Crimson Splash

A Paean to Red Lips from Sharif Hamza, Accompanied by the Archived Thoughts of the Late Isabella Blow

From Marilyn Monroe to Jessica Chastain, the scarlet mouth has long exuded a powerful impression of glamour and sexuality. In today’s animated beauty shot from Sharif Hamza, Victoria’s Secret bombshell Toni Garrn’s full lips drip with rich, sticky gloss painted on by uber-makeup artist and Burberry Beauty Creative Consultant, Wendy Rowe. To accompany the clip, bestselling writer Camilla Morton—Harper’s Bazaar contributor and author of several books including How to Walk in High Heels—has provided some sage words on the power of the crimson pout from the late Isabella Blow, taken from her interview with the editor and muse that took place in London almost exactly ten years ago...

I’m not well known for having perfect lips—some lips need to be painted… I mean that’s how you get seduced isn’t it? They normally have to kiss you—even if it’s only for a second—in order to get what they want. I actually think I look like a disaster with my teeth, but someone once said I always look like I’m in the process of kissing, the whole time. Well the eyes are meant to be the mirror to your soul and the mouth is the sex—so I like both. Soul and sex. 

What is good taste? [With lipstick] not only does it have to taste good: it has to look good, it has to feel good and it has to attack all your senses. It’s a feeling, it’s like fucking—does it feel good? Well, it should do. Taste is really about putting together the right ingredients; it goes from foot to knee and then up and up, obviously to accentuate your best bits—it’s like a building, you have to get your silhouette right. You have to know your silhouette, and then work with it, this erotic, intimate relationship... I’m obsessed with this guy who does the Worth corsets, mad about him, they turn me on: corsets and lipsticks. If I’ve put my lips on, it just makes me feel alive—makes you feel like you could get into a bit of soixante neuf. But of course lipstick is actually very inconvenient, ‘cause when you kiss somebody you look like Noddy by the time you’re done, ‘cause you’ve got it all over your mouth; or you look like a bad Christmas present. 

What is the most potent colour? Red. Some people say to me ‘Oh God, when are you going to stop wearing red?’ the thing is, I love red. I like a Whore Red, a 50s red, a Tamara-de-Lempicka-kind-of red. But not always… it depends on your mood. Lipsticks can totally lift my mood, though I hate those lipsticks that are earthy and brown like shit. I don’t like looking like I’ve got a mouth full of that. See, it can really alter your whole composition.  

Iconic lips? Well, there are Dali’s famous red lips, obviously Madonna is obsessed with her mouth, Isabelle Adjani in La Reine Margot, when she’s going round fucking all these boys at the masque for the feast of Henri IV, that mouth is just… Sue Webster has what I would call an underestimated mouth; Karen Elson, there’s a good mouth; Daphne Guinness, Catherine Deneuve, and, I think, Monica Belluci have incredible mouths.  

I do think it is important to draw attention to your lips. I feel more confident with my lips on… I must be super matte, not a doormat!

As told to Camilla Morton, in Make Up Forever, South Molton Street, May 2003. 
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    Daphne Guinness: Undressed

    Director Brennan Stasiewicz Captures Fashion’s Enigma At Home and On Display

    Documentary filmmaker Brennan Stasiewicz infiltrates the cosseted world of Daphne Guinness in Daphne’s Window. Featuring intimate footage of the icon at her Fifth Avenue apartment, the short follows the eccentric fashion patron and socialite as she prepares for her recent installation in the windows of Barneys New York. The storefront showcased her collection of pieces by designer Lee Alexander McQueen and a selection from the archive of fashion editor Isabella Blow, which Guinness purchased in its entirety last year. The display culminated in a performance art piece in which Guinness dressed for the Met ball in one of the flagship’s windows, modeling a lilac feathered gown designed by McQueen’s Sarah Burton. “She appears to me as someone always in a window,” says Stasiewicz. “Someone you can approach and see, but you remain on the other side.” This year brings a multitude of projects for the heiress: her sculptural armored glove collaboration with jeweler Shaun Leane (pictured in today’s film) will be exhibited by Jay Jopling in a private viewing in London later this month; and in September a retrospective at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology will pay homage to her style. “Daphne is someone to take pleasure in, and in many ways, someone who incites moments of wonder,” says Stasiewicz.

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    Deerhunter x Proenza Schouler: Monomania

    Band Members Become the Unlikely Faces of the Ever-Current New York Womenswear Line

    Indie rocker androgyny finds a kindred spirit in women's ready-to-wear courtesy of Proenza Schouler in this series of photographs featuring Deerhunter, accompanied by an eponymous track taken from the recently released album Monomania. The unlikely collaboration was born from mutual admiration between Bradford Cox, the provocative lead singer of the psychedelic noise-rock band, and the New York fashion label’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. “Bradford had all these themes and ideas he was playing with during the recording of the album. He was obsessed with primitive and African art, fur and animal prints,” explains photographer Robert Semmer, who is working with the Atlanta-born band on a bigger visual project, including a film and music video around the release of this latest album. “Bradford and the drummer Moses were already huge fans of Proenza Schouler and when they saw the Autumn/Winter 2013 show they freaked out because it was exactly the same vibe that they were obsessing over.” NOWNESS caught up with the designers to discover more about this brand new alliance.

    What makes Deerhunter the perfect Proenza muse?
    Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez: Bradford is fiercely driven to explore his craft and is possessed by it, something we find incredibly intoxicating and inspiring. It makes us want to push harder, to think bigger.

    Were you surprised to hear that the band are big fans of Proenza Schouler A/W13?
    JM and LH: It was definitely unexpected and funny since it’s a women’s fashion brand.

    How did your collaboration come about?
    JM and LH: We went to a performance they gave at MoMA PS1 in Queens a few weeks before our fall runway show. Afterwards we went backstage to meet Bradford; he mentioned that he and the band were fans of Proenza Schouler and that it might be interesting to work on something together. We invited them to the show in February and the next day they called us up and asked us to dress them for their album cover shoot.

    Is it important to connect with interesting bands?
    JM and LH: We’ve been listening to both Deerhunter and Atlas Sound [Cox’s solo project] on repeat. Music is really important to us—it formulates ideas when we’re drawing and working in the studio. We’re constantly looking for new music online and going off on tangents searching for things. 

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