Edi­tor’s Let­ter

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - News -

Just 10 pieces of blue pa­per: scis­sored art­fully to form sin­u­ous limbs, a volup­tuous thigh, fem­i­nine curves, a grace­ful head. Henri Matisse’s iconic gouache dé­coupée “Blue Nude II”, 1952, was among the last of his works, from his pro­lific se­ries of cut-outs made when he was no longer able to paint in his in­ca­pac­i­tated state – he de­scribed his ex­u­ber­ant, care­fully com­posed pieces of colour as “paint­ing with scis­sors.” These large-scale works make a dy­namic pres­ence in liv­ing colour at the sem­i­nal ex­hi­bi­tion ‘Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs’ at Tate Mod­ern in Lon­don, which moves to MoMA in New York in Oc­to­ber. Stars and swal­lows, globes and gold­fish: be­yond the vi­brant shades, pal­pa­ble en­ergy, and ki­netic ge­om­e­try, the vis­ual lan­guage of colour and shape is fun­da­men­tally about joy and life.

So much of the art we re­spond to to­day, in our in­creas­ingly fraught and frag­ile world, brims with pos­i­tive emo­tion and sim­ple forms. And the syn­ergy with fashion fol­lows. On the Au­tumn/Win­ter run­ways, there’s much de­light in the cu­ri­ous de­tail­ing at Cé­line and Dior (a

but­ton askew here, some shoe- l a c ing there); bright rave prints and Matisse-like colours; and of course the Pop­tas­tic spirit at Chanel and Moschino. Un­der­pin­ning, a new state of dress: Norm­core, a prac­ti­cally nor­mal and un­pre­ten­tious (but nonethe­less, very luxe) way of dress­ing makes its move as the new post-fashion fashion. We re­con­noitre all these ideas in this is­sue, which her­alds the start of a brand-new sea­son that has art at its heart.

This spirit con­tin­ues with the an­nual BAZAAR Hair Awards, where 117 prod­ucts, stylists, and treat­ments are ac­claimed for ex­cel­lence in cre­ation and cre­ativ­ity. Be­ing one of the judges gives me the priv­i­lege of ac­cess to the lat­est, where I’m happy to re­port that this year’s en­tries are the best yet. There’s so much ad­vanced re­search and devel­op­ment, with a fo­cus on quan­tifi­able re­sults – in just four weeks of test­ing and re­views, the qual­ity of my hair has vis­i­bly im­proved. But af­ter read­ing ‘The New Short Hair” (page 132), I just might take it all off for a mo­ment of light­ness and trans­for­ma­tion – what power in a pair of scis­sors! Sim­plic­ity can have such im­pact.

Natasha Kraal

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