Futuristic packaging with not a morsel of navy or gold in sight – Estée Lauder are pumping up the fun factor in collaboration with Courrèges.
You may not know it yet, but French- born mastermind André Courrèges is responsible for some of fashion’s biggest and bravest moments. Leaving behind a career in architecture, Courrèges did a ten-year stint at Balenciaga before starting his eponymous line in 1961. And whether or not you believe the rumours that it wasn’t actually Mary Quant but Courrèges who invented the mini- skirt, it’s undeniable that he has radicalised womenswear.
A key player in the sixties space craze (in all its white PVC booted, box dress wearing, avant-goggled glory) André Courrèges’s super-modern vision saw women sport clean- cut trousers, astronaut helmets and acid-hued wigs, while electric cars – made by his wife Coqueline Courrèges – whizzed down the runways in his catwalk shows.
With a burning desire to empower women through fashion, throughout the early 40s, Courrèges shared brand values with Josephine Esther Mentzer, who set up her company Estée Lauder in 1946. Over 70 years on, I’m sat in a Parisian townhouse celebrating the first collaboration between the two brands: a capsule make-up line – simply titled Estée Lauder x Courrèges – which will be launched in March.
“This development happened so fast I have whiplash,” jokes Estée Lauder’s Sarah Creal, while plumping her lips with the hot pink Super Gloss that oozes from a tear shaped metal applicator. The first thing to strike me about the collection is the packaging – with not a scrap of navy or gold in sight, it’s refreshingly pared-down. “Estée Lauder doesn’t do anything unless it’s really the best. It has to have unbelievable performance, development and know-how,” she says. “But at the same time, I feel like make-up should be fun.”
Boasting 13 products in total – including the Coral Halo lip conditioner, encased in a silver ring with a squeezable centre, and the Ultrafine Liquid Liner in Lunar White that dries with a vinyl finish – the collection has the fun factor. “When Jacques [Bungert] told me we had to do Twiggy false lashes, I thought, ‘This is going to go down well at Estée Lauder’,” says Creal, a tone of sarcasm creeping through her Manhattan accent.
Now for the important question: which popping look does Wonderland sample from the line? Do we make like campaign girl Gabriella Wilde and go Vinyl Vixon – hair slicked green with mascara and eyes lined white? Or do we try our luck as a Modern Mod – lashes laden with mascara and puckered pout glossed pink? Whichever look you opt for, one thing’s for sure: an astronaut helmet is a Courrèges must.
The collection is available exclusively at Selfridges and EsteeLauder.co.uk 1 March.
Words: Brooke McCord.
Photographer: Alexandra Leese.
Hair: Philippe Tholimet @ Streeters
Makeup: Nikki Wolff.
Model: Ellen Burton @ Profile.