A photographic expedition to Japan and South Korea has introduced new territories and spectacular new effects of light to Lucia Pica’s ever-expanding beauty landscape at Chanel. From a glimmer of fish scales captured at a market in Tokyo to a nest of wires shot suspended over a side street in Seoul, Pica has immersed herself in the intimate minutiae of everyday life to which East Asian culture accords sacred value to. Such a close-up appreciation of quiet beauty and the elevation of the humblest of objects has inspired a richly nuanced makeup collection.
In this Spring-Summer 2019 Collection, Vision D’asie: L’art Du Détail, depth and refinement is expressed in Pica’s signature play on light and the luminous architecture it builds. The translucent, new product Baume Essentiel creates a dewy, “wet” glow on the skin that brings life to the face through gentle sculptural effects. These are enlivened by strokes of pearly luminescence that add definition without a hint of heaviness.
The eyes shimmer with vitality as a dynamic match between the textures of Ombre Première Crème and Les 9 Ombres lies at the heart of Vision D’asie: L’art Du Détail. The creamy, metallic Ombre Première Crème Patine Bronze fascinates on its own but also acts as a transversal shade to be worn under Les 9 Ombres to intensify their shades. They chime against the powerful, lush matte Rouge Allure Velvet and Rouge Allure Liquid Powder lip colors, and the provocative Le Vernis shades.
Through these captivating vibrations of light, color and texture, Vision D’asie: L’art Du Détail comes alive in the wearing. “I like to give makeup the freedom to travel,” Pica says. “I never want to restrict women to conventions or clichés of perfection. I didn’t want to just document,” Pica explains. “We were exploring real life, capturing fleeting color and textures and then elevating them into something precious.” Thus, Vision D’asie: L’art Du Détail is a subtle and luminous collection that takes inspiration from the photographic act of capturing details and elevating their textures and color using light. “Zooming in and out for the photographs is like applying makeup,” Pica says. “I go in close to apply, take a step back and then zoom in again for more. The layering of light and color makes things so much more impactful.” As balmy, glowing skin teams with intriguing shades, modern patinas and arresting metallic sheens, this is sophisticated makeup, suffused with the easy elegance of modern East Asia. For Lucia Pica, the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi – the act of seeing preciousness in imperfection – gives rise to a freer attitude to beauty that is without restriction; one that is open to the pleasure of the moment.
Elegant textures and poetic color come together in the Spring-Summer 2019 Collection that finds resonance in the ordinary and the sublime in the apparently uninteresting. “The beauty of imperfection makes sense to me in terms of what I do – I want something that feels alive,” Lucia Pica says.
The first flush of spring brings a new Chanel product that lends a natural-looking glow to the face, lips and eyes. The centerpiece of Vision D’asie: L’art Du Détail – Baume Essentiel’s silky gel stick – glides onto skin releasing a dewy freshness, an effortlessly modern take on skin that is perfectly in keeping with Lucia Pica’s delight in contrasting translucency against vibrant pigments. To dispense the right amount, Lucia has designed a specific brush. Thanks to the Pinceau Illuminateur Rétractable, Baume Essentiel can be applied everywhere on the face: on cheekbones for a fresh and dewy effect, on cheeks before applying cream blush for a sheer wash of color, on eyelids for a shiny finish, or on the brow bone to define the arch. “The fresh, neutral pink can be used everywhere,” Lucia Pica says. “It’s a light, sculptural effect for the face without any trace of heaviness.”
Lips blossom with spring’s promise as their vivid tones come to life in two rich matte finishes. The creamy luxuriousness of Rouge Allure Velvet lends itself to a sensual palette that evokes the quietude and decorum of East Asian antiquity, while Rouge Allure Liquid Powder crackles with the vibrancy of Japan and South Korea’s ultra-modern present. “For me, the lipsticks have the feeling of womanliness,” Lucia Pica says. “Meanwhile, the powder melts into the skin. These are sophisticated textures.”
Le Vernis adds the final touch to the Spring-Summer 2019 Collection permeated by light. And in a pairing of nail varnishes that reflect the duality of the contemporary East Asian experience, grace and modesty meets a jolt of unabashed electric color. While Le Vernis Bleached Mauve is a sultry pink beige that evokes the patina of sun-aged pigment, the neon fuchsia of Le Vernis Néon Techno Bloom surges with the electrical heartbeat of modern-day Tokyo or Seoul. “Whether it was the attention to detail and value that people put into everything in Japan, or the more urban experience of South Korea,” says Pica, “we found beauty there.”
Photos: Courtesy of Chanel