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How can we reinvent things? Modifying their size? Reimagining their shape? Launching them in other distinctive markets or finding new purposes for them? If we embodied all these techniques in one product the possibilities could be endless. We could turn a book into a bicycle, a wallpaper into nail paint or in this case, even a woollen dress into the vivid grains of a makeup palette.

Yves Saint Laurent, the illustrious French fashion designer, celebrated for establishing the tuxedo suit for women and acquiring numerous other iconic achievements, designed the Mondrian dress for the Fall/Winter 1965 collection as commendation to the modern artist Piet Mondrian. This dress was influenced by the the prominent Neo-Plasticism work by Mondrian that featured structured blocks stained in primary colours and divided by graphic lines. The shift dress soon gained popularity as ‘the dress of tomorrow’ due to its flattering silhouette infused through the linear and bold graphic lines as well as for epitomising the eminent mod trend of that decade. Reaching a little above the knee, this dress was divided in boxes emulating a canvas. Along with the modest use of primary colours, the dress featured white and black accents to add depth to the vivid hues.

In 2014, the brand brought back this iconic memory in an absolutely reimagined format. The meticulous bright boxes were transformed from fabric to coloured grains to form an eyeshadow palette.

This couture palette comes in eleven different colour combinations, some bold that reflect the dress to perfection, and some more subtle, that are just as enticing as the dress. Retailing at $60, these palettes come with five rich and intense colours each. They give a new meaning to makeup, as instead of just falling into the market for beauty, they embody fashion. Described as the ‘ultimate accessory for the eyes,’ they blend soft sultry colours with bold sizzling hues for an optimal look.

Image courtesy Yves Saint Laurent

Image courtesy Yves Saint Laurent


This is another classic example of then and now. However it takes this concept further by employing fashion from the past into a new market and therefore adding value to the product. As the writers of the film ‘Confession of a shopaholic’ once wrote, ‘cost and worth are very different things.’ The price we pay for the makeup palette might be appropriate for the exceptional quality product we receive, however the art and fashion that inspired this palette elevates its worth. Hence, we are not only buying a makeup palette designed by a luxury brand for the 60 dollars, but instead buying a product that will always echo of an iconic movement in the fashion, beauty and and the art industry. 

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