Clarins pulled out all the stops for last night’s launch of Thierry Mugler Angel Eau de Toilette (as they tend to do for Mugler fragrance launches) and introduction of the newest Angel, Eva Mendes. They turned the first floor of the Westside highway-adjacent, Frank Gehry-designed IAC building into this cinematic, dreamlike Thierry Mugler Angel world. There were stars and comets somehow projected onto the ceiling. They even erected a gigantic comet (the same shape that outlines the perfume bottle) in the entrance that you had to walk under to go in to the event. They stamped a star on my hand when I walked in for no apparent reason. Also, I’m pretty sure the Angel scent was somehow wafting through the venue. I never stopped smelling it, even after I left, because I took the little blue Angel-scented scarf a woman suggested I tie around my wrist because it was pretty and blue.
About an hour and a half into the event, Eva Mendes made her very planned and theatrical entrance. The lights went down, the music changed to Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” and everyone stopped talking and gathered around to watch Eva walk through the giant comet in a gorgeous cream, strapless Nicola Formichetti-designed Mugler gown. She looked flawless, despite the nip slip she apparently had on the red carpet, which, let’s be honest, was probably Formichetti’s intention when he designed the dress–at least half of the models in his fall ’11 show were showing nip and Lady Gaga was wearing one of Formichetti’s creations when she had her latest slip.
The most bizarre part of the evening may have been the commercial itself, which, according to the credits, was “art directed” by Thierry Mugler. It won’t debut until September, but I’ll tell you what happens. She gets onto a futuristic spaceship/train by herself, takes a bottle of Angel out of her purse and smells it, immediately passes out, and has a dream that she’s a beautiful glamorous angel in a sparkly dress flying around. Then she wakes up! It’s very sci-fi and weird and set to the song “The Windmills of Your Mind,” sung by Eva Mendes.
When asked if she might keep the singing thing going, she told me, “if it happens organically or for a film that’s amazing but I’m not seeking out a career if that’s what you’re asking.”
I also asked her how working with Mugler was different from the other campaigns she’s done (She was the face of Calvin Klein and is set to star with former Angel Naomi Watts in a Pantene campaign). “I’m so honest when I say that this has been the most collaborative, creative campaign I’ve ever been a part of as far as not only being involved in the design and the look and stuff. I sing in it as well and it’s one of my favorite songs of all time. It’s a very personal campaign for me and I couldn’t be more proud.”
After an elaborate presentation that was about as understated as an episode of American Idol, the room that previously held the red carpet area had been transformed into a carnival with carts of desserts including macaroons and miniature funnel cakes–meant to invoke the childlike inspiration of Angel.
Thierry was there accompanied by Joey Arias, a famous drag queen. Unfortunately, he wasn’t giving interviews, so I couldn’t ask him what he thought about Formichetti’s Mugler porn video, though I have a feeling he wouldn’t disapprove.
The fragrance itself, unlike everything else about this, is pretty subtle, especially compared the eau de parfum—simple, yet mature. Oh and if you’ve never put perfume on before and are wondering how, here are the instructions we were given, and see below for a documentary-style video of Eva preparing for her singing debut:
-Remove the star-shaped cap from the bottle, holding it securely.
-Extend your arm and spray the fragrance in front of you generously, while turning the bottle in a circular motion, producing a perfume cloud.
-Take a step into the vibrant halo. Let its charm take hold of you.
-The Eau de Toilette envelopes you like a caress and the fusion takes place.