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.