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MAC Goes Dutch

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To say that MAC has a wide reach is a vast understatement. The cosmetics giant is becoming increasingly well known for its collaborative ventures, having partnered with Sanrio, Liberty of London, and Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet over the course of the last two years. Just last month, it added Disney to its list of collaborators, giving the company’s infamous evil queens and wicked stepmothers the spotlight in the commendably named Venomous Villains collection.


“We like to surprise our customers,” MAC’s senior vice president of global product development, Jennifer Balbier, said last night at Scarpetta, where she and a restaurant’s worth of beauty, fashion, and art enthusiasts had gathered to welcome MAC’s latest partner in crime, Marcel Wanders. “Makeup has been on my agenda for a long time,” the Dutch design phenom said, as revelers like Visionaire‘s Cecilia Dean, Lorenzo Martone, designer Bibhu Mohapatra, and photographer Matthew Rolston sipped cocktails and chatted. Following on his crystal pieces for Baccarat, home wares for Target, a fragrance bottle for Cacharel, and (coming soon to a KLM business class flight near you) abstract cutlery and table settings, this will be Wanders’ first venture into the world of makeup. “It’s the major league of designing for women,” Wanders says of his latest endeavor. The 14-piece range, which hits shelves November 24, includes lipsticks, Lip Glasses, face powders, a fragrance, a brush, and a clutch, all of which are packaged Wanders-style in glossy black faceted compacts and cases resembling milled wooden objects. “I like to make things with old metaphors and new metaphors at the same time,” Wanders explained, singling out a lone brush. “[My company] is so Dutch, I thought it was nice to make a cultural connection,” he said of the tool, extolling the virtues of great Dutch masters like Vermeer, who painted women with the same device that they might use to paint themselves.


As much as we appreciate a good art-beauty metaphor (and we do), we were more impressed with the lipsticks: Catharina, a creamy fuchsia, and Digna, a blackened red, are both winners. We also liked the tuberose-infused solid perfume bauble and the Sheer Mystery Powder, which has an embossed silhouette on its surface. “It’s my face with a clown’s nose on it,” Wanders divulged. “My work is very personal.”

Photo: Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

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