American photographer Steven Klein is being provocative with NARS Cosmetics! Packaging for a limited edition + arresting photos = guaranteed impact.


Madonna as a sexy mamma for Dolce & Gabbana was his. Eva Mendes half-naked in a Calvin Klein campaign was his too. And so was Lady Gaga's Alejandro video and more recently Rihanna, face of Dior, wandering the Palace of Versailles by night. He is Steven Klein, American photographer with an immediately identifiable style – frankly provocative, hyperreal, sexually charged who has now been working with French cosmetics brand NARS. This is about two men who not only know and appreciate each other but, more to the point, share a taste for unconventional beauty aesthetics. "A kind of beauty that is neither obvious nor too sweet or syrupy. An unexpected beauty, different, strange," analyses François Nars, founder and artistic director of NARS Cosmetics. Rather a bold challenge in a world that permits itself very few extravagances. To promote Nars's Fantasmatic line the New York photographer – assisted by designer Fabien Baron – went for a series of eye-opening pictures that "express a bias" rather than "simply illustrating beauty". The result is spectacular!


By Mireille Sartore