June 18 2019  |  Fragrances, Cosmetics, Skincare & Haircare

Gucci Beauty debuts first lipstick line from Alessandro Michele

By Hibah Noor

The new Gucci Beauty ad campaign celebrates people’s flaws and individuality (Image by Martin Parr, courtesy of Gucci)

Italian fashion house Gucci has kicked off its new beauty story with the launch of three lipstick collections, and a campaign dubbed #GucciBeautyNetwork by Martin Parr.

The new campaign takes a dramatically different tack from previous Gucci makeup ads, as the images on this page illustrate.

Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele explains: “Makeup is something poetic and fleeting that you can add to your face, changing or highlighting something about yourself. I find it an almost magical language, strongly linked to the other details I use for the expression of the self, such as jewelry and a hairstyle. Of all these aspects needed to emphasize or underline an aspect of ourselves, makeup is the most immediate and the oldest way, making it the most fascinating,”

Michele believes that “makeup should not mask but rather exalt flaws and make them part of the language of beauty. Defects should be evidenced and not hidden away. Within this language everyone should be able to wear makeup how they want to, whether to reveal your true self, allowing you to be yourself, or as a means to transform, allowing you to be who you want to be.”

Gucci begins its new beauty story from the lips. Manufactured by Coty Inc, Gucci’s three new lipstick collections are diverse formulations: Rouge à Lèvres Satin with a satin finish, Rouge à Lèvres Voile with a sheer finish, and Baume à Lèvres, a translucent lip balm.

Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele was inspired by the made-up lips of Hollywood’s stars from the Golden Age (Image by Martin Parr, courtesy of Gucci)

To create these lipsticks, Michele was inspired by the made-up lips of Hollywood’s stars from the Golden Age, their lips expressing sensuality, charm and influence – sometimes within the same look.

“Lipstick is the most beautiful object you can find inside a handbag. It is the most fascinating because it has always had a beautiful scent – we made Gucci lipsticks perfumed with violet. Lipstick is a playful object because it recalls crayons that children color with. Lipstick also symbolizes of the world of cinema, and all of the famous lips from Hollywood,” said Michele.

The lipsticks are described as “brilliantly full of color in a modern broad palette”. The names of the shades are inspired by iconic Hollywood movies and characters from the gilded era, played by the likes of Jean Harlow, and other famous actresses, such as Bette Davis, Greta Garbo and their peers.

The themes of the legendary films embodying the glamor and folly of the time also inspire the lipsticks, including titles such as Love Before Breakfast, Three Wise Girls, and A Royal Scandal.

The lipstick collection’s star color is 25* Goldie Red, chosen by Alessandro Michele because of his admiration for the color red (Image by Martin Parr, courtesy of Gucci)

Rouge à Lèvres Satin: Described as creamy with intense color, the formula delivers a long-lasting satin finish, that leaves lips smooth and soft, and is lightweight with a comfortable feel. The 36 shades sweep from nudes, such as Penny Beige and Hazlenut Beige, to reds including Odalie Red, a vivid red, to pinks including Vantine Fuchsia, a rich fuchsia shade, with nuances of orange and purple and an unexpected black hue, Crystal Black.

Rouge à Lèvres Voile: This sheer formula gives a luminous finish in a pop color palette of 18 shades that deliver a feeling of moisture and comfort in a lightweight texture, including hues named Marguerite Jade, a tawny brown, Eadie Scarlet, a red scarlet, and Marina Violet, a dark raspberry violet.

Baume à Lèvres: Aiming to enhance the natural smoothness and texture of the lips, the lip balms give a soft glow of color with three shades and one transparent formula, leaving a feeling of hydration, moisture and comfort. Shade names include Joslyn Clair in transparent, René Pink, a red pink, and Penelope Plum, a plum hue.

Star color

The collection’s star color is 25* Goldie Red. Chosen by Alessandro Michele because of his admiration for the color red, this emblematic red shade is formulated in satin and sheer finishes and recalls the red lipstick the Creative Director saw on the lips of the self-assured women when he was a child in the 80s. The shade is inspired by a legendary Hollywood character, Goldie. The starred 25 which also appears on the label is a reference to the Creative Director’s lucky number.

The campaign

At the centre of the ad campaign are the feminine ideals that have embodied lipstick as an iconic makeup tool. The campaign seeks to turn inside out the beauty world ideal that lipstick should be applied perfectly. The message is: authentic beauty lies in imperfection.

British photographer Martin Parr conveys this idea in a way that echoes his own documentary-style oeuvre, which spans five decades.

Referencing the collection’s inspiration of vintage Hollywood movie stars, art director Christopher Simmonds merges this theme with a surreal dream sequence presented as an 80s aesthetic of irony, humour and playfulness.

The three lipsticks consist of Rouge à Lèvres Satin with a satin finish, Rouge à Lèvres Voile with a sheer finish, and Baume à Lèvres, a translucent lip balm (Image by Martin Parr, courtesy of Gucci)

The products are introduced by different programs on the #GucciBeautyNetwork, tied together by a dream sequence that appears while a lead character watches TV.

The campaign films appear as 80s-style commercial breaks that interrupt the surreal movie the character is watching.

The images advocate diversity, in a series of compelling visuals that reveal the lipsticks’ colors. Appearing in the campaign is Dani Miller, the lead singer of punk band Surfbort, whose music touches on politics, sexuality, mental health, and social media. She appears together with models Mae Lapres, Achok Majak and Ellia Sophia Coggins. The shades featured in the campaign are: 25* Goldie Red for the Rouge à Lèvres Satin and the Rouge à Lèvres Voile, 2 No more Orchids and 4 Penelope Plum for the Baume à Lèvres.

Lipstick designs

First created more than a century ago in metal, the lipstick tube was a mechanical gadget, its technology hidden under a garnish of decoration and color. Recalling this idea of embellishing a functional piece, the Gucci lipsticks are designed by Alessandro Michele as objects of desire. Inspired by vintage makeup, the lipsticks’ packaging interweaves house motifs with contemporary codes.

Packaged in a gold tube, Rouge à Lèvres Satin is inspired by the Art Deco period. Rouge à Lèvres Voile makes a feminine statement in a pink rosebud print on ivory with a gold base, as if they came from a 1940s dressing table. Baume à Lèvres is contained in a turquoise tube, a hybrid shade of blue and green chosen by Alessandro Michele because it represents an attention to color, before pink was assigned as symbolic of the feminine world post-war.

The travel retail assortment consists of 36 Satin shades, 18 Voile shades and four lip balm shades. The on-counter date in travel retail is May 29 in the US, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Other makeup elements for the face will debut soon, Coty said.

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