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Compass B e au t y
A measured refutation of the contentious conviction that a woman is only beautiful when encrusted in
cosmetics, the look du jour for this season? Bold and bare.
TEXT BY HUGH MARCHAND
PHOTOS BY METROVELVET.COM/JC PARRA
For decades — nay, centuries — the beloved beauty industry has declaimed
dictatorially just what beautiful is. And although fads may metamorphose
and foci may fade, one reality can’t be argued: Beauty takes work. It takes
scaffolding. It’s an expedient of effort similar to the raising of basilicas or
the shaving of stone sculptures. But where in our industry is the beauty
of towering redwoods? Of icy fjords? Where’s our beauty in the raw?
Responding gainfully in the last couple of years, more and more celebrity
countenances are relying on a clean-cut style relevant, refreshing and,
in a neat coup-de-grace of common-sense cosmetic policy, honest. Of
particular Noten? The signature stark models of Designer Dries Van Noten
are an annual reminder that cosmetics don’t incept beauty; they enhance
it. As heartened as we may by this change in direction, it would be a lie to
say some questions didn’t niggle. Is this aloof aesthetic truly the liberating
look it’s proclaimed to be? Will natural looks subsume and supplant
potentially damaging standards of what society stratifies as beautiful? Or
is this just another modish makeup mode destined to go the way of the
dodo? Only time will tell.