Online Exclusives

This Beauty Trend Is for the Birds

By Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor | October 21, 2010

Edelkoort, Inc. looks to the sky for inspiration in upcoming color cosmetics trends.

“Flights of Fancy” was the aptly named title of the beauty trends preview for fall and winter 2011 and 2012, presented by Edelkoort, Inc. and Beauty Press, on October 19, 2010, at “The Firehouse” on New York’s lower East Side. According to Edelkoort’s research, the latest liberating beauty trend directions will take their cues from our fine, feathered friends. Whether tropical birds of paradise, wise owls, or black ravens, the message is linked to nature, with an emphasis on eyes, to make them look bigger and rounder, and a collage of color for hair, cheeks, and lips.
Beginning with an introduction by Gabriele Fuchs, founder of Beauty Press in Germany, which offers a branded online pressroom for editors; and followed by an in-depth look at the imaginative interpretations of beauty aficionados on the cutting edge of fashion, presented by Emmanuelle Linard, executive director, Edelkoort, Inc., the preview linked the varied and beautiful expressions of nature, to a penchant for travel, global interconnection, and art. Edelkoort, Inc., whose beauty trend books represent comprehensive research in the arts, architecture, textiles, and design, continues to express the climate of beauty and fashion, as it is drawn from the far reaches of the world.

Its stock-in-trade is to keep its finger on the pulse of the global climate, as it translates to inspirations for innovators, interpreters, and originators of what is current, and anticipated for the future, in beauty and art.
Emmanuelle Linard, executive director, Edelkoort, Inc.
Linard, who opened the discussion quoting Dostoevsky, who said, “Beauty will change the world,” referenced last season’s emphasis on water, “which opened the floodgates of creativity with water as the perfect engine,” and the transition to nature once again. This time it is the idea of birds, and the community-oriented world they inhabit. Within the theme “Flights of Fancy,” she cited a wide range of birds as identifiers for human behavior, inclination and expression.
Rural Birds signified the desire to bring nature indoors, with rural and urban lifestyles merging, manifesting in an emphasis on skin, health, natural pigments, textured surfaces, and a straight from the crate look, with natural colors inspired by egg shells, tender yellows, earthy naturals and browns. These translate to hair, natural exfoliation, feathery elements and transparency. Linard cited makeup that is finely underlined, with lip color in shades of brick.
Bird's Eyes, an example of the new Beauty Trends from Edelkoort.
Nesting Birds were the second category, with strong links to hair, via texture, color,and design.
“Anything looking like hay or nesty-messy hair will be in fashion. This is a shift from the sleek, polished hair looks, into a liberation of hair volume and texture. We will see hair with radically different colors on one person,” said Linard, revealing an image of variously colored hair intertwining.
Intelligent Owls were the next phase, with wisdom, 3D life online, nerds, and the internet all part of the evolution.
“Emphasis will be placed on the eyes, like those of the owl, with eyes that see 360-degrees. Makeup for eyes will emphasize big, round eyes, often with darkness surrounding them. Men’s looks will include dark framed glasses, tousled hair, nerdy, skinny clothing, and a more romantic archetype of man; a man closer to his feminine side, and a woman closer to her masculine side,” said Linard.
Urban Birds, like sparrows, are street smart, have a sense of rebellion and androgyny (exemplified by couples wearing the same kind of outfits), hair with iridescence, and packaging that is pure in its expression. Blackbirds inspired the “cocktail” story, with gothic black touches, jet black hair, luxurious raven blacks, packaging with no names or signatures, and inky black for the eyes. This category is the closest to surrealism, with its intensity.
“In addition, there will be a shift in silhouette, with more roundness in front, and a tailcoat emphasis, much like the silhouettes of birds,” said Linard.
Singing Birds denote the move from grouchy mornings to happiness and joy punctuated with accents of color, bringing a lightness to beauty. Emphasis will be on pinks, blues, acid accents, and strong colors to awaken the color range,” Linard added.
She followed the Singing Bird category with Birds of Prey, noting that eagles and falcons come naturally into the collective consciousness, as they are birds of power. These can be seen in ancient tribal civilizations, folklore, and Native Americans, who know the power of the eagle.
“Design elements include feathers, amulets, fringes, fraying materials, and such colors as turquoise, red, and blue. There will be more emphasis on longer, feathery eyelashes, and for packaging, washes and textures will be strong,” she said.
Creativity and Exoticism
Blues and Pompoms show pops of color.

Creative Birds, a category that found expression in bold, striking eye makeup, was illustrated by touches of white placed on lashes, a strong rupture between black and white, and a free flowing expression of makeup onto the face. Longer eyelashes pushed creativity to the edge. Exotic Birds, illustrated by peacocks and birds of paradise, brought an element of theatrical makeup, with colorful, strong pigments; vivid jungle colors, like parrots, with green, purple, blue.
“Taking colors, like migrating birds out of the jungle is a strong influence,” said Linard.
She also cited experimental colors, like the purple lips of Lady Gaga.
Prehistoric Birds represented the ecological side of the earth with stones, minerals, gems, crystals and chalk, as well as bronze and metallic accents impacting makeup. Cocktail Birds reflected super pinks, pale reflections of gold, shiny, lurex accents, with nature integrated into a reflection of beauty. Birds of Paradise, a strong category, emphasized blues and greens, as well as deep color pigments, and geometric shapes in hair and face makeup.
Colorful cheeks and folklore are among the new beauty trends.
Red Rooster was the final category, bringing red accents in long, red fingernails, eyelash extensions, bright red lipstick, and a monochromatic range of red, for lips, face, and around the eyes. From tribal textures to modern geometry, birds provided the metaphor for the makeup of the future, emphasizing a link to global connectivity, while capturing the core of birds in flight, whose distinct radar enables them to navigate the world, yet avoid bumping into one another in flight, a fitting analogy for makeup aficionados of the future.
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