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Friday night, we attended a souiree at Soho House to get a look at the colors Francois Nars cooked up for fall, as well as hear him chat with Barneys New York fashion director Amanda Brooks about the big fall color trends. The evening got off to an auspicious start: we shared an elevator ride with Dustin Hoffman (and five other gals who were on the verge of hyperventilation but were all playing it super cool).
Amanda personally introduced Francois Nars to all of the ladies in attendance -- in case you're wondering, he's maybe 5'8" or 5'9", of indeterminate age, incredibly glossy hair, bearing the trademark scruff on his face, smells delicious, etc. They sat downand Amanda started grilling Francois about how he came up with the colors for fall-- it was a bit like watching Walter Cronkite interview Jimmy Carter or something, but the weirdness of listening to this intense Q&A session about makeup evaporated with Nars' charm and obvious enthusiasm.
We may be leaving the big summer colors of hot pink and orange behind, but fall's palette will be another study in intensity. Nars developed the new offerings independently of the big fashion houses, but it's the same palette of "It hues" that graced many of the major runways shows: rich blues, saffrons, burgundy and more. Even though Nars got incredibly lucky with what we call the Orgasm Stick -- i.e., that blush that's so versatile and looks good on so many skin types we're willing to be 75% of you own it -- he admits that he doesn't focus on making colors with universal appeal. Sometimes he works with a definitive color, inspiration or person in mind, so he doesn't care if it works for the masses. And if you've ever wondered why gorgeous colors get discontinued, Nars offered a very simple explanation. "It's sales, a matter of economics." (Which is funny, because earlier in the night, he was asked if he had a favorite color from his new collection -- he demured and said, "They're all my babies, it's like you're asking me to pick a favorite child." But apparently, he has no problem letting the accounting department put down an unpopular child. But anyway?)
Beyond the beauty biz, Nars has some big projects in the works. In July, he's launching eyewear. No specifics were given; they'll definitely be available online, and it's a safe bet that his glasses (sunnies and prescription frames) will probably be available at Barneys. And in the fall of next year, Nars will publish a book of his photography. It's not beauty photography, per se, but it will feature beautiful people and landscapes, photographs taken on the island he owns (yes, really) and the surrounding areas. Interestingly enough, the color king's collection will be in black and white. "There is such an intensity about black and white that matches the ?black and white reveals depth and details that color can't," he said.
We asked him about his own personal beauty regimen -- we know he's got those good Euros genes on his side, as well as access to the most scientifically advanced skincare alchemy in the world, but his skin is almost magically smooth and amazing. The more ethereal component to his routine is happiness, doing what you love, and laughing. He also said he is almost obsessive about eating organics, and in particular, chlorophyll -- he's been drinking wheat grass juice for almost twenty years. Beyond that, the usual: hydrate, moisturize, and plenty of sunscreen. "It isn't always about product. Everyone can improve their skin, very simply," he offered. So go chug that wheat grass juice, slather on the sunscreen, and click through the gallery to see Francois Nars' golden fall.
· Nars [Official Site]
· Barneys New York [Official Site]