Make-up de­signer LU­CIA PICA took to the road in search of colours for the lat­est Chanel col­lec­tion

#Legend - - BEAUTY -

TO FIND IN­SPI­RA­TION for the Chanel au­tumn/win­ter col­lec­tion of make-up this year, the Chanel global cre­ative make-up and colour de­signer, Lu­cia Pica, took a road trip through Cal­i­for­nia. Pica’s pur­pose was to ex­pe­ri­ence afresh the light and colours of the world out­side, and find a com­pletely new start­ing point for her cre­ative process. From misty dawns in the hills to high noon on the sun-dap­pled coast to the city lights pierc­ing the gritty noir of down­town Los An­ge­les, Pica’s jour­ney through Cal­i­for­nian time and space stirred her cre­ative imag­i­na­tion at ev­ery stage.

“I wanted to make my own mood board,” Pica says, ”to be in­spired by what is hap­pen­ing in the mo­ment.” She cap­tured images of fleet­ing, pho­to­genic mo­ments to record fresh nu­ances of colour and vis­ual tex­ture that could in­form the col­lec­tion. In that way, the col­lec­tion is about mem­o­ries, emo­tions and connections that colour can evoke, broad­en­ing

hori­zons in ev­ery sense. “We al­ways re­spect the fact that Chanel is a brand that tells its own, very im­por­tant story of the woman that went out there to search for things,” says Pica. “And she spent her time with artists and with a col­lec­tion of peo­ple who were in­spir­ing to her.” Pica went on the road with friends, who in­cluded pho­tog­ra­pher Max Farago. The idea was to cre­ate some­thing by putting them­selves in un­fa­mil­iar sit­u­a­tions.

Pica was un­sure at the start what colours the pal­ette for the lat­est col­lec­tion might turn out to con­tain. “I wasn’t just search­ing for colours, but find­ing new colours, as na­ture was giv­ing un­ex­pected com­po­si­tions of colours, both cold and warm, and new colours, liv­ing to­gether har­mo­niously. So that in­spired me in many ways,” she says. It made her think about the way peo­ple ap­ply make-up and the way brands put colours to­gether in a pal­ette.

“I’m al­ways try­ing to find the op­po­si­tion,” Pica says. “I think it’s some­thing that is very Chanel.” For eyes, the pal­ette has a dark­ness and in­ten­sity as enig­matic as the ocean that laps Cal­i­for­nian shores. For lips, it has the bright­est pop colours to ex­press ir­rev­er­ence and en­ergy.

The smoky shades in the pal­ette for Les 4 Om­bres eye shadow are oxy­genated by their out­doorsy in­spi­ra­tion, tones evok­ing deep wa­ter har­mon­is­ing with hues evok­ing cool air. Two other Chanel eye shad­ows, Ur­ban and Mem­ory, are a deep blue of petrol – the essence of a road trip.

Pica chose to ex­plore the colours of Los An­ge­les and the vicin­ity rather than those of Naples or Lon­don, where she feels equally at home. “When you think of a road trip, you think of the US,” she says. “But it’s also be­cause I’ve been going there for a long time. I like the life there, spent time there. I know, un­der­stand, the feel­ing of free­dom.”

The make-up de­signer was un­sur­prised to find colours that she was fa­mil­iar with in na­ture, but was struck by how they change as the day wears on. Pica even used the head­lights of her car to bathe na­ture’s colours in ar­ti­fi­cial light af­ter night fell. “At one point we had pho­tographed so much na­ture – the trip lasted four days – that I said to Max, ‘We need some­thing more gritty. We can’t have ev­ery­thing too per­fect. It needs to be some­thing po­etic, but with re­al­ity at the same time.’ ”

Putting to­gether the lat­est col­lec­tion was a chance for Pica to in­flu­ence and stamp her au­thor­ity on the col­lec­tive aes­thetic cul­ture of Chanel. “This project is a nice way of show­ing how I work,” she says. “This is very im­por­tant for Chanel, be­cause it’s about crafts­man­ship, it’s about balance – know­ing why these prod­ucts are so spe­cial – not just about my make-up rou­tine. It’s about tak­ing you into my world, the world that in­spires me to cre­ate colours for the col­lec­tion. And we go to a big ex­tent to dis­cover new colours, new tex­tures and how we put them to­gether. It’s also a nice way to in­spire peo­ple.”

Amer­i­can ac­tress Kris­ten Ste­wart, an am­bas­sador for Chanel, de­scribes Pica, when work­ing as a make-up artist, as a “ge­nius, and com­pletely in the zone”. Pica’s col­lec­tion in­cludes red eye shadow for Ste­wart. “Kris­ten was in the mo­ment where she had re­ally blonde hair,” Pica says. “I felt, like, OK, the colours will pop out. I felt, like, if I use anything too muted it wouldn’t re­spect her bleached blonde, re­bel­lious look. Be­cause of the natural light, it feels very bal­anced. It doesn’t feel too fake, even though it’s bold.”

Ste­wart’s con­ver­sa­tion is in­vari­ably stim­u­lat­ing, the make-up de­signer finds. “She can read you very fast,” Pica says. “She re­ally gets peo­ple, and sees the parts they try to hide. She’s su­per-in­tel­li­gent and in­spir­ing. You know how cer­tain peo­ple can give you a feel-good fac­tor? She does. She has a buzz. She has a vibe.”

Mil­len­ni­als overdo cos­met­ics, in Pica’s opin­ion. “I think they wear way too much make-up. But I was in­se­cure about the way I looked when I was young, so I used make-up to pro­tect me.” You can use make-up to ex­press your char­ac­ter, Pica be­lieves. She says you can­not al­ways change your look with de­signer clothes or in­ter­est­ing things. “But you can with your face,” she says. You should use make-up in the most per­sonal way, Pica says. “It’s about try­ing to look like every­body else, but in your own way – not the way your idol looks,” she says. “That’s what I like best.”

Pica works for oth­ers be­sides Chanel, and

“She [Kris­ten Ste­wart] can read you very fast. She re­ally gets peo­ple, and sees the parts they try to hide. She su­per-in­tel­li­gent and in­spir­ing. You know how cer­tain peo­ple give you a feel-good fac­tor? She does. She has a buzz. She has a vibe” LU­CIA PICA

will con­tinue to do so to fuel her cre­ativ­ity. “There is that free­dom and I think it’s im­por­tant to be out there and ex­chang­ing your­self with dif­fer­ent types of peo­ple. You can’t be too ex­cluded from oth­ers. You also need to be re­ac­tive.”

The make-up de­signer has some knowledge of the mar­ket for cos­met­ics in East Asia.

“I’ve been to Seoul, Tokyo, Shang­hai and

Hong Kong,” Pica says. “Korea, or Seoul, is in­ter­est­ing. Girls use su­per-bright or­ange lips, dark in the mid­dle and pink around. It’s a very strong colour aes­thetic. They be­lieve so pas­sion­ately in strong colour. They are very proud and bold in that way. It’s what I call a real-peo­ple at­ti­tude.

The spirit of the now legendary founder, the late Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, moves all that work for Chanel. Pica re­gards the founder as an ex­tra­or­di­nary woman. “Not only did she take women out of corsets and give them com­fort, she cre­ated sun-tan­ning lo­tion when it was un­ac­cept­able for women to be tanned,” Pica says. “She did so many ground­break­ing things which now ap­pear natural, but weren’t then. There was a lot of em­pow­er­ment. She did eye shadow in the 1930s. Al­ways for­ward-think­ing, she used to say: ‘Wear red lip­stick and at­tack’ She never stopped going for it.”

The Chanel make-up de­signer and the Chanel founder, would have seen eye to eye and ap­pre­ci­ated each other’s eye­liner.

Pre­vi­ous: Chanel’s Pal­ette Essen­tielle, the col­lec­tion’s cen­tre­piece; Lu­cia Pica Above: Kris­ten Ste­wart, brand am­bass­dor

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