It it was announced in January that Alber Elbaz would be collaborating with Lancôme on a limited-edition makeup collection, representing his first-ever foray into the challenging domain of powders, pigments, and polish.
Celia Ellenberg luckily gets a closer interview with Alber,and at the end of Lavin
show,Alber comes out and explained "all I see are people's eyes,while showing me a colorful pop-up-book-turned-press-release full of his iconic sketches during a meeting with Lancôme president Youcef S. Nabi at Hôtel Le Bristol in Paris last month. "It all stems from the curvaceous mascara bottles. The moment I saw them, I thought of women's bodies," he continued, flipping the pages of the heavy card stock that depicted renderings of four of Lancôme's best-selling mascaras—Hypnôse Drama, Hypnôse Doll Lashes, Hypnôse Star, and Définicils—as front-row regulars. "This is where I'm looking today. Less generic and more handmade, more colorful," he continued.
Due out in limited quantities come June, the nine-piece range also includes one set of false lashes and four different Color Design Eye Shadow Palettes, each bearing the same four motifs scrawled onto the mascara tubes in blue stars, red hearts, pink polka dots, and green heavily lashed lids. An animated video bringing Elbaz's pop-up book to life will go viral in anticipation of their launch. "The idea was, either Alber invents something totally new or we build on something. So we decided to go with the best sellers of Lancôme," essentially letting Alber "dress" them, Nabi explained.
Royal`s summary:It looks Alber adds Lancôme another two levels-"Happiness"and "Romance".
*Alber Desses Up Lancôme,And Makes Essence Happy And Romantic
The Exclusive Interview Of Alber Elbaz
-ALBER ELBAZ DISCUSSES HIS NEW MAKEUP LINE, THE STATE OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY, AND WHY THE ESSENCE OF LUXURY IS HAPPINESS
CE: How did this collaboration come about?
AE: The whole thing started really many years ago. Right after school, I was working in New York and once a year would go back home, and when I stopped at the duty-free, my feet would take me to the stand of Lancôme. I didn't have much money, and I had to decide what I'd buy for my mom: Would it be a night or day product? Would it be for the eyes or for the lips? Would it be a big one or a small one? Should I buy two small or one big? For me, Lancôme was more than just a brand. There was something very nostalgic about the name, about the whole story. Then about four years ago, I met Youcef.
So the two of you were friends before you started working together. Did that make the creative process easier or more difficult?
Because we were friends, there was always some sort of a danger, like because as a friend it's better not to work together. But somehow I discovered the depth of Youcef and [Youcef's] way of working. At Lancôme, they have a table like this [motions to the room's conference table], but fifteen times bigger, a round table. There was something very right about sitting at a table that was not square. Because when you sit at a round table, your work is based on a dialogue. We have to understand the need and how you transfer need into desire. This is maybe the essence of design, because you actually need nothing, but maybe you desire something. So how do we change that? We're living also in a time that is quite different. I think that the world is changing, the Internet is changing.
Has the technological shift affected the way you design, both in your fashion and now in your beauty pursuits?
I always work with mirrors, but now I also say that I work with a screen. Many, many times I find that whatever is looking good on the screen doesn't always look or feel good on the body. So who do we design for—do we design for the screen, or do we design for women? This is a major question. Does it have to only photograph well, but it doesn't matter how it looks in real life? It's like some of those parties that are being filmed, they're the most boring parties, because it's all about how it looks on the screen. I felt that there was a need for something different. When I'm entering some of the stores, I'm scared of the sales ladies, I'm scared to touch—god forbid! [With this collection] I was in the mood for something that was more authentic and more personal—to go and to create almost like a fairy tale, to go to the essence of luxury, which is happiness. Because you know what? When you're scared, you may buy for $1,000, but when you're happy, you might buy for $10,000!
What makes a launch—this one specifically—more authentic and personal?
That it's not just about marketing, but it's maybe about a story—a story of a woman. It can be any woman. Not like a muse—she doesn't have to be a blonde or brunette, or tall or short. The question I'm being asked today many times, almost by everyone, is, "Is there a difference between Asian women and American women, between Japanese and Chinese?" I think that there isn't, because every woman I know loves to wear a dress in red, and they all cry for the same reason. It's just about humanity. Even with the press kits we do, usually we have formulas. It has to be with a dossier, we have to have photos, we have to have this. [Lancôme] allowed me, with the support of [Youcef] and the team, to think and to say, "Let's go with what we really envy." And this was like the beginning of the project. When I saw [the press kit], I understood the project. It wasn't about something that you just delete. It's a handmade book, it's handmade sketches. Everything was less generic.
What evokes the fairy tale to make something an object of desire versus just, say, a piece of makeup?
It's never just a piece of makeup. It's something a bit deeper than that. I think that sometimes when you work on design, you work on reflection. If it's ugly, you create ugly, or because it's ugly, you try to bring back beauty. I think that we're in a time today that we're turning into an industry of power. Power creates fear. I feel it—the time and stress. Everybody I speak with today, they're all telling me the same thing, that it's an endless amount of shows around the world, endless things to cover, and everybody wants to have a part of you. I think that here [with this collection]—and I'll give the credit to Youcef, because it was [Youcef's] idea, [Youcef] wanted to go back to something that is totally happy and cheerful and colorful. I got into it, and the more I got into it, the more I enjoyed doing it. It's not the reflection of the times, but it's maybe the remedy of the times.