When a haute couture icon meets a beauty one, magic happens and that’s exactly what we experienced with the House of Dior this year. For the first time ever, beauty emblems get dressed with the iconic houndstooth pattern. The result is an eternal elegance taking over 3 leading fragrances from La Collection Privée Christian Dior and a lipstick that has made women fall in love with beauty since its launch, Rouge Dior.
Luckily for us, we had the opportunity to meet the one and only Peter Philips during a charming event held in Doha, and give Azyaamode’s readers some insights, not only on the New Look makeup collection but also on many, many more of the House’s wonders.
Let’s start with the New Look Makeup Collection. Which idea brought it to life?
The New Look makeup collection is a very beautiful, limited edition purely inspired by Dior Couture. It brings both worlds together through an iconic lipstick, 3 leading fragrances from the Collection Privée Christian Dior and an iconic pattern. We actually started this journey with the compacts, dressing them to make them look more couture-like. They were very desirable, and their refillable system can allow you to change the color of the lipstick to your liking, which makes them like little accessories. And with the relaunch of this edition of the Rouge Dior lipstick, we also applied the policy of rechargeability, as well as the technical possibilities to dress the packaging, same as the three fragrances, Gris Dior, Oud Ispahan and Ambre Nuit.
The New Look is the essence of couture at the House of Dior and the debut of the House’s entire journey in this exquisite world. Why is this collection a limited edition, not a permanent one?
This collection is an approach like in fashion and couture, and we’re going to build on it. It’s seasonal and every new season will have something new to offer, just like a catwalk show of a couture collection.
Talking about Rouge Dior the lipstick, what shades of red are made available?
They are existing shades and we’re working around the concept of the refill. You can pick any shade you like and then take it out and replace it with another one, from the 999 Velvet Finish and the 100 Nude Look Velvet Finish to the most sought-after shades of today and the unprecedented satin balm finish, 728 Nu Rose.
Tell us about the fragrances joining the New Look collection.
Although it’s not my specialty, the chosen fragrances are very popular at Dior in general, as well as in the Middle East, so they were an appropriate choice and we set them up in a beautiful box.
Backstage is another collection that took Dior makeup to new levels. How did it all start and what’s the idea behind it?
I’ve been at Dior for almost 8 years now and when I joined, I wanted to launch a collection inspired by professional products as we wanted to attract a younger audience. With the backstage being my platform 6 times a year while preparing for the shows, we needed products that are maybe a bit younger in spirit than our classic lines. In fact, not every girl wants to use the same products as her mom, they want to discover themselves. From this idea, the backstage line was born, offering products that are lightweight, with a more modern packaging. For the eyeshadows for example, I prefer a palette where I can see what’s inside when it’s closed for practical reasons. As for the foundation, it doesn’t come in a glass bottle and therefore, travel friendly because it’s lightweight. This was the base that set the tone for a whole collection of products used backstage, and exactly what was needed to attract a younger public in times when millennial brands are taking over. And thanks to the Backstage line and our ability to stay relevant, in the last few years, we were able to stay strong as Dior among everything that’s happening in the beauty world and on social media. In the past, the source of beauty information was magazines, whereby today, there’s a whole community out there that awakens youngsters’ knowledge about beauty and how to apply products. We took that into consideration while staying loyal to the essence of the services offered by a luxury house – a good service and a good quality. We actually have to seduce them with our color ranges and our quality, while keeping our standards high.
Speaking of color ranges, do you think yours now addresses all skin tones?
Yes, Dior has always been very good in this and up until now, we have gone up to shade 8, which is great. In fact, it’s not only about the shades, but also about the logistics behind them, which is very complicated. And that’s where we really have to not only educate – because people know, but also facilitate the possibility to choose. The shades have always been there but a beauty counter for example doesn’t have enough space to showcase the whole range. Some shades are not a priority for a certain department store’s client. This becomes like a vicious circle, but then because of social media and because of the way we approach our counters, we have now a more efficient way to communicate this wide range of shades and that’s actually why we expanded it not only in dark shades, but also in lighter ones. In addition, the research we do when we develop the colors take a lot of time and with time, we become more and more professional and we gain expertise by really selecting a larger group of women to test our shades on, especially for the Backstage line. We test not only the texture, but also the color, analyze the shades and how the texture blends with the skin. We also approach the use of the shade, whether it is to enhance your skin tone or go for a tone-on-tone look, or even correct the color of your skin. These are totally different approaches, but our range offers all you need no matter your choice.
With the new trends of taking pictures and be out and seen, did the camera light affect your research and strategies on how to create products?
As a professional makeup artist, I have a professional approach and techniques that I already use – such as working with at least 2 different foundations to make sure that there is light coming from the center, contouring a bit more and blending well the products. When I started working in this field in the mid-90’s, it was all about the no-makeup makeup trend. Back then, we didn’t do contouring or rather not a visible one, so it was all about the blending, using 2 or even 3 foundation shades to go dark on the sides and lighter at the center and making sure the finish is matt. These were little details but they were subtly applied so people would not notice, because it was not about the actual face, it was more about the illusion that nothing happened. So, by evolving in this direction and with the rise of social media, people became more and more expert, and we developed products a bit in function of that. Let’s take, for instance, Dior’s Forever Skin Correct Concealer with its amazing stretch formula. Many people I know use it as a foundation because it is like a filter, very social media friendly. It blends in nicely and doesn’t get into the wrinkles, which usually the more you apply makeup to hide the more they show. Therefore, the refinement of the texture is very important for situations like that. Another example is the Glow Palette, not only in our Backstage line but also in our seasonal collections and sometimes even in the holiday collections. They are always existent because women discovered the importance of not only shading using blush and contouring, as your dark intensities become even stronger when you put them under a source of light. A highlight is a source of light.
Are there an additional product, besides the ones featured in the Backstage line, that you still use behind-the-scenes and are not part of the collection?
At the beginning we didn’t have primers but now both the Backstage and the Forever lines offer some options. We have the lip balms, which are amazing. I actually use the mask to offer lips some care and enhance the effect of the lip balm, which gives a beautiful result and we have now the blur effect which is also important. So, everything I use is released to the public. My only frustration is that we got amazing eyeliners, but I love to work with a cream eyeliner, which needs an extremely good brush and is harder to be applied by women on themselves. However, our eyeliners are very good because they got the really fine pen that glides easily.