Wednesday, 28 November 2012

'My Bizarre Harper's Cover' - George Lois/Art Director, Ad Man, Graphic Designer

ESQUIRE Magazine October 1963
Art Direction: George Lois

First there’s the entire photograph, then there’s the beauty shot – the shot of the model, framed for a fashion magazine, like a classical painting. The black hat and the white furs are designer and create contrast. The lipstick and the nail varnish are pink, vivid and glossy. This framed section of the photo is the magazine front cover shot, the Harper’s Bazaar George Lois refers to in the title ‘My Bizarre Harper’s Cover’, published in Esquire Magazine in October 1963. Outside of the frame, the rest of the photograph is how the model looks in casual attire, tanned and active, away from the glamour, where real life is located. The aqua background makes the entire image pop. Art Director, graphic designer and ad man George Lois, photographer Art Kane and Esquire intended to expose the artifice of it all, a comment on the power of the American fashion magazine at that time.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

'How I Taught Nixon To Use Makeup And Become President' - George Lois/Ad Man, Graphic Designer, Art Director

ESQUIRE Magazine May 1968
Art Direction: George Lois

Between 1962 and 1972, American Art Director and Madison Avenue graphic designer and ad man George Lois conceived and designed 92 front covers for Esquire, the American men’s magazine. In the new world of Sixties media, never before seen visual design and inventive copywriting made unforgettable images created by rebels. George Lois was one.  “I located this profile shot in the wire service archives and had Carl Fischer photograph the four hands, including the one wielding the lipstick”. A composite photograph published in May 1968 before Nixon was nominated for the Presidency, it refers to an era of turmoil and TV political debates won first by the televisual President JFK. It anticipates a digital age in digital photography where everything is a possibility. Mostly, I love the spray can with its light mist, the powder puff and the angle and colour of the Sixties lipstick. The lighting suggests an aeroplane. The four hands are different people and one is manicured in the best Sixties pink nail varnish for effect. Nixon is asleep but doesn’t look relaxed, about to be woken by the pink fluffy powder puff.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Maison Martin Margiela H&M Launch November 15 2012

Maison Martin Margiela H&M November 15 Launch 2012
Shoreditch East London
 Maison Martin Margiela November 2012
Collaboration H&M Collection

"Categorised successfully as underground, deconstructive, destroy, 
grunge, minimalist, provocative, established" - excerpt from catalogue 
to exhibition held to celebrate 20 years of Maison Martin Margiela June 
3 2010 to September 5 2010 Somerset House, London, England. 
In the late 1980s, Martin Margiela, the Paris-based Belgian designer,
pioneered the design of the shoulder of a narrow jacket with puffed 
sleeves mounted high for an elegant silhouette, an invention which still 
defines the look of the label today. Tabi boots in leather with a split 
toe traditionally worn as a slipper for agility in Japan is another 
recognised design Margiela feature.The label on a Maison Martin 
Margiela garment (main collection) is a plain white square hand sewn
at each edge with four white stitches. So instead of an obvious designer 
label, a blank white square, reversing the idea of the value of designerwear. 
Other collections are identified by a circled number and since 1998, 
Maison Martin Margiela has designed four collections yearly for men.
Martin Margiela's runway shows, which I attended in Paris initially for 
i-D magazine from October 1992 onwards, were always an 
incredible, involving experience. Demonstrating his concepts by staging 
his shows in unexpected venues, such as disused warehouses, away from 
the usual runway, he disposed of every available rule in 
fashion, including the importance of the front row. Introducing 
integrity in an industry that needs it, Martin Margiela broadened the 
beauty spectrum, expanding what was acceptable by casting unusual women 
to display the clothing. Sometimes the model's faces were completely 
covered in order not to distract from the design content of the 
collection with highstreet retailer H&M in November 2012 was at least as
incredible a moment as when Jay-Z first raps "Maison Martin Margiela" in
'Run This Town', his track with Rihanna and Kanye West. Margiela's name
has since been checked by other rappers and Kanye himself attended the
Manhattan H&M collaboration collection launch in NYC, an epic moment
where valued conceptual design meets the accessible highstreet.

Revlon Photoready Compact Makeup with Liquefying Screen

                         Revlon Photoready Compact Makeup
                                      Natural Beige
It’s a liquid-like foundation cream compact with an applicator sponge. A fine, plastic micro-grid or ‘liquefying screen’ covers the cream makeup and disperses it evenly as liquid onto the applicator sponge, drying to a soft powder finish. The cream makeup contains light-reflecting pigments and liquefies for complete coverage and blendability. The photochromatic pigments bend, reflect and diffuse light to help erase flaws. Perfected, airbrushed skin is achievable in any light, an effect suggested by the name of the product Revlon Photoready. The rectangular product design and the liquefying screen inside lend a mobile phone-like quality suggesting a piece of makeup technology. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 20. Complete with mirror. £12.99 for 0.35 Oz/10g, which is quite a small quantity. Range of shades – Vanilla, Shell, Natural Beige, Medium Beige. Oil free, fragrance free and allergy-causing paraben free. Ready for your close-up?

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Japonesque Brow Kit

Japonesque Brow Kit
  Photo by: Deirdre Crowley

Arriving in a slender, pink mock crocodile purse, the Japonesque Brow Kit grooms and defines eyebrows professionally at home or when travelling. It contains three brow stencils, two brow powders in two shades of brown, one brow wax, a Japonesque slanted tweezer, a clear brow gel and two miniature brushes for application. Complicated at first because I’ve never used one, the brow kit shapes and maintains the eyebrows in four simple steps – select a brow shape using one of the three brow stencils; fill the brow shape in with the brow powders; tweeze any stray hairs, and then style and keep the brow shape in place with the clear brow gel. Instructions are included. This kit’s unique character is designed around the beautiful pink mock crocodile purse and the Japonesque stencils you follow to draw the brow on professionally in a natural arch, or a modern arch, or a light arch according to the stencil shape you choose, whichever matches your real brow shape. A beauty kit you will want and use. $28 from or see at  $1 will be donated to Breast Cancer Awareness Research with every kit sold.