Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Put Your Best Face Forward

Lately with all the hype over designers collaborating with clothing retailers for capsule collections for the so called masses (think Versace for H&M), one also thinks of other collaborations that have taken place especially where cosmetics are concerned.

We have those designers who have refused to collaborate at all for the fear that it might cheapen their image. On the other hand others have partnered up with every fashion-related endeavor under the sun. Some fashion stalwarts have taken an out of the box approach to their collaborations, bringing some designer cachet to our faces instead. It seems a natural step for some designers who want to achieve a total look.

With his original 2005 Estée Lauder collaboration, Tom Ford kicked off a small wave of designer-beauty brand partnerships. Tom Ford for Estée Lauder was short-lived, however, and intentionally so — the beauty giant turned the collection into a permanent, standalone Tom Ford beauty line in 2006.

Gareth Pugh, the fashion-forward Lady Gaga designer favorite, admits that even he uses MAC Cosmetics, so a partnership with the beauty brand seems natural. Pugh’s dark and stormy aesthetic has been translated into an array of dark pigments and angular packaging. The limited-edition line will be available from November 23 to December 23.

Okay, so Lagerfeld actually collaborates extensively, but his latest endeavor is too good to leave off this list. The designer’s new line for Sephora includes an eye palette and nail polish, and totally inexplicably, a Karl lookalike doll. Unfortunately for those of you in the Americas the range is only available at physical outposts of Sephora in Europe and Singapore.

The up-and-coming designer and CFDA award-winner Chris Benz has yet to dip a toe into the world of fast fashion. However, he’s already partnered twice with the venerable Parisian beauty brand Lancôme, first on a single lipstick and then on a complete beauty product-filled summer tote.

From a Paris couture house long-celebrated for its romantic use of pattern and colour, to the modern evolution of Ungaro today, this was an interesting debut. Live from backstage at the Fall 2008 collections, Ungaro designer Esteban Cortazar, and MAC came together to create a special colour collection as dreamy, refined, and, well, Parisienne as anything this side of the Avenue Georges Cinq.

Back in 2007 McQueen created a Cleopatra-inspired look featuring bold, beautiful blue and green shades for MAC. “Alexander McQueen was very specific about the makeup direction and I translated his ideas of Egyptian, graphic, bold colored makeup into a look that was strong yet hypnotic;” said Charlotte Tilbury, the key makeup artist for McQueen.

So if you missed out on lining up for the likes of Missoni, Versace and others for fast fashion at the crack of dawn, a little bit of designer glam for your face will go a long way and a much easier alternative.
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