Ethereal body art

  • Lifestyle
  • Sunday, 28 Mar 2010

Embellishing your skin with ‘jewels’ is the way to go and and there are dazzling designs at hand.


THERE’S nothing more fun for a girl than to play with temporary tattoos!

This season, a French beauty brand is set to delight its fans with a collection of pretty tattoo designs based on nature, to welcome the arrival of Spring.

Peter Philips, the global creative director of Chanel Makeup, doodled and came up with delicate and ultra-feminine drawings for the designs. He brings graphic design training to the luxury label.

How did the idea for the tattoos come about?

“Karl (Lagerfeld) and I were talking about doing something with fake tattoos, and the SS10 collection was the perfect occasion for me to create some designs,” Philips says in a recent e-mail interview from Paris.

Like inked tattoos on skin, these decalcomania sets shower the body with precious ephemeral “jewels” in a contemporary yet poetic way. (Decalcomania is the transfer of designs on paper to other surfaces, such as skin.)

Designs in the Les Trompe L’Oeil De Chanel collection include the brand’s famous double C symbols as well as pearls, chains, wheat, blossoms and small swallows – all inspired by rustic décor; farmhouses; the romantic, tragic French queen Marie Antoinette; and the countryside and outdoors.

Philips based his drawings of the chains and pearls on original necklaces and belts from the brand’s accessories collection.

“I chose to add the swallows because they are the birds that announce spring. That went really well with the ‘barn’ theme from the fashion show (Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2010 show in Paris at the end of last year).

“The blossoms were directly inspired by the blossom necklaces and hairpieces Karl designed for Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection.”

He adds that inspiration for the style came from some old jewellery design and tattoo books he owns.

At the runway show, motifs of chains dangling from branches of blossom were sensually “painted” onto the willowy legs of models and across the their elegant necklines. And small swallows could be seen fluttering on a chain of pearls.

“I love the concept of having five sheets of tattoos that you can cut and paste to create your own design,” Philips says.

According to him, there has been a very enthusiastic response to the tattoos; immediately after the runway show people queued up to get some!

How would he recommend wearing the tattoos?

Philips says the key is not to overdo it, as he believes that “less is more”. At the same time, though, they are tattoos, so “don’t be afraid to show that you’re having fun with makeup”.

“I would pick one strategic place, then create a very interesting design combination for it. Make sure the tattoo stays teasing, flattering and surprising.”

How does one make sure a fake tattoo stays, at least for more than a day?

If you take really good care by not wearing jewellery over it, or scrubbing the design when you shower, it should last about three days, says Philips.

To complement the tattoos, Chanel’s Spring makeup colours are a blend of chic beige khaki tones, and shades of rose pink for the lips, face, eyes and nails.

Some of Philips’ favourites from the collection include the Le Vernis in Particuliere nail shade, which has a unique taupe colour, he says. Likewise, the Joues Contraste in Imprevu powder blush, a shade that one can brush on after a blusher and before a bronzer.

“I believe that our makeup products should be objects of desire. Everybody should be able to find something they like,” says Philips.

“By creating easy-to-wear, accessible shades and textures, with a little twist from time to time, I hope women will find a bit of magic and luxury in our collections,” he adds.

> The limited edition Les Trompe L’Oeil De Chanel is priced at RM250 per box of 55 designs and is available only at the Chanel Fashion boutique at Suria KLCC; the Chanel counter at Isetan Suria KLCC; the Chanel Fragrance & Cosmetics boutique at 1 Utama shopping complex in Bandar Utama, Selangor; and the Chanel Makeup Studio at Parkson, Pavilion KL.

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