In the workshop with Pierre Hardy

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

He's been making beautiful footwear for years, but now Pierre Hardy has designs on faces too, with a make-up range. Rebecca Gonsalves reports

The skill of shoe design wouldn't seem the most obvious to come in handy when creating a make-up range, but it has proved a source of inspiration for Pierre Hardy's latest collaboration – with cosmetic brand Nars. Hardy is famous among fashion followers not only for his eponymous label of architectural shoes and graphically printed bags, but for his work over the last 25 years at established Parisian houses such as Christian Dior and Balenciaga.

“Shoes are an object, while make-up is so contrary it's totally non-material,” says Hardy of his thoughts about the project which came rather out of the blue. “It's contrary too because the head and feet are so far away from each other. Frankly speaking I didn't have anything in mind when they came to me. I had never thought about it. But there are also some similarities; women's shoes are very ephemeral and need to be renewed each season. A woman's shoe is like a butterfly, you have to change it as soon as possible to keep it fresh. Make-up is in this mode, too, I think: it's something very fragile and very bright. Maybe there is something to have a link in between these two different approaches of beauty for a woman after all.” Consisting of nail polishes and blushers inspired by the designer's shoe collection for the summer season, Hardy's collection for Nars is undeniably fresh. “The shoe collection was already done, this was just the finishing moment,” says Hardy of his time with in the Nars laboratory.

“I picked up in the shoe collection the colours that could work for make-up, even some colours that are not used to work in make-up; blue lavender nail polish, and a twisted yellow-ish shade. The intent was to introduce a little bit of a different taste; a different point of view through the quite unusually feminine and flowery colours.

“And then texture: the texture of suede looks like a powder – a blusher or eye shadow, patent leather looks like nail polish. I tried to make this bridge between the texture and the colour and the shoe material.”

As well as the texture of the product once applied, Hardy looked at it in the packaging – blushers are embossed with his now-signature cuboid print in highlighter shades, nail-polish duos come in miniature dust bags to echo the packaging of his luxurious shoes. “When I first went to the Nars headquarters, I really loved it. It looked like a laboratory of colours and materials and textures. It reminded me of a futuristic artist's paint box.” A fitting connection, considering Hardy's studies were in fine art at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he also studied dance.

Throughout his career, Hardy has managed to maintain a balance between his stellar work for the likes of Hermes: for which he is the creative director of women's and men's shoes and fine jewellery, his eponymous label and hugely successful collaborations with the likes of Gap.

“Working with Hermes is very deep, long-term work,” says Hardy. “It's very different to do something for years and go deeper in this field and then do this very ephemeral collaboration with Nars. That's why I like it actually. It has to be quick, focused, efficient and fun – it's an exception for me, and for them.

“I'm a pure designer – what interests me is newness. I'm always curious how to express what I love and what I'm searching for in a different way, with a different vocabulary. Fashion is not reinventing itself every season; it's almost the same – but only almost. The variation is about how you put one thing together in a different way and you create a surprise – a new shape or a new kind of beauty. That's what I'm searching for every time.”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

    Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Day In a Page

    Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

    Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
    General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

    All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

    The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
    How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

    How Etsy became a crafty little earner

    The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
    Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

    King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

    Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

    The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
    Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

    Don't fear the artichoke

    Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
    11 best men's socks

    11 best men's socks

    Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
    Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

    Paul Scholes column

    Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
    Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
    London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

    Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

    Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

    Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
    Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

    Khorasan is back in Syria

    America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
    General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

    On the campaign trail with Ukip

    Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
    Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

    Expect a rush on men's tights

    Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
    Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

    In the driving seat: Peter Kay

    Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road