Fall's Designer Beauty

How does a fashion desigher breathe life into a lipstick or a signature scent? From Shakespeare to iconic handbags, they reveal their beauty muses for fall.

By Ying Chu and Erin Flaherty

August 29, 2011 4:00 PM
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YSL

"I dreamed of a hothouse garden — a little venomous, like the deep hues of Guido Mocafico's iconic snake photographs," says YSL's new makeup master, Lloyd Simmonds, citing the decadent spirit (and palette) of the brand in the '70s as further inspiration. Color, in the hands of Simmonds, is loud and proud via seriously smoldering violet and teal eyeshadows, saturated plum lipsticks, and cobalt nail lacquers. But for minimalists looking to go a tad less Studio 54, worry not. "Take one bold shade from the collection and use it as an accessory," he advises. "The rest of your face can be completely natural."

YSL

"Mother Nature is the greatest colorist of all — black calla lilies, peacock feathers, poisonous snakes. You don't get more brilliant than that!"

YSL

The colorful makeup nods to the runway and YSL's vibrant history — captured in a book and recent exhibit in Paris.

YSL

Yves Saint Laurent 5 Colour Harmony for Eyes in Midnight Garden, $56

YSL

Rouge Volupté Perle Lipstick in Spellbinding Violet, $34.
Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D
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Fendi

Every element of the Fan di Fendi fragrance and design was informed by the brand's heritage, Silvia Venturini Fendi explains. Known as the creative force behind It bags like the Baguette and Peekaboo, the designer turned to the house's ubiquitous gold double-F logo to punctuate the fragrance bottle.
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Fendi

Fendi Fan di Fendi Eau de Parfum, $76.

Fendi

Perfumer François Demachy nodded to the runway's swingy furs, blending notes of leather and musk into the traditional base of Italian scents like Calabrian tangerine. The kicker? A trio of supermodels — Karmen Pedaru, Anja Rubik, and Abbey Lee Kershaw — star in the campaign.

Fendi

"They're strong women," says Venturini Fendi. "Just like fans of Fendi."

Fendi

"The perfume is like the Peekaboo bag: whispered, classic luxury. " — Silvia Venturini Fendi

Dolce & Gabbana

With models marching down the Italian designers' fall runway fashioned into bustier-clad "girls" or androgynous "boys," spectators were left doing a double take. Carrying on the theme, the house's makeup collection makes a two-part reveal. First up: the "Passion Duos," constructed with velvety, high-pigment lipstick on the outside, a shimmery sliver of gloss in the middle. "I love lipstick's richness and weight," explains longtime makeup collaborator Pat McGrath. "Add gloss, and it's instantly wearable!" Part due will even appeal to the tomboy set: creamy foundations that mimic a summery Sicilian glow. And yes, the two make a great pair.

Dolce & Gabbana

At the designers' Portofino house.

Dolce & Gabbana

The brand's signature red in Passion Duo Lipstick, $34.

Dolce & Gabbana

"Stefano would be a sparkling gloss; Domenico is more reserved, like classic lipstick. " — Pat McGrath

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation, $55.

Dolce & Gabbana

Scarlett Johansson's shade.
Courtesy of Designer
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Givenchy

"Perfume is like couture — it's different on every woman's skin," says designer Riccardo Tisci, who ventures into women's fragrance this fall with a woody-powdery rose blend called Dahlia Noir.

Givenchy

No stranger to the female psyche, Tisci grew up in southern Italy, raised by his mother and eight sisters. "They were all his muses," chimes model Mariacarla Boscono (with Tisci), who now holds that title herself.

Givenchy

Each muse had her part in shaping Tisci's debut scent: The central rose note was chosen for his mother, who wears a classic rose splash from Santa Maria Novella; the sisters had veto rights on the 200-plus versions of the perfume; and Boscono's gothic beauty inspired the dark visual concept.

Givenchy

So, was designing a scent more challenging than, say, a fashion collection? Certainly different, says Tisci: "You have only one drop to express your romanticism, your edge."

Givenchy

Behind the scenes.
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Givenchy

"Perfume for me is the strawberry on the cake, a celebration of the past six years of success at the house." — Riccardo Tisci

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Givenchy

Dahlia Noir Candle, $56.
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Givenchy

Givenchy Dahlia Noir Body Milk, $50
Courtesy of Designer
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Givenchy

Fall and haute couture look.
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Givenchy

Eau de Parfum Spray, $90
Courtesy of Designer
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Vera Wang

Leave it to the queen of bridal to create a scent that aims to embody a love affair. "This is a story about a modern Romeo and Juliet," says Vera Wang of her sparkly new floral scent, Lovestruck. No matter that the campaign — which features Leighton Meester and a hunky "Romeo" re-enacting Shakespeare's most famous love scene — was shot on a fire escape in NYC, not a balcony in Verona; Wang just wanted to capture an uptown-meets-downtown spirit.
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Vera Wang

She created the logo by scrawling it in lipstick on one of her cocktail napkins, and the burgundy dress (which reflects the bottle design) is a couture piece made for Meester. Juliet should have been so lucky.
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Vera Wang

Vera Wang Lovestruck Eau de Parfum, $68.

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Vera Wang

"It's about a girl who's very rockin' and very downtown, but also feels confident in couture." — Vera Wang

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Prada

"We used extreme proportions to create something new, unexpected, and optimistic," says perfumer Daniela Andrier of Prada Candy. Lest you assume it smells like Pop Rocks, it's a cool take on the sweet concept, utilizing Benzoin, a creamy-smelling resin of the Laotian styrax tree (no joke) and a synthetic "pop" of caramel.Design-wise, the team looked to the house's signature saffiano leather and colorful accessories.
Courtesy of Designer
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Prada

Art director Jean-Paul Goude dreamed up a video and print ad starring French actress Léa Seydoux as a naughty piano student. The soundtrack wisely avoids the Bow Wow Wow song.
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Prada

Fashion illustrator François Berthoud sketched the box art.

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Prada

"If Prada Candy were a film, it would be a musical comedy!" — Léa Seydoux

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Prada

Prada Candy Eau de Parfum, $80.

Thibaut de Saint Chamas
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Christian Dior

Die-hard Christian Dior fans know that the designer's muse, Mitzah Bricard — a hatmaker known for sporting insanely chic leopard prints, and lots of them — influenced many aspects of his work. She was a woman of substance, too: Bricard was not only Dior's millinery director, she also consulted with the designer on various collections. (She helped cook up the "New Look.")
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Christian Dior

The icon is certainly at the heart of the company's fall beauty collection, simply called "Mitzah." The easiest way to incorporate her style is with the nail polishes, in camel and in ebony, which when combined (see far right) make for the kind of gorgeous-yet-daring pedicure we think the elegant Bricard would have no problem sporting today.
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Christian Dior

"Ms. Bricard is one of those rare people whose only reason for living is elegance." — Christian Dior

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Christian Dior

Dior 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow in Mitzah, $60
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Christian Dior

No doubt Bricard would've coveted these limited-edition, hand-pressed leopard-print bronzing powders.
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