Quick post: Kicking off fall with Paul & Joe

Paul & Joe is a brand whose collections I look forward to each season.  This fall's theme, Moonlight on the Seine, is probably not as inspired as it could have been, but the resulting collection is solid nevertheless.  Here's the brief description provided by the company:  "The 2018 PAUL & JOE Autumn Creation encompasses the romanticism and mystery of the rippling reflection of the full moon on the Seine, the Pont Neuf’s streetlamps being silently lit, and the transient nightscape of Paris as evening deepens into night."   I like that they chose to focus on a peaceful evening rather than the hustle and bustle of city nightlife.  The prints are, of course, chock full of adorable kitties.  I picked up everything except the three compact cases, since they had the same prints as the lipstick cases.

Paul & Joe fall 2018 lipstick cases

I appreciated the star and crescent details on these Face and Eye Colors - definitely reminiscent of a starry Parisian night.

Paul & Joe fall 2018 face and eye colors

How cute is this case?  I always think Paul & Joe couldn't possibly come up with any more cat designs, but here we are.  I don't know how anyone could use it though, I imagine it would get dirty in one's purse very quickly.

Paul & Joe fall 2018 lipstick case

I couldn't identify the rose print on one of the face and eye colors, but was able to suss out the others pretty easily since they were all in the fall 2018 collection.

Paul & Joe fall 2018(images from vogue)

Paul & Joe fall 2018

This cat print is from the Sister fall 2018 collection and features one of Paul & Joe founder Sophie Mechaly's cats, Nounette. 

Paul & Joe Sister fall 2018

Paul & Joe Sister fall 2018

If I were 20 years younger I'd buy the purple version of this dress in a heartbeat.

Paul & Joe Sister fall 2018

The fluffy white kitty is Mechaly's other cat, unfortunately named G*psy, who appeared on several items in the regular fall collection (and many other prints over the years, as I found out via Paul & Joe's Instagram.) 

Paul & Joe fall 2018

Paul & Joe fall 2018
(images from paulandjoe.com) 

Bad name aside, these two fluffballs are truly adorable!  Paul & Joe did a great job capturing their likeness in their prints.

Paul & Joe cat

Sophie Mechaly

Paul & Joe - Nounette

Paul & Joe cats
(images from pressreader.com and instagrammernews.com)

Getting back to the makeup, while the decor was not as elaborate as that of their circus-themed Isetan exclusive collection, Paul & Joe still created an impressive "makeup street" in Osaka to welcome the collection.

Paul & Joe makeup street 2018

Paul & Joe makeup street 2018

Paul & Joe makeup street 2018

Paul & Joe makeup street 2018

Paul & Joe makeup street 2018
(images from instagram)

The selected prints don't seem particularly fall-like to me, but obviously the cute factor outweighs the seasonal inappropriateness.  And while I do think using some of the fashion collection's quirkier prints might have been interesting, the safer ones are probably best for a collection whose theme is a romantic, moonlit evening in Paris.

Thoughts?


Curator's Corner, August 2018

CC logoAnd so we say goodbye to summer.  Here's the August rewind. 

- I'm delighted that Madam CJ Walker will be getting a Netflix series devoted to her, but recent news shows just how much more work needs to be done in terms of recognizing non-white beauty pioneers as well as ensuring the industry understands the beauty needs of people of color.  Between badly photoshopped swatches and racist YouTubers, non-white people are still being left out and verbally attacked.  As Meli of Wild Beauty thoughtfully points out, there's racism in every industry, but beauty is one where it's especially harmful.

- Speaking of beauty "influencers," I'm sadly not surprised by the dishonest tactics that some of them use, along with the fact that there are companies paying them to do so.

- I'm happy to see that this new all-genders line is eschewing retouching their photos, but like MAC's Nico Panda collection and Crayola, there doesn't appear to be any models over the age of 25.  Hopefully these new (old?) beauty gurus will force makeup companies to acknowledge that women over 40 exist and maybe, you know, regularly use them in their advertising. To my knowledge, only a handful of companies have featured "mature" women, and the campaigns were very short-lived. 

- On a lighter note, I also wouldn't be surprised if Olive Garden did end up releasing a real makeup palette given the rabid enthusiasm for it.

- Chanel is introducing a makeup line for men.  On the one hand I don't believe makeup should be gendered.  On the other hand, I'd love to see more guys wearing it so if this is what it takes, it might not be such a bad thing.  There are even oh-so-manly makeup brushes that may be put into production.  Right now men in China are getting more on board with wearing makeup, so I'm really hoping eventually it'll catch on in the Western hemisphere.

- Good reads:  Amber's excellent history of cult makeup classic Maybelline Great Lash and this interview with makeup artist Linda Cantello.  It was honestly a little strange how close her general outlook to makeup these days is to mine - there was not a single thing she said that I disagreed with. 

- For trends, so-called "cold brew" and "flannel" hair colors, cloud eye makeup and any product with a jelly texture are pretty big right now.

- Remember this guy?  Now he's doing beauty tutorials.  *heart-eye emoji*

The random:

- I was in my '90s glory due to the A.V. Club's epic 1998 series.  Also, Y necklaces have made their triumphant return.  I really thought no one else but me remembered them and was curious to see if they'd make a reappearance along with all other manner of '90s fashion, and here they are!  I must dig through the stuff at my parents' house and see if I have any left.

- In other pop culture news, The Wrap's Emmys edition had some great interviews with Amy Sedaris and Derek Waters, who host a couple of my current favorite shows (and I will always love Amy as Jerri Blank).

- Between Domo Kun, Gudetama and Peko, I'm endlessly fascinated with Japanese mascots.  This Vice article digs deep into their world.

- More on the rise of the Instagram museumMakeup companies are also starting to get in on the action, further proving my point that these are not actually museums but rather a mash-up of eye candy and commercialization.  At least Winky Lux is honest about their new space being a "retail concept" and doesn't try to market it as a museum.

- This new study provides evidence of a theory I've had for years.  After all, I completed a marathon mostly as a way of getting revenge for the horrors I suffered during gym class.

- Still way too hot here for me to get a PSL, but me (and MM staff) are intrigued by these PSL cookie straws

- On a personal note, the husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and a total of 18 years (!) together last week.  Did he pick out the most perfect card or what?

anniversary card

How was the end of your summer?  Are you looking forward to fall?


Finnish fabulousness: Clinique x Marimekko

"There must be freedom of movement.  If one feels like running, there must be freedom to run; if sitting, there must be freedom to sit."  - Annika Rimala

This collection was released way back in early spring, but I kept putting off writing about it because the thought of trying to condense the entire history of iconic Finnish design house Marimekko made me want to cry.  Fortunately, I no longer feel that obligation since Clinique mercifully chose patterns that were the work of a single Marimekko designer:  Annika Rimala (1936-2014).  So I will be focusing just on Rimala and the 10 designs that were selected for the Clinique collection.  While I still felt the urge to educate myself a little further beyond what I could find online, hence the purchase of two books on Marimekko, I won't be attempting to rehash their nearly 70-year history and aesthetic.  Suffice it to say that Marimekko's output is beloved the world over, having been celebrated in numerous museum exhibitions and appearing in countless collaborations with other brands.  It can also conceivably be recognized as the world's first lifestyle brand.

Clinique x Marimekko

I'm still not sure why Clinique decided to team up with Marimekko. The rather generic and bland quotes in the press release didn't shed any light either.  "'Marimekko was created to bring colour and happiness into people's everyday lives. Sharing the same joyful approach to life, we're thrilled to partner with Clinique to offer something surprising and exciting to customers around the world,' says Päivi Paltola, Marimekko's Chief Marketing Officer.  'This collection captures the quintessential modern aesthetic of Marimekko and the bright vibrancy of Clinique to inspire and empower women by bringing the joy of possibilities to her every day,' says Jane Lauder, Clinique Global Brand President.  'The prints chosen for the collection represent some of the most recognizable and celebrated Marimekko designs of all time. They capture the craftsmanship behind Marimekko's art of print making: utilizing overlays of colour and surprising colour combinations to create impactful designs,' says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen who is in charge of Marimekko's print design."  I couldn't find any concrete reason for their partnership (why Clinique?  Why Rimala?  Why now?) but I was still delighted to see the work of such a legendary design house on makeup packaging.  And while it's not the first time Marimekko has appeared on cosmetics (see Avon's 2008 collection), I thought it was very nicely done.

Let's meet Annika Rimala and her designs, shall we?  Rimala originally studied graphic design at the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki.  In 1959, upon a recommendation from a neighbor who worked at Marimekko, Rimala applied for a job with the company and worked in their children's clothing store Muksula.  Just a year later she became one of their chief fashion designers, a role she held until 1982 when she left to start her own business.

Annika Rimala
(image from marimekko)

Rimala not only played a pioneering role in establishing the company in their early years as a global purveyor of timeless, versatile prints, but also helped put Marimekko on the map as a leading fashion house.  Rimala carefully ensured her prints worked in a variety of scales while also finding her own individual voice as a designer.  As the biography in Marimekko: Fabrics, Fashion and Architecture states: "According to Rimala herself it was difficult at first to find her own direction, because [previous Marimekko designer] Vuokko Nurmesniemi's influence was so strong, even after her departure in 1960...Rimala's first fabrics were small-patterned and 'quiet,' but as she grew more confident she increased the scale and chose stronger colors.  The first collection was followed by a series of lively designs, whose colors and forms were inspired by the era's youth culture...whether the patterns were free-form, checked, or striped, an essential feature of Rimala's clothes was variation in scale...her working method began by testing the practicality of a pattern in black and white.  Color was added only when she was certain that the pattern and dress form were compatible.  It was important that they form a structural whole" (p. 299).  What I found most interesting about Rimala's style is its egalitarian (dare I say feminist?) bend, i.e. it was designed for women's freedom both intellectually and physically, which aligned with Marimekko's vision at the time.  "From its inception Marimekko had provided clothes for independent, educated women who kept a watchful eye on the mood of the times, irrespective of age.  The Marimekko woman liked to be portrayed as an academic and an independent professional.  Marimekko offered clothes that were different.  Even if these designs were sold in large numbers, the women who wore Marimekko believed they were asserting their own sense of independence...[In the late '60s] Rimala increased the volume of the dresses, favoring spaciousness and comfort, especially at the sleeves and shoulders.  Rimala began the debate on fashion versus function, or ergonomic design in clothing, which intensified at the end of the decade.  In her view clothes needed to be designed so that it was possible to move freely in them - to run, jump and sit," notes Ritta Anttikoski in Fabrics, Fashion and Architecture (p. 97-99).*

Here are the 10 patterns that were selected for the Clinique collection, in rough chronological order.  I tried to find both vintage and contemporary examples of these prints.  Again, you'll see how well they work in the '60s as well as today and in a variety of mediums. 

First up is the Tarha (garden) pattern from 1963.

Clinique x Marimekko Tarha pattern

Vintage Marimekko dress, Tarha pattern

Marimekko - Tarha designs
(images from rubylane, finnstyle and finnishdesign)

Next up is Hedelmäkori (fruit basket) from 1964.

Clinique x Marimekko - Hedelmakori pattern

Marimekko Hedelmakori print dress, 1976

Marimekko - Hedelmakori pattern(images from wear.jp)

Here's Kukka (flower) from 1965.

Clinique x Marimekko - Kukka pattern

Marimekko - Kukka pattern
(images from wear.jp and global.rakuten.com)

As the Marimekko website points out, Rimala's graphic design training is especially apparent in the Laine (wave) print from 1965. 

Clinique x Marimekko Laine pattern

Marimekko dresses, Laine print(images from finnstyle.com and amazon.co.jp)

The Pikku Suomu (small fish scale) from 1965 worked equally well as the larger version (Isu Suomu).

Clinique x Marimekko Pikku Suomu pattern

Marimekko - Iso Suomu jumpsuit, 1967(image from makedesignedobjects.com)

This contemporary dress and bag prove that while silhouettes might have changed, the print holds up beautifully after over 50 years.

Marimekko - Pikku Suomu print dress

Marimekko Iso Suomu print
(images from pinterest and sokos.fi)

I honestly thought these next two, Petrooli (paraffin/oil) and Klaava (tails) were the same, but I was wrong.  Petrooli debuted in 1963, while Klaava was introduced in 1967.

Clinique x Marimekko Petrooli and Klaava patterns

Marimekko - Petrooli print dress, 1963
(image from pinterest)
 

Marimekko Petrooli print(images from wear.jp and sumally.com)

If I'm not mistaken it appears the Klaava print is a blown-up version of Petrooli. 

Marimekko Klaava print dress, ca. late 1960s
 (image from auctions.roseberys.co.uk) 

Marimekko - Klaava print dresses
(images from marimekko and wear.jp)

A trip to Mexico inspired the Papajo (papaya) pattern, which Rimala designed in 1968.  "Carvings found in Maya temples gave her the idea for the Papajo pattern."

Clinique x Marimekko Papajo pattern

Marimekko - Papajo print dresses

Marimekko Papajo print dress

Marimekko Papajo accessories
(images from finnstyle.com and global.rakuten.com)

Now for the two patterns I neglected to buy, not originally realizing that there were 10 distinct patterns.  Whoops.  Here's Keidas (Oasis) from 1967.

Clinique x Marimekko, Keidas pattern
(images from clinique)

Marimekko Keidas print dresses, 1967

Marimekko - Keidas prints, 2016
(image from marimekko)

I swear the Puketti (bouquet) print from 1965 didn't make it onto any of the Clinique products except for the bags in this Macy's gift with purchase.

Clinique x Marimekko GWP
(image from 247moms.com)

Marimekko Puketti print dress, 1964

Marimekko Puketti print dress
(image from wear.jp)

Marimekko Puketti print accessories
(images from cloudberryliving.co.uk and cms.whiterabbitexpress.com)

On the one hand, I'm glad Clinique limited their pattern choices to ten.  This was an appropriate number to get a good sense of Rimala's work without the collection getting too huge.  On the other hand, Rimala had so many amazing designs, it's a shame more weren't chosen.  For example, the Tasaraita (even stripe) pattern, which she introduced in 1968, is one of her best-known and represented a completely new and unique way of thinking about fashion so I'm still scratching my head as to why it didn't make the cut. "In the late 1960s Rimala began to take an increased interest in design for everyday life.  The denim streetwear that had become common led her to conceive a product that would suit anyone, regardless of age, sex, or size, that would be timeless, and that could be worn anywhere and at any time.  In addition, its price would be modest. The result, Rimala's Tasaraita (even stripe) cotton jersey, became one of Marimekko's widely sold products." (Marimekko:  Fabrics, Fashion and Architecture, p. 299).

Marimekko Tasaraita pattern, ca. 1969
(image from mtv.fi)

Marimekko Tasaraita pattern
(images from finnstyle.com)

In any case, while I love the work of other Marimekko designers, I have to concede it was a smart move on Clinique and Marimekko's part to select just one designer.  There's no way each one could be well-represented given their prolific work throughout the years - how could you possibly narrow it down to just 1-2 patterns from each?  

Overall I was pretty impressed with this collection.  I would have liked to see a more elegant version of Avon's embossed Marimekko powders using Rimala's designs, but putting the prints the lipstick and gloss packaging worked well.  As we've seen, it's virtually impossible to make Rimala's patterns look bad, as they were specifically designed to be adapted for any size and medium.  And of course I'd like to know why they chose Rimala out of all the other Marimekko designers and why this collaboration was happening now, but I guess I can't be too picky.  :)

What do you think of this collection?  Which is your favorite print?  I adored all but I think Laine is my favorite. 

 

*Catering to an "educated" customer sounds remarkably classist, so Marimekko made sure to update this in their book In Patterns (p.11): "Long before the term target group even existed, the company oriented its products to a certain group - intelligent and well-educated women.  And what woman wouldn't want to count herself among those who are visible, strong, and influential, those who point the way.  Nowadays at Marimekko we no longer think about the customer's level of education but rather about her character."  While I believe this is merely lip service delivered by the marketing department, at least Marimekko recognizes that their old way of thinking about their desired demographic isn't acceptable now.