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Markets & trends

Trends: dialogue between fashion and makeup in France

At the first edition of the MakeUp in Sao Paulo trade show, Hélène Capgras, Director of creative consulting firm Brain for Beauty, explored the great sources of inspiration of the French cosmetics industry, and in particular the role of fashion in the development of the most famous makeup brands. And the question was: what inspirations for Brazilian cosmetics brands?

Hélène Capgras

Hélène Capgras

Historically, the authority and energy in the makeup world come from couture, which served innovation,” started Hélène Capgras.

Fashion shows and makeup trends

As soon as the 1980s, Dior showcased seasonal looks with shades and colours inspired by the world of couture. But it was John Galliano who created a real synergy between fashion shows and makeup over the 1990s and the 2000s. For example, his African influence on catwalks began to reflect on colours, and the first Diorific lipstick launched showed a brown shade.

Then Chanel came up with the idea of the star product. Fashion evolved towards the must-have “it product”, and makeup took inspiration from these dynamics.

The world of brands

However, drawing inspiration from fashion also meant innovating, both in the packaging and content. Brands saw it as an opportunity to remind of the codes of fashion houses. Yves Saint Laurent bows started to appear, and the Dior bag was featured on the packaging of makeup products. Chanel also introduced its fashion semantics into the world of complexion products: the well-known Blanc by Chanel was inspired by camellia and pearl and, more recently, beige, the favourite clothes colour, was used to highlight nude ranges.

Interpreting femininity

Then it was the image of women interpreted by each fashion house that started to reflect on the makeup world. The Maison Dior illustrated the different femininities in its imaginary with Natalie Portman, icon of Rouge Dior and embodiment of the young beginner, or with the image of the Hollywood blonde in J’Adore campaigns. With YSL, women looked strong and wore suits: this idea can also be found in the packaging of the Touche Éclat pen presented as a gun.

New players

Today, great French fashion houses open their own beauty and makeup stores in the iconic shopping streets of Parisian couture, like Rue Cambon or Avenue Montaigne. But ready-to-wear or accessories designers are now seizing the beauty world in turn. Luxury shoe maker Christian Louboutin launched his own nail polish line in 2010, and underwear manufacturer Etam has just launched his own beauty range.

Colour trends, distribution, styling, social networks… there are more and more links between fashion and makeup, and whether they come from couture or not, most brands cultivate these dynamics to develop.

For Hélène Capgras, the French example can be highly instructive and already represents an interesting prospective approach for Brazil, where the fashion identity is already widespread.

Kristel Milet


© 2015 - Brazil Beauty News -

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