Serge Lutens

FBI - Fatal Beauty Image

from the listing ARTY
EXHIBITION Iris van Herpen Sculpting the Senses
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FASHION WEEK Franck Sorbier Haute Couture Summer 2014
EXHIBITION Robert Wilson Video portraits of Lady Gaga
FASHION CLOSE UP Coco Rocha Interview

SERGE LUTENS is part of the « Whole Artist » concept very dear to Piscator, like MAN RAY, DALI, WARHOL, ANTONIO LOPEZ and so many more. Those who create unique universes, that become their signature images, LUTENS adds another dimension to this universe: the sense of smell, the creation of perfume.
Born in 1942 during the war in lille, separated very early from his mother, he perceives this like an abandomnent between two families. He's said to be a dreamer with a vivid imagination, he makes up stories..he's a story teller.
At age 14 in 1956, he's being placed in a hair salon, which will feed him with aesthetic landmarks, nurtured with cinema and magazines.

He starts to take photographs of his friends. At age 18, during the algerian war, as he's called by the flag, he was declared inapt for service and sent home. At 1962, young LUTENS goes up to Paris, full of graphic and cinematographic fantasies induces by VOGUE magazine, which represents for him at the time the quintessential of Beauty.

During his first years in Paris, movie theatres and luxury fashion press will feef his fantasies: One of his mythical movie icône will be LOUISE BROOKS, Loulou with short straight hair, white skin and racoon eyes. His color is black and that will remain.
He contacts Vogue which was working with young photographers at the time like WILLIAM KLEIN, HELMUT NEWTON, GUY BOURDIN, JEAN LOU SIEFF.

Three days after being contracted for the Chrismas edition, his talent is being recognized.
In the silver sixties universe, it was a small world of immense talent that was about to revolutionize fahion, image and publicity.
In 1967 he's being contacted by Dior. Through photography, he polishes his style, colors and forms: he's a laboratory for luxury.
In 1974, this movie fanatic with a fetish for Hollywood and Babelsberg stars like GARBO and DIETRICH, have been reborn through their mentors STILLER and VON STERNBERG, directs a short movie titled « The STARS »
He's faithful to his fetish forms like SUSAN MONCUR or ISABELLE WEINGARTEN, and stage them in very oniric and Hyperartificial universes, he travels, discover MOROCCO where he still lives, then JAPAN, country of masks which he loves dearly.

In 1980, SHISEIDO cosmetics hire him as an artistic director and creator.
He will create a visual identity that will become a worldwide landmark in the 80s and 90s. LUTENS' images are unique and very recognizable. He directs movies and video clips for the brand between fantastic and baroque, from MUGLER to TIM BURTON.
Supreme artificiality.


In 2000 comes the logical accomplishement of his artistic endeavor: he creates his own brand. He adds the sens of smell to the image and introduce it in a gorgeous black and purple jewel case, from the PALAIS-ROYAL.
Perfume and cosmetics become cosmic and neo classic.

In 2007 he's being ordained as a commander of Art and Letters.
After 2 imposing books the last 20 years, another book is being released in 2012: BERLIN to PARIS from ELECTA italian edition.

The oldest picture is from 1967 the oldest 2008. It's a fantastic overlook of obsessive refinment from this demiurge, creating and mastering hair, make up, costumes, jewelry and decors through his paintings/images like a master of renaissance, or Art deco, which is his period of choice amongst all.
He perfectly illustrates Valery Larbaud's « beauty, my business ».

It is through this image genius and his many influences that The Hollywood Babylon gohsts come back to life... German expressionist (Dr Caligari's office) PABST movies, MURNEAU and FRITZ LANG, the artists of the golden age of the WEIMAR republic: OTTO DIX, CHRISTIAN SCHAD, GEORGES GROSZ and many more...The golden age of the mute cinema, BERLIN in the 20's, from MARLENE DIETRICH to MARGO LION, from Cabaret to Music Hall, from KURT WEILL to MAX REINHARDT. Those images bring back the positive and creative decadence of these lost paradises.

This plastic surgeon of the detail with a diamond at the size, the gesture from expresionism to geishas, from projected fantaisies of surreal women with a frozen glamour.

It's the absolute crowning of the DIVINE DANDY LUTENS whose only business is beauty without words.


© Serge Lutens

Photos Serge Lutens,
Isabelle Weingarten and Jeanne, 1974
Isabelle Weingarten, 1972
Isabelle Weingarten, 1973
Serge Lutens, 2012
Cover book « Berlin à Paris », 1999


Interview & report Serge Lutens by Sabine Morandini


Imprimé en 10 couleurs
176 pages - 108 photographies
ELECTA, Milano
Papier : gardamatt art gr 200 (Cartiere del Garda)
365 x 275 mm

Marcillac Gallery
8 rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris

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