Chanel's Peter Philips reveals his nail polish secrets
Out of most beauty products, I really love nail polish, and out of all brands, there's just something about Chanel's Les Vernis that I am a bit obsessed with.
It always goes the same way: a colour debuts on the nails of their runway models during fashion week, we realise our lives had a gaping hole that could only be filled by this shade, it hits the internet and almost immediately achieves cult status before a release date has even been announced, every other brand releases an imitation that just can't quite capture its tone, and then it sells out on the waiting list alone. It's a magical process.
The man behind those precise hues, so perfectly showcased in that classically minimal glass bottle, is Chanel's creative director for makeup Peter Philips, who spoke to The New York Times about how he creates them. "There's really no logic," he said. "I observe and listen to women, and then I follow my heart and my guts. It's not a factory. I'm not a chicken that lays an egg. I just try to seduce women into discovering something they want. Because if they don't like it, they won't wear it."
In fact he told them, some of his best loved colours have been completely accidental. Like Particulière, a greige from 2010 that was crazy successful: "That color was a bit of an accident, actually. It was a failed tryout for a purple taupe shade I had requested, but when I applied a swipe to my nail, I was blown away."
Philips explained how the colours came to him - bet you never thought that a Chanel nail polish could be inspired by a plastic bag, but June - from this years summer collection (we reviewed May here) - was taken from the handle of a carrier bag he'd had for two years, and Riva from a faded lighter he'd found in a drawer. And then there's food obviously - like Holiday, which was invented to evoke the zesty, energetic colour of an orange peel. "Obviously, I didn't invent orange," he said. "But I wanted to create a popping, intense orange - it couldn't be pearly or opalescent. It wasn't so easy."
That explains why I want to eat so many of the colours then! Read the full interview with Peter Philips at nytimes.com.