• Whisper, don’t shout – notes on Brion’s 75th anniversary celebration at Pitti Uomo 97

    Written by Philip Warkander by Sandra Myhrberg

    The cleverest way of speaking about fashion is to discuss something else entirely, letting the subject only appear in-between the lines, as subtle allusions while seemingly seeming to focus on something else entirely. During Pitti Uomo 97, at the beautiful, 15th-century Palazzo Gerini in central Florence, Brioni celebrated their 75-year anniversary by doing just that. As guests arrived to the candle-lit hallways of the palazzo’s ground floor, servants circulated with silver trays serving prosecco, drinks and sparkling water. On the primo piano, a long series of rooms that were interconnected with one another had been carefully staged by Olivier Saillard, famous for his romantic and rather personal approach to fashion. Magical and mysterious (at times so much that it was bordering kitsch), the rooms were dark and the large chandeliers had been wrapped in thin, white cloth, the only source of light coming from the many candles placed on floors, shelves and tables all around us.

    In every room, a small concert was being performed. Beginning with a quartet performing Italian classics, the next offered a quintet playing Mozart, followed by yet another playing Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme for two cellos”, and so on for what seemed like a moment lasting forever. All guests were quiet, listening only to the music while being escorted by elegant young men, all dressed in (Brioni) black. Due to the beauty of the spaces and the music playing, it took me some time to realize that the musicians were all dressed in Brioni’s AW20-collection. Showcasing a collection on non-models can be challenging, which might in part explain the subdued lighting at the Palazzo, but it also speaks to the brand’s ambition to be part of men’s everyday experience, rather than be seen as merely yet another fashion statement.

    For those interested in fashion history, the event could also be considered a nod to the past as in 1952, at Florence’s Palazzo Pitti, just a few hundred meters away, Brioni organized the world’s first ever fashion show for men. After passing through all six concerts, guests gathered once more on the ground level, speaking quietly amongst themselves about what they had just witnessed. Most seemed to agree that this is how fashion should be presented in order to fully make sense – as part of a larger cultural landscape, integrated with other expressions such as music, architecture and historical interiors, instead of as a 15 minutes show with limited longevity. Speaking to our emotions and intellect at the same time, this even will linger on in memory.

  • Chanel Beauty backstage - Métiers d’Art

    Written by Pari Damani

    Interview by Chanel

    The Chanel 2019/20 Métiers d’Art show took place in Paris 4th of December 2019, the catwalk was build to resemble Mademoiselle Chanel’s apartment on 31 Rue Cambon in Paris.  An interview by Chanel with Lucia Pica, Global Creative Make-Up and Color Director for Chanel, backstage images, the makeup she created for the show and her inspiration for the looks. The skin was prepped with hydra beauty micro serum following with moisturizer la solution 10 de Chanel and finally hydra beauty micro gel yeux, for the eyes.

    What were your sources of inspiration for this makeup? What brief did Virginie Viard give you? 
    LP: The sources of inspiration were the beautiful mirror stairs and the craftsmanship of Métiers d’Art. I wanted to play with texture and materials.

    Can you describe the fashion show makeup?
    LP: The first look was a masculine-feminine one realized with the Baume Essentiel Transparent with the accent of a strass placed in the inner corners of the eyes to catch the light.  There was the mascara Le Volume Revolution De Chanel Mascara 10 Noir on the top and bottom lashes.

    The second look was a wash of silver on the eyelid realized with Les 4 Ombres 334 Modern Glamour, that went into the inner corners of the eyes and underneath in a straight strong line focused just in the inner part of the eye. This look has a cool minimal 90’s vibe.

    The third one was a more sophisticated and feminine one. The skin was perfect, thanks to Les Beiges Eau De Teint. The focus was on the perfectly shaped glossy burgundy lips. First, I defined the lips with Le Crayon Levres 188 Brun Carmin. Then I applied Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme 130 Rouge Obscur direct from the bullet of on the lips. I finished the look with Rouge Coco Gloss 772 Epique on top to deepen and intensify. On the eyes, I applied a touch of Baume Essentiel Transparent and mascara Le Volume Revolution De Chanel Mascara 10 Noir on the top lashes only.

    The eyebrows are groomed and boyish in all the three looks. First, I used Le Stylo Sourcils Waterproof and then The Gel Sourcils to add depth and volume to hairs.

    Do you have any professional tips and tricks to share with us?
    LP: To have a strong defined glossy lip with a solid colour, layer the lip pencil all over the mouth, a strongly pigmented lipstick and a high shine gloss.

    Is there a product that you particularly enjoyed using for this makeup look?
    LP: The Baume Essentiel Transparent. It’s perfect to recreate the high gloss eyes of the show for your day to day life. It adds freshness to the look and highlights naturally.


    Pitti Uomo 97: Jil Sander vs. Sergio Tacchini Or the battle between cultural capital and commercial fashion

    Written by Philip Warkander by Sandra Myhrberg

    The Santa Maria Novella building complex, next to the train station in Florence, is home to one of the best-known of all Florentine companies, Officina Profumo – Framaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, founded already in 1612 by monks living in the monastery. The apotecharcy was established already in 1221, when monks were asked to take care of the city’s outcasts, and to this day, all products are made by hand. It is a site that tells of centuries of historical events, from the creation of the first alcohol-based perfume (commissioned by Catherine de’ Medici), the monks’ combatting the spread of the Black Death and their subsequent invention of rose water (!).
    That Jil Sander would choose a venue as rich as this is hardly surprising. Since married couple Luke and Luice Meier took over as creative directors of the brand in 2017, the brand has been on a very consistent and clear path. The fashion show at Pitti Uomo 97 was no exception to this strategy and can best be summarized as, “old Céline for the new man”, which might deserve a brief explanation: When Phoebe Philo left Céline (a few months after the Meiers took up the design positions at Jil Sander) she left a big gap in the market for the well-informed, educated and affluent client, wanting to dress fashionably but wary of big logotypes and marketing ploys. During Philo’s reign, Céline represented a unique perspective on fashion and was generally considered the epitome of good taste. The team at Jil Sander has been quick in attempting to fill up this space by creating understated, minimalist and sleek clothes, more in line with a classic style statement than a trend-driven fashion look. Today, this market is not only for the aesthetically adept woman but also for the equally style conscious man, more commonly known as “the new man”.
    A fashion show is in many ways similar to a symphony. The looks need to presented in a particular order to create harmony, the tonality and composition is dependent on how casting, lighting, music and styling come together to enhance the story of the design. This show was – as expected – well executed and true to the brand values of Jil Sander – black and white looks and every now and then discreet nods to the famous, deconstructed design practice of Helmut Lang. But, at times the design seemed slightly off, and there was something lacking in the presentation.
    Is there such a thing as trying to hard when it comes to branding? When does a fashion house risk appearing too obvious in their marketing strategies? If equal effort had been put into the garments as in the selection of the show venue, the show could have been both beautiful and inspiring, but unfortunately, in its current state it wouldn’t receive a higher grade than a solid C.
    In comparison, the combination of retrospective installation and collection presentation by Sergio Tacchini, organized in the outskirts of Florence in the magnificent Tepidarium del Roster just a few hours later, was something entirely different. Instead of imitating the work of others or trying hard to find inspiration elsewhere, the brand offered a transparent and clever display of both its history in sportswear and the up-coming collection of AW20. Tacchini celebrated designs of different eras from their archives by simply showcasing where they came from and in what kind of spaces their clothes had normally been used, in this way creating an event that was at the same time fun and engaging but also honest and to the point.
    Many of this season’s Pitti Uomo-visitors seemed to prioritize the glamorous Jil Sander runway show and neglect to go see the seemingly more pedestrian brand presentation of Sergio Tacchini. This is somewhat understandable but also regrettable as that evening, it was the commercial and unpretentious Sergio Tacchini who appeared to be the most innovative of the two.