How much is the rhinestone budget? How is less more? What’s minimalism? New York designers-to-the-stars and partners David and Phillipe Blond have sought answers to none of these questions while making their name as ‘The Blonds’ for the last 11 years. Not done putting over-the-top, high-drama looks on all of your diva faves – Beyoncé (the glittery nipple leotard!), Mariah, Rihanna, Britney, Lil’ Kim, Nicki, Teyana, Cardi, SZA, J-Lo, Madonna, Daphne Guinness, Aquaria, literal Disney Villains, the list is truly non-exhaustive – they have now come to see to your mug. The all-new M·A·C Cosmetics ‘Phillipe & David The Blonds’ genderless capsule collection, launching September 6 2018, is a grandiose affair designed for anyone looking to shine on the regular. From personal favourite pieces and collab dreams to inclusivity and queer style expression: KNOTORYUS talked to The Blonds as they prepare for the premiere of their own make-up fantasy.
KNOTORYUS: Congratulations on your debut launch! How did the collaboration come to be and what was the experience like working with an industry legend like M·A·C?
DAVID BLOND: We’ve been having conversations about collaborating with M·A·C for many years. Having worked with and around M·A·C on various projects, for different clients, for several campaigns and having done over 20 shows at New York Fashion Week in collaboration with them, this is sort of a full-circle moment for us. It’s part of the journey that we created together, creatively. It organically came about.
KNOTORYUS: Those are the best types of partnerships, truly. I’m struck by the full-on glitz of these pieces, which items are your highlights?
PHILLIPE BLOND: I think my favourites are the ‘Blond Diamond’ lashes and my lipstick, ‘Phillipe Blond’, which is red. But I have to say, definitely, the lashes are my number one. The wonderful thing about these is that they’re great on their own. They’re like this amazing lurex version of a mink lash. Very glamorous. You can wear them like that or you can add drama by layering with eye shadow – do a smoky eye, something definitive and amp it up. They're very versatile and fun.
KNOTORYUS: What was the mood when you were working on the packaging, I see a lot of rainbow iridescence?
DAVID BLOND: We really tried to make it about the core of our inspiration and where we come from: super glamorous and over the top. We wanted the ‘Magic Dust Powder’ compact to be the centrepiece, like a collectible keepsake that you would want to look at on your vanity.
KNOTORYUS: David, you used to be a make-up artist as well, so this must’ve been a really fun ride for you both to work on.
DAVID BLOND: Absolutely, both Phillipe and I were make-up artists for quite some time, all around New York City. Working with M·A·C on our fashion week shows meant we had a lot of product knowledge and we’d been around the brand’s customers prior to making this collection too. It’s definitely something that we’ve always wanted to do, a dream come true.
KNOTORYUS: Is there anything that surprised you when you were creating the formulas, something you didn’t know about make-up?
DAVID BLOND: We’d been around the product for a long time but we never realised the amount of science that actually goes into it. It not an easy thing to make, it’s something that is very detail-oriented and takes a lot of time.
KNOTORYUS: You’ve already worked with or have been worn by the biggest stars in entertainment and fashion but is there anyone you’d love to see in your make-up or designs, what’s the next big catch?
DAVID BLOND: I think we’d love to see Janet Jackson in The Blonds!
KNOTORYUS: Oh, yes.
DAVID BLOND: We’re also always on the lookout for up and coming, fresh talent. We adore people who have their own style, who like mixing and matching. For instance, you can wear a The Blonds corset with a pair of jeans or you can go out in the entire look. It depends on your mood. We definitely want to see a lot more people, artists and new faces wearing The Blonds.
PHILLIPE BLOND: Music is one of our main inspirations along with film and art and everytime a new artist comes up, we love working with them at the beginning of their career. Currently, we’re really into artists like Dua Lipa and Saweetie.
Love them both. I think I saw Saweetie wearing one of your pieces before?
PHILLIPE BLOND: Yes, and her biggest hit’s perfect for us too – it’s called ‘ICY GRL’!
KNOTORYUS: A bop. Something particularly wonderful about The Blonds is that you’ve explicitly mentioned aiming to be inclusive when it comes to your runway shows. How are the products in this collection fit for all kinds and creeds of people?
PHILLIPE BLOND: We definitely strive to be as inclusive as possible because we want everyone to feel glamorous each day. And this make-up is a small way for you to do that. Every product we selected is something that can work for almost any skin tone or gender. You can use them in a universal way and the products are classics, but they also have a twist. This is all part of our design DNA: we try to work with classic silhouettes but turn them into something with an edge, that’s more glamorous and rebellious. For instance, you can plainly wear one of the lipsticks but the lipgloss is what turns it up a notch. You can utilise the lipstick as something more traditional and then when you add the gloss, there’s an iridescent quality to the look and it brings a secret addition of sparkle, which totally changes it. An amazing way of turning up the volume.
KNOTORYUS: Make-up has long been a language of expression in the queer community and you’ve been outspoken about resisting against unfavourable climates through art and performance. What do you hope people in your community, in our community, feel when they put on M·A·C x The Blonds?
DAVID BLOND: The great thing about M·A·C is that they’ve always been a huge supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, which has coincided with our mission to push the envelope and open people’s eyes. We feel like it’s all about expressing yourself, and this is a great time to do it.
'M·A·C David & Phillipe The Blonds' will be available September 6 2018 in select M·A·C stores and online.
Header image: (c) M·A·C