Couture Monday: Dior's Glowing Garden

I won't say this is a total disappointment from Dior, but I also won't lie and say it's inspired.  For their spring 2016 makeup collection Dior was again influenced by the designer's upbringing in Granville and its fabulous gardens.  I picked up the blush and one of the eye shadow palettes.

Dior spring 2016 Glowing Gardens

Dior spring 2016 Glowing Gardens

Dior spring 2016 eye shadow

Dior spring 2016 eye shadow

Dior spring 2016 eye shadow

Dior spring 2016 blush

Dior spring 2016 eye shadow

Unfortunately I found the flower print on these compacts had very little to do with Dior's runway collections.  I guess you could say the color palette for the spring ready-to-wear collection is similar, but none of the garments had the same flower print.

Dior spring 2016 ready-to-wear (images from vogue.com)

The print actually most closely resembled the one found on these pieces from the couture collection.

Dior couture spring 2016

I think the palettes would have been more visually appealing if Dior had borrowed one of the prints below.  The one on the right almost looks like little bees - how fun would that have been?

Dior couture spring 2016(images from vogue.com)

I also couldn't tell what kind of flowers are on the palettes.  They look fairly nondescript and generic.  They're not delphiniums, which would have been cool given that the spring 2016 runway was draped in these blooms.  I was thinking perhaps geraniums or maybe phlox.

(images from flowerinfo.org and bloomiq.com)

But they could also be wild roses, which would make sense given the legendary roses at Granville.

Wild roses
(images from 50states.com and photos-for-you.com)

So, these compacts were worth purchasing and will certainly be delightful in a spring exhibition, but definitely not as interesting as some of Dior's previous releases. 



Couture Monday: Dior's swinging '60s blushes

I'm adding these Dior items to my list of ones that got away.  A few months ago Chic Profile featured these two blushes, which apparently were available at select Dior boutiques in the U.S.  I didn't think they were worth tracking down until I started digging a bit based on the information provided at Chic Profile.

Dior Miss Dior blush

Dior Miss Dior blush
(images from chicprofile.com)

Today we know Miss Dior as one of the fragrances from the couture house, but in the early 1960s a line of ready-to-wear hats was launched with the Miss Dior name.  Then in September of 1967 Dior introduced another ready-to-wear line, also called Miss Dior.  From Vintage Fashion Guild:  "The Miss Dior line was launched in September 1967 and was a less expensive ready-to-wear line made to appeal to a younger customer.  The Miss Dior store was located on Rue Francois Premier, next door to the Dior couture house. For the first three years the Miss Dior line was sold in stores throughout France, but was not exported, so as not to compete with the Dior-New York label. It became available in the US in December 1970 and was an immediate success. The line was designed by Philippe Guiborge, who also designed the Dior Boutique line and was assistant to Marc Bohan in the couture house."  I also found this Telegraph article dated January 6, 1967 announcing the line.


The letters in the new blushes are rendered in the same style as the Miss Dior tags.  Some examples of Miss Dior styles and their respective tags:

Miss Dior black ruffle sleeves dress

Miss Dior black dress tag
(images from etsy.com)

Miss Dior multicolor coat

Miss Dior multicolor coat label
(images from collectorsweekly.com)

The same font was also used by famed illustrator René Gruau in some Miss Dior ads.  I wonder if the actual shopping bags looked like they do in these ads or whether it was Gruau's own creation.  Unfortunately I was unable to find any photos of real-life Miss Dior shopping bags.

Miss Dior ad 1967
(image from hprints.com)

Miss Dior ad-1967
(image from roswebbart.hubpages.com)

As for more examples of Miss Dior clothing, they were few and far between.  I managed to scrounge up this 1970 ad.

Miss Dior ad 1970
(image from exposicoesvirtuais.arquivonacional.gov.br)

And this dress from 1974:

(image from vads.ac.uk)

In any case, the scant number of photos I was able to find was enough for me to want to procure the Miss Dior blushes for the Museum.  I do find it strange that Dior is releasing these in 2015, as I think 2017 might have been a more appropriate date given that it would be the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Miss Dior line, but nevertheless the blushes represent a nod to another piece of the house's history.


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?

Couture Monday: Dior Fleurs des Vents palette

So many pinwheels, so little time.  I was heartbroken from not being able to get my hands on this palette back in the fall of 2014.  In honor of the grand opening of Dior's Omotesando beauty boutique, a small collection was launched and sold exclusively at the boutique.  The star of the lineup was this lovely blush with Dior's name spelled out in whimsical pinwheel form.  It just happened to surface on e-bay from a reliable seller that I've purchased things from in the past, so I pounced.

Dior Omotesando exclusive Fleurs des Vents palette

Dior Omotesando exclusive Fleurs des Vents palette

Here's a promo image so you get a better sense of the design:

Dior Omotesando collection promo
(image from chicprofile.com)

The exclusivity and the pretty colors were enough for me to add it to the Museum's collection, but I'm still curious as to why they chose this design for the palette.  According to Rouge Deluxe, the letters aren't actually pinwheels but toy windmills.  However, to my knowledge neither pinwheels nor windmills figure prominently in Dior's work.  I did find this "Moulin à Vent" ("windmill") dress from the 1949 fall/winter  Trompe L’Oeil collection, but that was basically it.

Dior "Moulin a vent" dress, 1949
(image from metmuseum.org)

I also checked out Dior's fall 2014 couture and ready-to-wear collections, and saw nothing that would point to windmills or pinwheels.  So I have no idea why Peter Philips, Creative and Image Director for Dior Beauty, would select this motif...unless, as I wondered with Guerlain's Poudre de Soie palette, pinwheels/windmills are meaningful in Japanese culture?  

In any case, I was pleased to be able to cross this palette off my very extensive wishlist!  While it was released in the fall, I think it would be a nice addition to a spring exhibition.  What do you think?

Group portrait: Dior

(Click to enlarge)

The Makeup Museum - Dior palettes

Top row, left to right:  Mitzah, Impression Cuir, Garden Roses, Swimming Pool, Granville and Milly Garden clutches

Second row, left to right:  Poudrier Dentelle, Flower Blossom, Bonne Etoile, Rose Ballerine, Tailleur Bar, Golden Jungle, Voile de Neige

Third row, left to right:  Anselm Reyle, Garden Pastels, Atlantique, Pink Pompadour, Tailleur Bar (2012 edition), Gold Shock, Perle d'Or powder

Bottom row, left to right:  My Lady, Lady Dior, Les Tablettes de Bastet (Vincent Beaurin), Cristal Boreal pendant, Night Diamond

Couture Monday: Setting sail with Dior

Dior's Transat collection pays homage to both Dior's first resort collection from 1948 and Raf Simons' modern take on the designer's original vision.  From the website:  "Christian Dior presented his first Resort and Spring line in 1948, inspired by the great transatlantic crossings that fascinated this couturier. Synonymous with freedom, elegance and picturesque destinations, the nautical world has always been an invaluable source of inspiration for Dior and its creations. Today, Raf Simons upholds this heritage with the Cruise 2014 collection: his outfits feature all the elegance of a modern nautical look with timelessly chic styling. Transat, the summery look created by Dior makeup is reminiscent of these outfits. A radiant, sun-kissed complexion; ultramarine blue eyes; intense lips and nails with sailor stripes: Transat brilliantly breezes through summer. Nautical chic, Dior style."  I picked up one of the two eye shadow palettes in Atlantique.  The rope detailing and the colors very much align with the collection's description.





And I was pleased to see there was also a direct connection to the fashion that came down the runway for Dior's 2014 resort collection.  Compare the Transat promos to some of the looks at the show:

Dior-Transat-summer 2014-promo
(image from brownthomas.com)

(image from dior.tumblr.com)

(images from style.com)

I don't really have anything to add, except that I did come across more information in Dior's online magazine about how Dior was one of the first designers to introduce the notion of a resort collection, which was quite interesting.  "'As a true native of Granville, I have sea legs,'  wrote Christian Dior in his autobiography 'Christian Dior and Me'. The couturier grew up facing the ocean, in his beloved family villa perched on the cliffs of Granville, in Normandy. As a boy, he contemplated fishing boats with billowing sails and the Channel Islands, which seemed so near in fine weather.  Dior grew up gazing at an infinite horizon, which cultivated his taste for travel. This passion for elsewhere would last his entire life, and live in the heart of his creations. By 1948, he was a renowned couturier in France, and opened his house in the United States. He offered his American clients a collection called 'Resort and spring'. The clothes’ colors were summery, their materials and lines light and easy to wear, their names evocative of paradise : 'Bahamas', 'Honolulu', 'Palm Springs'. In America at that time, the fashion was for cruises, long voyages aboard a steamship with stops in sunny destinations. A quest for summer in the middle of winter; warm holidays spent on distant horizons during the coldest season of the year. One had to dress accordingly. One needed a wardrobe of outfits that were easy to pack and to wear, something ideally suited to long steamboat excursions. And the notion of Cruise collections was born.   'If you travel frequently, you will need clothes that don’t take up too much space, that are light and won’t wrinkle,'  Christian Dior wrote in his  Little Dictionary of Fashion ; and with his very first collections the designer expressed his taste for travel and marine codes (boat necks and sailor stripes).  In 1950, the press communiqué for his Resort collection specified that  'Monsieur Dior has chosen for his color palette soft variations on the magnificent colors of the South Seas',  and the couturier offered his French clients wide-brimmed hats, robes for lounging and shorts in floral or gingham fabrics with names like 'Bain de minuit', 'La Croisette' and 'Méditerrannée' – names that chimed with the dream of sunny, never-ending vacations.  Today, dreams of travel to sunny climes continue to inspire fashion at the House of Dior."  I tried to find images of some of these pieces but came up empty-handed.

While the design didn't knock my socks off the way those of previous Dior palettes have (i.e. Lady Dior or Tailleur Bar) I still think it's a solid addition to my summer-themed collectibles, given how well it ties into both a recent fashion collection and Dior's idea of resort wear over half a century ago.   The only downside is that it makes me yearn to take a fabulous trip on my non-existent yacht!

What do you think?

Couture Monday: Dior Trianon

Dior's spring 2014 collection was inspired by the Petit Trianon, part of Marie Antoinette's private estate.  From the Dior website:  "Christian Dior's beloved monarch, a flower-woman painted in a palette of wild roses, reigns supreme over Spring 2014. The Trianon Collection is an ode to the 18th-century aesthetic so adored by the founder of the 30, avenue Montaigne maison. Powdery colors and Fontanges bows capture the magic of Versailles and the palace gardens in full bloom."  Louis XVI bestowed the Petit Trianon to Marie Antoinette as a gift in 1775, who promptly overhauled the gardens surrounding it to suit her taste.  In my opinion, the spirit of the Petit Trianon was best represented in the colors in this collection, which encapsulate the hues of the lush variety of blooms.

I got the eye shadow palette in Pink Pompadour.  While Dior has utilized the bow motif many times before, I enjoyed the daintiness of this particular bow.




While there was no official Trianon theme for Dior's ready to wear spring 2014 fashion lineup, it was most certainly flower-focused.  Dior Artistic Director Raf Simons created a garden of sorts on the runway, where models walked underneath a canopy of hanging flowers.


(images from style.com)

The flowers used in the Trianon collection's promo images are quite similar to the ones that adorned some of the dresses.  Not only do the colors of the flowers match, they seem to be cut out and superimposed onto their respective backgrounds.


(images from backstage.dior.com)


Finally, the palette seen on the runway - pastels offset by hints of more vibrant shades - directly corresponds to the colors of the Trianon collection.

(image from style.com)

But what about those delicate little bows that were embossed on all the powder-based items from the Trianon collection?  Well, they may not have made an appearance in the ready-to-wear show, but they did peek out from the models' necks and hands at the couture show.


(images from style.com)

Thus there was some overlap with the couture collection as well as the ready-to-wear. 

While I appreciate the attempt to use Dior's fascination with Marie Antoinette and her private estate as the springboard for the Trianon collection, ultimately I didn't find it to be all that creative, especially since a garden-themed collection has been done before and with a much more meaningful foundation:  the spring 2012 Garden Party collection, which took the designer's magnificent childhood home and gardens as its inspiration.  The Trianon collection certainly had a nice selection of spring-appropriate colors, but the overall expression of the theme was lacking.

What did you think of this collection? 

Couture Monday: J'adore this perfumed powder from Dior

As the holidays near, I become less resistant to the lures of any luxe, shiny, metallic makeup items, particularly those with a pretty pattern.  Initially I wasn't going to purchase the Illuminating Powder but ultimately found myself helpless against the elegant gold packaging and shimmery delicate beaded design.  Plus, it's perfumed with Dior's J'Adore fragrance.  

There is another one available in Rose d'Or, which has a more pink hue, but the gold Perle d'Or appealed to me more.





The pattern reminded me of the dazzling gold beaded necklace Charlize Theron wears in the J'Adore ads.

(image from thebeautysmith.com)

What I didn't realize at first was that this necklace, and others in previous Dior ads like the one below, was used in the bottle's silhouette as a result of former Dior designer John Galliano's Maasai-inspired collections.

(image from thenonblonde.com)

His first collection for Dior debuted in 1997 and contained a high-fashion Western spin on the traditional bead and wire necklaces worn by the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania.

(image from maliciousglamour.tumblr.com)

More variations of these necklaces appeared in Galliano's 1998 creations as well.



I think the design on the Perle d'Or powder most closely resembles the pearl version of the necklace...

(image from styleregistry.livejournal.com)

...especially when you see it open.

(image from 1stdibs.com

I don't really want to get into how Galliano appropriated Maasai culture or his other racist views, but I will say that it's interesting how Dior reinterpreted some of their past designs in this powder. I like that's it not clear whether it's a literal representation of one of Galliano's necklaces or if it's vaguely based on the J'Adore perfume bottle and ads. 

What do you think of this compact?

Couture Monday: written in the stars

The star (haha) of yesterday's Color Connection is also the subject of Couture Monday.  The Bonne Etoile palette uses a motif Christian Dior believed helped seal his fate as a fashion designer.




As the story goes, in early 1946 Dior was debating whether to open his own couture house.  Wandering along rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, he nearly tripped over something in the street:  "Bending over, Christian Dior picked up an object that would restore his faith: a star, the one that will propel him into the firmament of haute couture and luxury, a guiding star showing him the path to follow. At that moment he knew his answer would be 'yes', that he could no longer ignore the hand of fate."  The star, though rusty, is still preserved at his house in Normandy.

(image from dior.com)

While the star was certainly important to Dior, it was never as ubiquitous in his designs as, say, the cannage pattern.  I could only find a few things that displayed the star motif, like this bracelet:

(image from dior.com)

There was also a "Lucky Star" palette offered for the 2005 holiday season.  I couldn't find any decent stock photos but you can see what it looks like here.

As for breaking out the star for this season's collection, there was no tie-in to the fashion.  The fall ready-to-wear show contained pieces featuring the early works of Andy Warhol, and the couture show had nothing to do with stars or even a sort of "mystical" theme that was the inspiration behind the makeup collection.  According to Dior's online magazine, "Mystic Metallics defines a mysterious universe in which the Dior woman as conceived of by Tyen, director of color creation, is resplendent in subtle and iridescent hues, as if by magic...'The harmonies I've created for this look reflect the galaxy's mysterious colors. It's a voyage from the earth to the moon,' claims Tyen."  I agree the Bonne Etoile palette represents Tyen's vision, but it's entirely different than what Raf Simons sent down the runway. 

What do you think about this palette and the star pattern?  While I don't think it's the greatest expression of something that was very dear to Dior, the colors are truly stunning.

Couture Monday: a classic from Dior

Today's installment of Couture Monday was supposed to be devoted to Marc Jacobs' new beauty line.  Unfortunately I was too lazy busy over the weekend to gather all the images I wanted.  Instead, today I bring you a lovely Dior palette released back in the spring in honor of the fashion house's arrival at Harrod's.  The My Lady palette is a blush/highlighter embossed with Dior's iconic cannage pattern.






I'm not going to pretend this pattern is something Dior hasn't done before in makeup.  The cannage motif is part and parcel of their current product lineup:



(images from sephora.com)

And appeared previously in a 2011 bronze/blush palette (albeit a different variation), as well as in their Lady Dior bag gloss:

Lady dior sephora

I'm also not going to delve into the complete history of the cannage pattern.  Suffice it to say that it was taken from the chairs Dior had selected for his very first fashion show in 1947.  In 1953 he began experimenting with the cannage pattern as a signature motif in his designs.

(image from the atticplace.tumblr.com)

The most famous example of the cannage pattern appears in the legendary Lady Dior bag, which was introduced in 1995.  A favorite of Princess Diana, it remains the best-selling Dior bag nearly 20 years later.  (You can watch a fascinating video of its production here.)

(image from dior.com)

According to Harrod's product description, the palette's pattern was meant to be a tribute to the Lady Dior bag.   However, to my eye the pattern on the My Lady palette most closely represents the My Dior jewelry line by Dior's Jewelry Director Victoire de Castellane rather than the Lady Dior bag.  This jewelry line debuted in spring 2012 and features a more textured version of the cannage pattern with twisted and tufted interwoven strands.



(images from dior.com)

In the grand scheme of things, I guess it doesn't matter exactly which cannage pattern was used in the palette - it's different enough from the others that were previously released and in the current product lineup.  Plus I think this one is the most visually appealing - the strands are thicker than those on the Lady Dior bag, but not quite so literally straw-like. 

What do you think?