When Meadham Kirchhoff showed their fall 14 collection in February, it wasn’t just anticipation that was in the air. British fashion’s reigning enfants terribles had somehow, ingeniously, infused the cavernous Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern with Tralala, the label’s debut eau de parfum produced in association with the profoundly English perfume house Penhaligons.
The heritage brand’s flacons were a clue. The small icons of stately Edwardiana were draped in heliotrope velvet and the stoppers were painted like children's drawings of doll heads. The frothily-named fragrance was formulated by Bertrand Duchaufour, who spent time in the designers’ East End studio to immerse himself in their subversive, hyper-feminine sensibility. The result is an opulent combination of whiskey, tuberose, carnation, and leather that’s every bit as nostalgic, decadent and intoxicating as a Meadham Kirchhoff dress.
$200 (100 ml) at Saks Fifth Avenue and online
Feting the 50th anniversary of its first scent, Y, Yves Saint Laurent threw itself an intimate soiree in a private manse in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. A gallery of cutting-edge ad campaigns over the years, including those conceived by David Lynch, provided the backdrop for a retrospective.
Guests were then swept to a secret location where the new Black Opium scent was unveiled. As suggested by the campaign, starring model Edie Campbell running through the streets of Shanghai, the fragrance is a rock-inspired update of the label's classic 1977 Opium. The new iteration, however, is said to be even more mysterious than its predecessor, a headier mix of fruit and spices.
Black Opium, available September 2014
The joy of Joya candles is their endless repertoire of unconventional scents. Their newest, a very advance preview of a holiday scent in the works, is a collaboration with Katz's Deli. The candle, made in New York City, is hand-poured into souvenir drinking glasses from the Lower East Side institution bearing an illustration of the 126-year-old Jewish delicatessen. The noses at Joya like to joke that the candle smells like salami, or perhaps pastrami, but in fact its notes include chocolate syrup, whole milk, and cold seltzer — for a more palatable chocolate egg-cream aroma.
$25 at Joya (same-day shipping available)
A study by the University of New South Wales, Australia, has concluded that we as a society have reached a saturation point with facial hair. Clearly this is nothing more than beard blasphemy! The so-called research used a mere 36 photos of men in full beard, short beard, and no beard — how can that possibly reflect the full range of whiskers? — which were then shown to a small sampling of 1,500 people. The researchers apparently found that those people, who've obviously never jumped in the sack with a beard, ranked them negatively.
Ok, so perhaps beards are a little ubiquitous and slightly grating, especially when celebrities glom onto the tonsorial trend yet bring no new ideas to the chin. However, we submit it really depends on the beard. Van Dykes and Van Winkles are certainly out; in fact they were never in. Same with handlebar mustaches and goatees. Elaborate beards in the shape of multi-masted schooners are suitable only for German biergartens. But otherwise beards are the height of manly sexiness. So channel your inner pogonophile and embrace the face jungle, we say. Let it tickle your neck and southward, and don't let some feckless study rain on your hirsute pursuit.
YSL Beauté has released campaign images for its new Kiss and Blush cosmetics line, seemingly ripped from the headlines — those headlines being Cara Delevingne locking lips with her partner, the actress Michelle Rodriguez, every chance they get.
In the coral-lipped, bushy-browed images, North Carolina model Ondria Hardin looks ready to plant one on the British supe, and the British supe is hardly pushing back. They then appear to take the action inside.
The real-life couple was spotted on a trip to Cancun, Mexico, last week. While taking a dip in the ocean, Cara accidentally on purpose lost her bikini top, but continued frollicking in the waves and smooching Michelle.
Backstage each season, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler rely on M.A.C. prods to give their models their glam yet nonchalant glow. Now they're making it official, collaborating with the cosmetics brand on a limited-edition collection for spring.
In keeping with their rich and unusual color choices, the boys have come up with a sunset palette for their 15-piece range, including coral lip pencils, blush in tie-dye shades, and neon eye shadow — all in dégradé packaging.
In M.A.C. stores beginning March 27 and online soon
New York perfumer Christopher Brosius hates perfume so much that he's infused the sentiment into the name of his own fragrance line, I Hate Perfume. If any industry begs for a contrarian voice, certainly it's the fragrance industry.
But of course he doesn't really hate perfume. If he did, he wouldn't have created the company in the first place, now approaching its 10th anniversary, or his Williamsburg boutique. "I don't really hate most perfumes. Most perfumes simply bore me to tears," he says. "There are those, however, that I do hate and those are the ones that are so overpowering as to make people physically ill, myself very much included. Frankly, any perfume that can do that ought to never be released."
After ten years, I Hate Perfume has gained a sizeable and loyal cult fanbase, eager to try out each new olfactive experiment. Brosius says the most successful of his scents, which are usually memory-based, is In the Library. "Having an intense passion for books, I find the smell of them to be both comforting and very exciting."
Even his more traditional scents are made to uncommon, exacting standards. Rare Flowers, for example, is literally made from rare flowers alone, without chemicals of any kind. It takes thousands of flowers — neroli, jasmine, narcissus, tuberose — to press enough oil concentrate for a small batch. "I've identified a group of aroma-chemicals that are most likely to trigger ill effects in myself and a great many other people. They're banned from my formulations."
Naturally, Brosius has a list of dos and don'ts that he operates on and wishes others would, too. Among them, "Never wear any perfume so that it's detectable beyond arm's reach. This is an insult to those around you. Also, never rely on wearing one single perfume for years on end. Exposure to exactly the same perfume day after dreary day will cause your brain to stop registering it. You'll wind up wearing more and more and more of it, and you'll wind up one of those atrocious old ladies who reek of some horrible fragrance. Always have a selection of at least three or four perfumes that you love and which reflect your various moods."
Brosius has created a box set to mark his first decade, during which he's exhibited in galleries and twice collaborated with Alan Cumming. Cloth-bound, numbered and signed, and made to resemble a coffee table book, The Box houses a complete collection of his perfumes to date. Like everything else at the perfumery, it is not for timid, costing $6,500 - $10,500. "The Box is the full-on complete CB I Hate Perfume experience up till now — and, because The Box is expandable, into the future as well. It really is an ultimate luxury for the serious collector."
Visit CB I Hate Perfume
Call it the age of the elder model (pun intended). A string of labels, arguably beginning with Lanvin's fall 2012 campaign, are embracing silver-haired sirens in their collections, campaigns, and look books. Earlier this month, Estée Lauder announced Stephanie Seymour as their new spokesmodel, and late last month American Apparel street-cast Jacky O'Shaughnessy, 62, to pose in lacy underthings with a tag line that read: "Sexy has no expiration date."
Now comes news that Francois Nars has recruited Charlotte Rampling. Held aloft among fashion circles for her powerful, challenging portrayals, the 68-year-old British actress will be the face of Nars for fall, shot by François Nars himself to mark the 20th anniversary of the cosmetic company.
Rampling's last brush with the fashion world, albeit unintentional, was Marc Jacobs' fall 2011 Louis Vuitton collection, inspired by The Night Porter. Models resembled Rampling's scantily-clad alter ego in the controversial 1974 film in which she played an S&M-practicing inmate in a Nazi concentration camp.
Don't call them scented candles. The avant-perfumers at Byredo would rather you called them fragranced candles. Or, better still, bougie parfumée. It just sounds better, and when it sounds better, it smells better, too.
With that out of the way, check out Byredo's latest, Burning Rose, a transitioning blend of feminine and masculine scents — rose and violet to leather and ebony wood — that contradict yet complement each other in the most arousing way possible. Olfaction satisfaction!
$95 at Byredo, 8.4 oz for 60 hours burning time, available in hand-painted glass and XO packaging.