The story of Dior and gold is a long one, with its origins in the very sound of the name Dior. This fact did not escape Jean Cocteau, who said, “Dior, this airy genius of our times whose magical name includes that of God (Dieu) and gold (or).” Rigor combined with excess: it was a prophetic name. From his first couture collections at the end of the 1940's, Christian Dior toyed with gold as the ultimate symbol of true luxury and dreams, as seen in his 1947 Champagne gold silk Aladdin gown or the 1949 Pactole shirtwaist gown.
Gold was synonymous with refinement, also appearing as a delicate highlighting touch on perfume bottles and the first lipsticks. Thus, the fascination with gold has continued over the decades. In whichever way it is used, gold is always symbolic of a doorway into a dream. Today the House of Dior is inviting us to a new enchanted experience with a flamboyant collection created by Tyen, where the color gold provides the setting for Dior’s emblematic Rouge Dior lip colors and Vernis nail varnishes. Gold reveals the potency of their shades, and like gold powder thrown into crystal fusion to color it red, gold equals refinement. It glimmers with luxury.
Last week, I was delighted to get my hands on a few pieces from Dior's Holiday 2011 Collection. I was flying blind, selecting pieces on the phone as Kathy Shoreman sent me swatch photos using her iPhone. I decided to start with two gorgeous Rouge Dior lip colors from Les Rouges Or, #217, Étoilé (the gold at left), and #527, Versailles. I skipped the reds. The shades I purchased at shown at left in Dior's photo above.
The new haute couture colors feature a new ultra-nourishing, long-wearing formula, luxuriously packaged in the House of Dior's signature cannage pattern with a jeweled emblem. These limited-edition lipsticks are infused with an ultra-fine golden powder that gives them a gorgeous shine. The finish has medium intensity and that stunning shine. The shades are extremely flattering. I wish there were more than four new shades available.
My photos were taken in full sun with just a hint of an overcast, giving the shine in the lipsticks its full glory. You can see that my arm isn't shining, but the lipsticks are. Étoilé is a gorgeous gold, one we can wear alone to add a golden touch to our own lip color or in combination with a drab lip color (under or over) that needs some help. It's much like a golden gloss, but with better staying power.
Versailles is one of the prettiest pink-peach shades I've purchased in months. It's ripe, shimmering, and warming on my lips - love at first application! I don't throw myself at every peach lip color that comes along. Even though many look good on me, I'm careful about the ones I select. I selected Versailles without a moment's doubt, and I was rewarded with a beauty.
If you look at Versailles in the tube, it appears to have some brown in it (which would be nice too). It's not brown on my skin. It's vivid, gleaming, and bright. If you don't want to wear a plum lip color with your purple-toned fall clothing, Versailles is perfect.
The Rouge Dior lipsticks do have the signature Dior fragrance. It dissipates quickly enough for my taste.
The golden nail colors in the collection appeal to me. I may be going back for a second helping. I decided to forgo the eye shadow palette. Even though I'm a neutral shadow lover, it's much like other palettes I already own. I'd be happy without another piece. These lip colors are thoroughly delightful.
Dior's Holiday 2011 Collection is available at Neiman Marcus, where I purchased my lipsticks, and should be available at all Dior counters. The collection can be seen (and purchased) online at Nordstrom.
Update: I caved and had that second helping, purchasing the two nail polishes shown on the left side in the photo above. They are gorgeous and already in short supply. I'll show them to you as soon as I can.
Photo at top courtesy of Dior; other photos by Best Things in Beauty