TO THE MOON AND BACK

Leg­endary makeup artist François Nars un­veils his col­lab­o­ra­tion with iconic French pho­tog­ra­pher Sarah Moon.

Elle (Canada) - - Beauty - BY VIC­TO­RIA DIPLACIDO

at the back of François Nars’ mind is a run­ning list of all the peo­ple with whom he wants to work. Usu­ally they’re artists—ones he has ad­mired since child­hood, says NARS’ founder and cre­ative di­rec­tor. You may rec­og­nize some of them from the brand’s highly cov­eted col­lab­o­ra­tions, like con­tem­po­rary (and no­to­ri­ously provoca­tive) pho­tog­ra­pher Steven Klein, with whom Nars part­nered for a lim­it­ededi­tion col­lec­tion last hol­i­day sea­son. Be­fore that, Andy Warhol- and Guy Bour­din-in­spired col­lec­tions be­came in­stant col­lec­tor’s items. This year, Nars has teamed up with Sarah Moon, the French artist and pho­tog­ra­pher known for her ethe­real, Im­pres­sion­ist-style work. Born Marielle Warin, Moon be­gan her ca­reer as a model un­der the name Marielle Hadengue but then adopted her cur­rent moniker and de­voted her­self to pho­tog­ra­phy. Since then, she has worked for Chanel, Dior and Comme des Garçons and was the first wo­man to shoot the Pirelli calendar.

Nars re­calls how he felt when, back in the ’70s, he picked up an is­sue of ELLE France and saw a cam­paign Moon had worked on for French fash­ion la­bel Cacharel early in her ca­reer. “They looked like paint­ings; they were gor­geous,” he says. “Through those pho­tos, you can see how much tal­ent Sarah al­ready had. It was pretty ob­vi­ous.” This was why, Nars says, his fo­cus was on cre­at­ing the prod­uct names and colour pal­ette for the 15 lim­ited-edi­tion lip, eye, cheek and nail prod­ucts, while Moon was given carte blanche to work on the hol­i­day gift col­lec­tion, for which she shot 11 orig­i­nal pho­tos—the first time an artist has cre­ated new art­work for one of the brand’s col­lab­o­ra­tions.

The im­por­tance Nars placed on Moon’s artis­tic vi­sion is beau­ti­fully ap­par­ent in the Eye and Cheek Pal­ette. The pack­age was re­designed to open ver­ti­cally rather than hor­i­zon­tally to ac­com­mo­date the ori­en­ta­tion of Moon’s full-body pho­to­graph of model Codie Young, who is wear­ing a Lucite corset cre­ated for the shoot by London-based milliner Lara Jensen and styled by Patti Wil­son. Moon’s over­sight ex­tended to the de­sign of the gift sets, which are re­fresh­ingly free of the trap­pings of tra­di­tional hol­i­day pack­ag­ing (i.e., kitschy, fes­tive de­tails that feel tired come Jan­uary 1). “Be­fore I knew François, for me the whole im­age of the NARS brand was of skin: translu­cent and trans­par­ent,” says Moon of the de­sign process. “He said to bring an ob­ject [that in­spired me], and I brought a Plex­i­glas box.” From there, Moon worked with Fa­bien Baron, founder of de­sign agency Baron & Baron—who also de­signed the NARS logo— to cre­ate semi-trans­par­ent gift boxes that in­cor­po­rate el­e­ments of her pho­to­graphs.

Nars works to come up with shade names—with­out the as­sis­tance of a copy­writ­ing team—jot­ting down ideas in a red Her­mès note­book and cross­ing them off as he uses them. This is a task that he says is get­ting more chal­leng­ing as the brand ap­proaches its 23rd year in busi­ness. “I’m al­ways look­ing for names that re­ally click, not just a name for a name,” he says. Nars is re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing such iconic shade names as “Or­gasm.” “It could be some­thing crazy, sum­mon an emo­tion, be a beau­ti­ful name or the name of a city, but it re­ally has to have a strong mean­ing for me.” To con­tinue the nam­ing con­ven­tion used with the Au­da­cious line of lip­sticks, he chose “Sarah” (for Moon, who doesn’t wear lip­stick but thinks “it’s lovely that there’s a lip­stick with my name”) and “Codie” (for the model fea­tured in the col­lec­tion’s pho­tos) to add to the line.

“I tried to cre­ate makeup that would re­ally cor­re­spond to Sarah’s world and her vi­sion of beauty,” says Nars. “She has a very strong aes­thetic when it comes to makeup and women.” Moon, who gave the name “Truth or Dare” to an item in the col­lec­tion, says it rep­re­sents her ap­proach to beauty. “Truth, be­cause makeup has to be you some­how, but also dar­ing—you, plus more,” she says. “There is a kind of fic­tion in ev­ery wo­man. That is the story of makeup.” n

Anna Cleve­land, daugh­ter of ’70s model Pat Cleve­land, is fea­tured in the im­agery, as is model Codie Young. NARS Sarah Moon Give in Take Dual-In­ten­sity Eye and Cheek Pal­ette ($85); Nail Pol­ish in La Dame en Noir, Never Tamed and FlonFlons ($26 each) The fu­tur­ism of the film Metropo­lis was an in­spi­ra­tion for the col­lab­o­ra­tive—and highly cre­ative—hol­i­day col­lec­tion, which in­cludes NARS Sarah Moon Duo Eye­shadow in Quai des Brumes and In­des Galantes ($44 each). For de­tails, see Shop­ping Guide. NARS Sarah Moon Matte Lip­stick in In­de­cent Pro­posal and Blood Red ($36 each)

The Glass Metropo­lis Mini Au­da­cious Lip­stick Cof­fret ($150) houses the firstever minia­ture-sized Au­da­cious lip­sticks.

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