B Balenciaga

Alexander Wang Debuts His First Fragrance for Balenciaga

Here it is, Alexander Wang's first scent for Balenciaga, debuting at the designer's resort 2015 collection for the house. Called simply B Balenciaga, the fragrance is a blend of the house's heritage and Wang's inimitable take on modernity. The artisanal-looking cracked glass of the bottle pays tribute to the veined marble flooring of the couturier's original salon at 10 Avenue George V, while the airy juice itself — a mix of lily of the valley and violet — is made darker with various woody notes. The ad campaign, too, achieves an insouciant minimalism with a hint of iconoclasm, shot by Steven Klein and starring a cat-eyed Anna Ewers.

Widely available October 2014

Jun 06, 2014 12:58:00
Wisteria Hysteria at Dover Street Market NY

Stephen Jones Launches Second Scent with Comme des Garçons

Milliner Stephen Jones buzzed into town to launch his Wisteria Hysteria fragrance with Comme des Garçons at Dover Street Market NY (and take in the Met Gala). Not surprisingly, the eau de toilette ($165) — housed in a miniature hat box on a white veil nest — takes its askew cues from the Comme universe of strange scents. Its sweet-and-spicy notes stand in contrast to the first aromatic collaboration between the two — "futuristic and rococo," as Stephen describes it.

Of course the spirit of teamwork between Stephen Jones and Rei Kawakubo is nothing new. Ever since a chance encounter thirty years ago, Stephen has created hats for many a Comme collection, women's and men's, as well as creating the Stephen Jones 1 hats exclusively for Dover. 

To celebrate the launch of Wisteria Hysteria, director Henry Pincus created a short film — with clothes by L'Wren Scott — inspired by the contrarian nature of the fragrance. The film, played on continuous loop at the launch, tells the story of a woman’s encounter with the opposite version of herself...

May 13, 2014 17:55:00
Meadham Kirchhoff Tralala

With Their Tralala Fragrance, Meadham Kirchhoff Channel Their Inner Girl

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

May 12, 2014 21:54:00
YSL Black Opium

YSL Beauté Celebrates 50 Years

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

May 11, 2014 10:51:00
Joya x Katz's Deli

A Whiff of a Taste of the Lower East Side

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)

May 09, 2014 09:37:00

A Dubious Study Suggests Beards Are Done

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. 

Apr 17, 2014 17:10:00
Ondria Hardin & Cara Delevingne for YSL Beauté

Art Imitating Life, YSL Beauté Has Cara Delevingne Kissed By a Girl for Its Latest Campaign

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. 

Apr 05, 2014 19:28:00
Proenza Schouler x M.A.C.

Proenza Schouler and M.A.C. Make Their Mutual Affection Official

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

Mar 27, 2014 18:39:00
The Box, In the Library, Christopher Brosius

'I Hate Perfume' Marks 10 Years of Contrarian Service

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

Mar 20, 2014 18:18:00

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