Gareth Pugh x MAC

Gareth Pugh x MAC

MAC has teamed up with Gareth Pugh for their next makeup collaboration. It’s pretty damn cool looking.

To think Gareth Pugh is to think beautifully distorted, sculptural, otherworldly proportions… avant-garde mash ups of materials (from PVC and Perspex, latex to leather, mink to metal, Gareth reworks them all into breathtakingly original clothes)…an extreme attitude… In short, no one could accuse Gareth of being conventional. Or predictable.

Cue heavyweight geometric packaging encasing some seriously chic standouts: a duo-chromatic nail polish that flashes from emerald to amethyst. A compact Beauty Powder that turns all skin-tones a sophisticated matte. Lipglasses that go from super-subtle (worn alone) to statement-making when layered over Lipstick. Lashes that redefine the shape of what a fake lash could, or should, be…

“They’re about contradiction and the struggle between lightness and darkness,” says Gareth of how he creates his inspired collections. So too his debut approach to makeup. Every piece is unique, experimental, precious and intriguing (just like Gareth’s designs)…and ready to be played to your lighter (more ethereally natural) or darker (sinisterly sophisticated) side.

Gareth Pugh x MACGareth Pugh x MAC
Inert,  Hyper

As usual the nail polishes are what I’m gravitating to. It would be nice if they included some swatches as the images provided don’t show enough of the polish. The metallic polishes remind me of holograms. The 3 colours are Inert (Creamy midtone greyed nude), Ascension (Grey with blue violet reflective pearl) and Hyper (Deep blue with violet pearl). Each polish costs $27.50.

Gareth Pugh x MACGareth Pugh x MAC

Fervent,  Ascension

I like the lipstick and lipglass options. Fervent (Glossy blackened berry) is a satin finish lipstick and cost $27.00. I like both lipglass colours. Vacant (Sheer light lavender grey with violet pearl) and Outrage (Sheer light lavender grey with violet pearl) both cost $27.00.

Gareth Pugh x MACGareth Pugh x MAC

Outrage, Vacant

I’m very excited about the eyelashes. The geometric shape are so crazy looking. The lashes cost $21.50. The MAC staff will apply them for you to when you purchase. Perfect for those of us that suck at applying false lashes.

Gareth Pugh x MAC

The press kit included a Q&A with Gareth. I’ve posted some of the questions I found interesting.

MAC – HOW DID THIS COLLABORATION WITH M·A·C COME ABOUT?
Gareth – M·A·C have supported me since my first show and are such a great company to work with, so when they came to me with the idea of doing something collaboratively I was obviously very interested. Initially, the idea was to create makeup products linked to a particular catwalk show, where they would come backstage and take colour swatches from what we used on the catwalk and then create products from that. But I wanted to do something much more specific, something that distilled my aesthetic in a wider sense than just being about one particular season – something that was a complete package.

MAC – THE PACKAGING IS AMAZING, GIVING THE COLLECTION A REAL 360 DEGREE GARETH PUGH FEEL…DID YOU INSTIGATE THIS?
Gareth – Yes, it was really important to me that the collection we did together was more broad ranging than just being about the colour or texture of the makeup – I understand that that’s obviously one of the most important aspects of course, but I wanted it to encompasses great packaging too so it wasn’t only about the product inside. I just feel that it gives the whole range a much more special feeling – I think it all looks very ‘me’ and very slick – M·A·C did a really great job on it!

Gareth Pugh x MAC

MAC – HOW DID YOU EMBARK ON THE CREATIVE PROCESS THEN?
Gareth – To start the ball rolling, M·A·C asked me to send them some references for the various products… basically, anything that I liked the finish, colour or texture of. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted the collection to be and was able to put together a very concise reference board made up of a lot of things that I love and have kept in my studio for years for one reason or another – I never throw anything away! There was fabric in there from previous collections, a feather from some head pieces I made for my Spring/Summer 2010 show, a hematite coloured rock that I’d brought at this amazing shop called Evolution in New York, a butterfly wing that someone had given me in Paris…an amalgamation of things that I’d kept because I like them, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to use them.

MAC -THE LASHES REALLY STAND OUT: TELL ME ABOUT HOW YOU DESIGNED THESE?
Gareth – The idea with the lash was my way of getting something very graphic into the actual product. I just took a load of the biggest lashes that M·A·C makes and started chopping them up into different shapes. The thing with lashes is that they tend to be a very ‘lash’ shape whereas I wanted to do something that looked more non-conventional and angular: not something you tend to see a lot with lashes. From shooting our video and seeing how they work on the film, I really feel that these triangular lashes make the eyes look very beautiful. Worn top and bottom, they give this very angular, horse blinker, effect. Fake lashes can be very referential of old Hollywood and film noir glamour whereas I wanted to do something that was much more fresh and modern looking.

Gareth Pugh x MAC

MAC – HOW DID YOU WORK ALONGSIDE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT?
Gareth – There was a lot of backwards and forwards between us – I was being very specific! I don’t use a great deal of colour in my work but I knew it was incredibly important with this to get it right – it’s sort of the most important aspect of the collaboration really, and it had to work together as a collection. The end result was worth all the tweaking: everything is going in the same direction and singing from the same song sheet – it’s very satisfying to see it all come together.

I think the collaboration has done a great job of translating the Gareth Pugh aesthetic. The collection hits all North American MAC stores on November 23, 2011.

images: courtesy of MAC

By Anita Clarke

Anita Clarke is an Engineering Storyteller and the founder of the fashion blog “I want – I got.” She was one of the first and most prominent online fashion writers in Toronto and Canada.