The influence of French fashion photographer Guy Bourdin’s work on the global creative community is indisputable. Both stunning and controversial, the scenes Bourdin captured in the sixties and seventies were sexual and surreal, sometimes dark and violent, and laced with saturated colours. The essence of Bourdin’s imagery has inspired two evocative Nars Guy Bourdin holiday collections.
François Nars, founder and creative director of the cosmetics brand, and now also a photographer himself, credits Bourdin’s pictures from French Vogue in the early seventies as his inspiration for becoming a makeup artist. “Bourdin’s work is everywhere in my life; it’s in the DNA of Nars. I’ve long incorporated his work into our collections—in names, colours, even inspiration for the campaign images,” he says. “It was only a matter of time before I created an entire collection around him and his work.”
Much like Bourdin’s photography, the holiday collections don’t hold back. The Color Collection is brash and unyielding: lipsticks go by the names of Future Red and Full Frontal, while eyeshadows claim the titles of Wishful Thinking and Bad Behaviour. Hot pink, cherry, and violet mingle with macaw blue, magenta, and deep fuchsia—all a clear reference to Bourdin’s intensely-hued fashion and beauty scenes.
The Gifting Collection captures the darker, more sensual side of Bourdin’s editorial work. The Crime of Passion set features eyeshadow colours such as the sable Jezebel and matte black Pandora. The set’s mini lip gloss and blush are both named after a certain famous 1972 pornographic movie starring Linda Lovelace—certainly flush-inducing.
For Nars, the collection is about a desire to evade convention. “I think we’re both willing to break the rules,” he says. The limited-edition cosmetics are wrapped in some of Bourdin’s most notable photographs, and will be available at Nars retailers November 1.
Images courtesy of NARS Cosmetics. “Beautiful Stranger” image: Vogue Paris, May 1970 ©Estate of Guy Bourdin Courtesy Art + Commerce.