Lu­cia Pica used the colours of her birth­place of Naples, with its misty pink sky­line and charred vol­canic ash, as in­spi­ra­tion for her lat­est makeup col­lec­tion for Chanel.

Fashion (Canada) - - CONTENTS - By Lesa Han­nah

Chanel’s lat­est makeup col­lec­tion is a love let­ter to Naples.

Though she moved away from her home­town of Naples at the age of 22 to pur­sue makeup artistry, Lu­cia Pica, global cre­ative makeup and colour de­signer for Chanel, of­ten finds her­self say­ing she never re­ally left. “It’s where I feel I be­long the most,” she says from a 19th-cen­tury villa over­look­ing the Posil­lipo coast. Now based in Lon­don, Pica drew in­spi­ra­tion from her own me­mories of grow­ing up in the south­ern Ital­ian city as well as the his­tory of the me­trop­o­lis it­self to cre­ate the brand’s Spring/Sum­mer 2018 cos­met­ics. “In many ways, this is a love let­ter to the city. I’m so en­am­oured with it,” she says.

With its di­verse cul­tural in­flu­ences—from the Ro­mans, the Byzan­tines and the Span­ish—Naples is known as a city of con­trasts, and this is also re­vealed in its ge­og­ra­phy. “There’s the clear green-blue wa­ter op­posed to the im­petu­ous vol­canic rock of Ve­su­vius,” says Pica of the fa­mous

moun­tain that last erupted in 1944, “the mys­ti­cal op­posed to the vi­brat­ing en­ergy of the city.” That live­li­ness, ap­par­ent in ev­ery­thing from the ar­chi­tec­ture to the at­ti­tude of the peo­ple, is what Pica sought to cap­ture. “I wanted to get all of this and trans­late it into my lan­guage, which is, of course, colour, tex­ture and makeup,” she says. Though she feels such an in­her­ent close­ness to Naples that all she has to do is close her eyes to see and “feel” its colours, Pica took two pho­tog­ra­phers and a direc­tor with her to shoot the re­gion. “I wanted to look at it through dif­fer­ent eyes,” she says. The group vis­ited places from Pica’s child­hood as well as lo­ca­tions “where [she] just liked the spirit of the city.”

Once the photos were printed, Pica and her team stud­ied them and be­gan to zero in on cer­tain things. Some were im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous, like the for­est-green-stained crack on a statue pedestal that she knew would be the colour of an eye­liner. The shot of fluffy fishing nets heaped on top of light blue rope—taken on the is­land of Pro­cida, where Pica took trips on Sun­days with her fa­ther and brother—didn’t re­veal it’s cos­metic in­ter­pre­ta­tion as quickly. “Lip­gloss came out of that,” she says, re­fer­ring to a sheer pale blue that when lay­ered over a bright lip­stick cre­ates a new muted hue. The pink tone of the hazy sky­line at dusk gave birth to a nail pol­ish, the metal­lic black-blue door at Gesù Nuovo church is the colour of a mas­cara and the black vol­canic ash from the is­land of Vul­cano in­spired another eye­liner.

The photos of Pom­peian fres­coes gave rise to an idea rather than a colour: Pica took the an­cient tech­nique of us­ing pig­ment pow­der mixed with wa­ter and ap­ply­ing it to damp plas­ter and in­ter­preted it into lip pal­ettes. Poudre à Lèvres comes with a clear balm that is topped with a tinted pressed lip pow­der to cre­ate a vel­vety matte mouth. “It takes you back and re­minds you of what the artists used to do,” she says. That a beauty prod­uct was in­spired by faded paint­ings is a nod to one of the things that con­tin­ues to in­trigue Pica about Naples: its de­te­ri­o­ra­tion. “Things are still a bit fatis­cente, which means ‘run­down,’” she says about the city. “There’s such beauty in im­per­fec­tion. That’s some­thing I’m al­ways into.”






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