10 posts tagged "François Nars"
Cosmetic giant NARS announced 68-year-old Charlotte Rampling as the brand’s new face earlier today. The British actress, a muse of founder and creative director François Nars, is set to star in a black-and-white campaign shot by Nars himself. “She is a natural beauty that feels strong yet relatable,” the company’s founder told WWD. “Charlotte’s ability of transformation is unparalleled. Whether captured in pieces of artwork, through the lens of a magazine photographer, or on film and the big screen, she has an amazing power to encompass a character.” With the brand’s impending twentieth anniversary, Nars believes that Rampling’s strength and mysterious air make her the perfect fit. It’s refreshing to see a real lady (and not a teenage model) steal the spotlight—and with labels like The Row (who cast 65-year-old Linda Rodin for their Pre-Fall lookbook) setting the trend for more senior moments, it appears the fountain of youth is quickly becoming overrated.
Spring’s bombed-out beach and choppy, bowl-style wigs gave way to a more “tonal” look that was as hauntingly beautiful as the night sky and cumulus clouds that floated above the Marc Jacobs runway. Instead of evoking kids who cut their own hair, these faux strands (inspired by Jessica Lange, whose voice carried through the air, and Polly Allen Mellen) were precise, blunt, and graphic—a job that could only be tasked to a master such as Guido Palau. “It’s so perfect that it looks futuristic; there’s no era reference when you look at the girls,” he explained. The five hair colors developed by Victoria Hunter at Whittemore House Salon were “pulled back” and “off”—almost like an “old lady” would layer watercolor-like hues over gray—creating an odd, mink-y brown, blond, or silvery white tinged with pink or purple, Palau said. “It’s like an illustration come to life,” he added. “Everything matches.”
Mimicking the colors and textures of the fabrics in the collection, François Nars focused his efforts on the eyes. A light gray shadow was dusted over the lid and accented by “touches of chocolate” outlining the crease and, lightly, the lower lash line. Brows were bleached and then dyed the same shade as the wig. “You used to see that on Vogue covers in the sixties; hairdressers would match the brows to the hair color,” he noted. Nars Lip Gloss in Striptease, a nude laced with silver, was dabbed onto the lips with his fingertip to catch the light.
Manicurist Marian Newman extended the color palette all the way down to models’ fingers, painting nails with five custom-blended lacquers from the designer’s eponymous cosmetics collection that ranged from pale porcelain to purple-y mushroom (available for Fall 2014). The total package was, as Palau described, “a bit eerie and unsettling,” but completely calculated and immaculate—obviously the work of a man who strives for perfection.
With temperatures expected to drop into the teens tomorrow, I figured now is the perfect time to share NARS’ steamy new Spring 2014 campaign video featuring model Toni Garrn, makeup artist Diane Kendal, hair guru Garren, and, of course, founder François Nars behind the lens. With shades inspired by lush, tropical fruit (like a guava-hued lip gloss and cantaloupe-colored nail polish) and metallic shadows and liners (lending lids that slick, fresh-out-of-the-water sheen), this collection will certainly help dispel those winter blues and brighten up a black-and-gray cold-weather wardrobe.
Available January 15 at NARS boutiques
Makeup artist Nick Barose is clear on one thing: He is not quitting his day job. Barose is the man behind the maquillage for celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o and Kate Mara, but like many other face painters—Serge Lutens, Tyen, François Nars, and Kevyn Aucoin (whom he assisted)—taking photos, and sometimes starring in them, is how he makes his dreams a reality. “It gets frustrating when you have a vision in your head and you can’t bring [it] to life because nobody would shoot it, or it ends up being their vision,” Barose explained. In order to assume creative control, he took the lessons he learned at the International Center of Photography—and from working on the sets of Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, and Patrick Demarchelier—eliminated the flaky models, and created a series of self-portraits in which he explores his Asian roots. “My grandfather was a well-known classical Thai dancer for King Rama VI and had his own troop,” he said. To make these exotic looks appear more authentic, he explored traditional methods of makeup application—opting for fingers and sticks over a bevvy of brushes. Here, the behind-the-scenes mainstay talks us through his time spent in front of the lens:
“I was inspired by the iconic image Monsoon Girl by photographer Brian Brake. I re-created it by using cream bronzer to make my skin more coppery—outdoorsy, like the kind of guy that’s out farming all day, every day—and a little bit of black kohl liner to make my eyes more exotic. The fake raindrops were created with a garden hose, and the bananas came from my parents’ backyard in Thailand.”
“I enjoy looking at photographs of sadhus [holy men] in India. They use only a few colors to paint their faces and all are from nature, like yellow, red, black, brown, and white—which usually come from cow dung and mud. I only used the palms of my hands, fingertips, and a few sticks to create this organic, earthy look.”
“Inspired by Red Boy by Steve McCurry—a photo of a boy at the Holi festival in India that appeared in National Geographic—I used my grandmother’s vintage teacup as a prop, as well as my dad’s ruby rings. The red face paint was actually MAC blush in Frankly Scarlet.”
“This is Princess Rojana and Prince Sung Thong from iconic Thai [folklore]. In this story, the prince has a beautiful golden body inside, but only a person worthy enough would see his true form—an ugly version is on display for everyone else. I interpreted this with gold face paint and the mask on top. Princess Rojana sees the prince’s true [self], so she threw a garland at him and chose Sung Thong as her husband. I had to drape that costume a certain way so that it would cover my bicep and make my arm appear more feminine!”
“I love looking at my grandparents’ vintage portraits. They got all dressed up and posed properly—sometimes with props like flowers, a fan, etc. For this portrait, I painted a unibrow, like in an old Indian painting. I lit it very specifically so the sparks in my eyes mimic the sparks in the earring.”
Art begets art. And two beauty giants’ most recent makeup collections—NARS + Guy Bourdin and Shu Uemura + Takashi Murakami—prove just that. But much like the artists whose work inspired them, they couldn’t be more different. Photographer/provocateur Guy Bourdin was actually one of François Nars’ early inspirations to pursue a beauty career, and it’s easy to understand why: makeup—severe makeup, at that—figures large in his images. Bourdin’s studies of dangerously beautiful women usually in various states of undress, and always in compromising positions, may not win any feminist accolades, but photographically speaking, they are stunning, and his signature dramatic, color-saturated style translates easily to cosmetics. The NARS collection is chock-full of the same intense hues as Bourdin’s image—particularly striking are the nail polish in Follow Me and blush in Coeur Battant (both, a vivid fuchsia), the Cinematic eye shadow in Wishful Thinking (a deep cobalt), and the Cinematic lipstick in Short Circuit (a bright, orangey red). At the opposite end of the artistic inspiration spectrum is the Shu Uemura/Takashi Murakami mash-up. The eighteenth collaboration between the Japanese beauty brand and neo-Pop artist extraordinaire takes its cues from Murakami’s forthcoming 6 Heart Princess animation series, and the graphics and colors of Uemura’s interpretive makeup are fittingly lighthearted and whimsical—think pretty pinks, iridescent pastels, and quietly shimmery grays. My favorite: the Lip & Cheek Fun-tasy in Magical Red, a perfect crimson with a velvety finish. Both collections are, in this critic’s estimation, affordable art at its finest.