glow Highlighter

Charlotte Tilbury Dreamy Glow Highlighter

Norman Parkinson - Carmen dell'Oreface, 1959(image from normanparkinson.com)

In addition to the gorgeous images, what I also liked about the collection is the quality of the packaging.  For the compacts, the photos are encased in very thick clear plastic and sturdy metal - you can really feel the weight of the compact when you pick it up, which lends a pretty luxurious feel.  Plus you don't have to worry about the image getting worn off in your makeup bag.

Charlotte Tilbury x Norman Parkinson compact

Overall I think this is a very nice collection from a newish brand.  Hopefully Charlotte Tilbury has more exciting limited edition items lined up.

Did you get anything from the Norman Parkinson collection?

Curator's Corner, 8/9/2015

CC logoLinks from the past 2 weeks, plus I'm wishing the Makeup Museum a very happy 7-year blogiversary!  (It was Friday, I totally forgot.)

- Jezebel's makeup by decade series continues with the 1950s.

- Read Autumn's brilliant response to a new study claiming beauty ads are bogus.

- The latest bizarre nail trends:  the bubble manicure and aquarium nails. Meanwhile, hair tapestries are the new rainbow hair, and body branding may be the new tattoo.  More strange trends include hangover makeup and heart-shaped hair.

- As a huge Strangers with Candy fan I was delighted to see Amy Sedaris dish on her favorite beauty products.

- More on the makeup tax.

- On my beauty book radar is this vintage compact collecting guide by Jane Vanroe.

- See, beautifying oneself IS healthy

- I'm salivating over Louboutin's new lipstick line...is it September yet?

- Racked, please stay away from MUA.  You clearly don't get it.

- On the fragrance front, check out this 19th century "perfume launcher", along with this exhibition and book on perfume miniatures.

- Unbelievable

The random:

- Bikini Kill will be putting out 3 previously unreleased songs from 1991!  Plus, here's an eye-opening piece on black girls within the Riot Grrrl movement

- Only in Japan:  a Snoopy museum, this crazy-looking restaurant, and a cafe in Tokyo that provides luxury services to stuffed animals.  I don't think I could send our beloved plushies through the mail, but I love the concept.

- The best response to the new Jack the Ripper Museum, right here.

- I liked this overview of Yves Saint Laurent's "love cards" at Documenting Fashion, since one of the designs was used on a palette.  They should really do an entire series of palettes based on those. 

- My latest form of relaxation is coloring books.  Yes, they make coloring books for adults!  My mom told me it was the "hot new trend" and she was totally right.  I celebrated National Coloring Book day last week by stealing her coloring book and pencils (sorry Mom, I'll replace them.) 

- In '90s news, here's another exhibition on the art of the '90s and some Clueless-inspired decor.

- Greatly amused by this Tumblr.

- It's August, which means Pumpkin Spice Lattes are just around the corner...along with pumpkin spice Peeps!

What have you been digging lately?

Quick post: A Dior and Coty coincidence

I come across the strangest things when I'm researching vintage makeup.  I was looking up items for the summer exhibition and spotted this 1948 Coty ad. 

1948 Coty ad - finger blend palette(image from ebay.com)

It's fairly unremarkable...until I noticed the colors in the palette shown on the lower left of the ad are incredibly similar to Dior's Les Tablettes de Bastet palette designed by artist Vincent Beaurin in 2013.  They're not identical, but both palettes contain a warm golden terracotta shade, a cool medium blue and a bold red.

Dior Les Tablettes de Bastet palette, 2013

Dior Les Tablettes de Bastet palette

Dior Les Tablettes de Bastet palette, 2013

You can read all about Beaurin's rather complex reasoning behind the colors he chose in my post on the palette.  Coty, on the other hand, has a much simpler explanation.  The ad indicates that blue is for eye shadow, the red for blush, and the golden tint is for foundation.  I doubt that one shade suited all complexions and the red blush and blue eye shadow most likely looked incredibly garish when worn together, but then again, as I noted previously, Beaurin's colors aren't exactly easy to work with either.

Do you see a color resemblance between the two palettes?

New to me brand: Pai Pai

A few months ago The Dieline posted about this relatively new makeup brand that happens to have some of the most spectacular packaging I've seen in a while.  Pai Pai is a Mexican brand that features the work of different artists on their packaging each season.  It's a similar concept to Laqa & Co. as well as the long-gone Stephane Marais line, so perhaps it's not completely groundbreaking, but I love brands that don't have regular packaging and hire artists to create different designs for each product. (If I had my own makeup line, I'd totally steal the concept of having a new artist each season!)  Plus, Pai Pai exclusively highlights Mexican artists so as to celebrate the country's cultural heritage.  The company's name comes from an an endangered indigenous community in Baja California in the western part of Mexico.  Sadly, it is estimated that less than 100 people still speak the Paipai language.  I'm not sure whether any of Pai Pai's proceeds go to conservation efforts but it would be awesome if they did.

Anyway, let's get to the packaging, which I'll be looking in reverse chronological order.  The most recent featured artist is Guillermo Huerta, an up-and-coming illustrator who collaborates on many different design and fashion projects in Mexico.  Titled "Sueño Cósmico" ("Cosmic Dream"), the collection is about Huerta's "obsession with color" and a modern re-imagining of Mexico.  My Spanish is rusty, but I think I was able to roughly piece together his take on the collection:  "I have always thought more is more.  For me, Mexico has always been a starting point...I love to revisit the fantasy and magic that we have and give it a contemporary twist." 

Here are the cases. 

Guillermo Huerta for Pai Pai

And here they are with the caps off - the colors are certainly exuberant and appropriate for the spring and summer months.

Guillermo Huerta for Pai Pai

Guillermo Huerta for Pai Pai
(images from paipai.mx)

The slightly more delicate, less edgy work of Georgina Chávez was selected for the fall/winter 2014 collection.  Titled "Seres" (Beings) the collection was inspired by wild animals/plants and their habitats.

Georgina Chavez for Pai Pai

Georgina Chavez for Pai Pai

Georgina Chavez for Pai Pai
(images from paipai.mx)

Prior to Chávez's collection, PaiPai used the work of Oscar Torres for the spring/summer 2014 collection.  Torres created brightly colored, intricately patterned works depicting his chosen theme, "Virgen Santa" ("Holy Virgin") which pays homage to the beauty of Mexico's women and also gives a modern twist to traditional representations of the Virgin of Guadalupe.  I love that each one is shown wearing a vibrant lipstick.  Oddly enough, the lipsticks are named after flowers, but Torres named each woman so I don't know why they couldn't use his original names.  From left to right is Guadalupe, Ofelia and Francisca. 

Oscar Torres for Pai Pai

The one on the left below is Aurora.

Oscar Torres for Pai Pai
(images from winterland.mx)

Pai Pai's inaugural collection debuted in the fall of 2013 and featured 9 lipsticks by Alejandro López, an artist whose folkloric work is inspired by the "streets of Mexico, its people, costumes, traditions, fantasies and the way in which they see the most painful situations with humor".  It's hard to tell whether these were made especially for Pai Pai or whether they were existing works, but you can see them all here.

Alexandro Lopez for Paipai

Alexandro Lopez for Pai Pai

Alexandro Lopez for Pai Pai
(images from liliacortes.com)

All in all, I'm really impressed with Pai Pai's concept of having a makeup line produced in Mexico with packaging that regularly honors the country through the work of different artists, and is even named after an indigenous Mexican community.  You can tell a lot of thought went into the brand's development and I know someone there is very carefully selecting the artists (my dream job!) and choosing lipstick shades that are appropriate not only for the season but that also represent that particular artist's aesthetic.  See, for example, the vivid, pigmented shades of Torres's collection that go perfectly with his vibrant portraits, vs. the subtle beiges, plums and pinks of Lopez's collection, which are better-suited to his slightly more understated palette.

What do you think?  Which collection is your favorite?  Pai Pai ships to the U.S. so I see a few of these in my future...I just wish I could have gotten my hands on their older collections!

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.