In the 1960s, Sonia Rykiel designed the Poor Boy Sweater, a light knit worn by stars of that era like Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot. The Rykiel girl might have one (or many) of these pullovers in her wardrobe, but she is not about a particular aesthetic, says the brand’s artistic director, Julie de Libran. “She is active, playful and surprising. So it’s not really about what colour hair she has; it’s about what she’s doing. It’s about whether she’s into travel or literature or just putting on makeup.”
Rykiel fans who enjoy the latter pursuit are in luck: The label’s spirit is now captured in a cosmetic collection with Lancôme. The two palettes that comprise the range are adorned with the label’s trademark stripes or illustrations of kisses, cafés and cahiers—essentials for a day spent strolling in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where Rykiel opened her first boutique. The shades reflect the house’s heritage. “I wanted to create a collection built on Sonia Rykiel’s signature colours that incorporated the cutting-edge textures and modern twist that Julie de Libran is bringing to the brand today,” says Lisa Eldridge, makeup creative director at Lancôme.
Try as we may to decode the elusive allure of French beauty, there are no rules. “It can be a clean face and a red lip to surprise, or maybe it just suits her better to only do the eyes and no lip,” says de Libran. It’s an ethos echoed by Eldridge: “What’s great about makeup is you can actually be a different person every day.”
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