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YSL Paints It Black


Of his many, many contributions to the annals of fashion history, one of Yves Saint Laurent’s single biggest gifts to womenswear has to be Le Smoking. A tuxedo cut for the feminine figure without sacrificing the toughness of the masculine original, it was an achievement in liberation, effectively giving women the official go-ahead to wear pants in the evening. Stefano Pilati is plenty aware of the design’s importance—and its versatility. The house’s current creative director looked to the classic suit as the inspiration for YSL’s holiday makeup range. There are some colorful additions to the cosmetics dreamt up by Pilati and YSL international makeup artist Lloyd Simmonds, of course—four new shades of its Rouge Pur Couture lipstick and three new Golden Glosses scattered with white gold flecks. But it’s the black and white pieces that stand out most, the Manicure Couture Duo Terriblement Noir in No. 6, specifically. We’re not usually black nail polish wearers, but this is black nail polish, YSL-style, and features obsidian lacquers in a matte and high-shine finish with this recommendation from Simmonds: Apply two coats of the matte followed by a thick French tip of the glossy. It’s supposed to recall the textural contrast of a satin lapel against a cotton or wool jacket, but it really doesn’t need any contextual grounding to register as undeniably chic.

YSL Beauté Manicure Couture Duo Terriblement Noir in No. 6, $30, available November 2011 at

Photo: Courtesy of YSL Beaute

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