Women are interesting creatures. Multi-faceted, powerful, mysterious, complex, cryptic, oftentimes paradoxical. (There, I said it.)
Even our navigating of this world as a woman right now seems contradictory - alien, yet strangely nostalgic and familiar. It’s incredibly empowering to take unified steps forward - it's thrilling yet slightly uncertain. Before we were Beyoncified and diva-fied (yes, it's a verb now) donning red lips was our symbol of strength, a metaphor of defiance as the suffragettes challenged patriarchal oppression in the 1900s. Today, alongside Designated Survivor binge-watching, Half The Sky-reading and trunkshow-shopping, women share the common ground of the quiet confidence one acquires from a solid scarlet lip. It is an emblem of intent and free expression - we imbibe that same strength, albeit in a different form. And therein lies the lesser celebrated yet more valuable beauty of the beauty industry.
When I partnered with Dior Beauty to celebrate their Rouge Dior collection I wanted to explore the interwoven threads of that very strength, highlighting themes that I felt were best represented in my personal favourites; Victoire, the classic 999 and Red Smile (something we could use a lot more of these days). Rouge Dior, the first lipstick from the Monsieur Christian Dior - created in 1953, was to serve as a complementary accent against his fine, innovative couture pieces - and now that classic has been matte-ified and reformulated for 16 hours of uninterrupted wear.
I asked three talented Filipino designers to create an outfit inspired by these themes. I suggested the ideas of strength, drama (a surprisingly apt description of what its like to be a woman today as its family of synonyms include thrill, turmoil, adventure and excitement) and fluidity and adaptability. The beauty of the woman, after all, lies in her intricacies. With the entry of Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior and her wildly successful, empowering first 'We Should All Be Feminists' collection, it serves as proof we need to connect with women who are looking to hold on to a substantial message - in all facets of her life. Bengt Enrique, Milka Quinn and Bea Samson each created a look that were paired with the rich hues of vermillion and I tried as best I could to capture those themes in 6-degree weather and a barrage of swollen rainclouds. Partnering with Dior Beauty was the perfect conduit to sharing this story - it is a house rich with history, innovation, femininity and empowerment (especially with Chiuri's entry). Combined with the work of our up and coming local creative minds this hits home on a much more personal and intimate level - not all that different from that powerful little tube of rouge.
Rouge Dior 872 Victoire / Rouge Dior 999 / Rouge Dior 080 Red Smile
[Available at Dior Boutique in SM Makati +63 906 288 8780 & Dior Rustans Shangri-La +63 927 329 0690]
LOOK 1 : Rouge Dior 999 / Bea Samson Dress, Cuffs & Collar Ivy Kirzhner Heels, TARA Jewellry
LOOK 2 : Rouge Dior 080 Red Smile / Bengt Enrique Dress
LOOK 3 : Rouge Dior 872 Victoire / Milka Quin Shirt, Bustier, TARA Jewellry
Photography, Styling: Kim Jones