It is always darkest before the dawn, so the proverb goes. By our calculations, the sun should be rising on planet fashion any day now: the Fall 2012 runways plunged us into a cavernous black hole of clothes worthy of Louise Brooks and Siouxsie Sioux, and haunting beauty looks that referenced Tim Burton’s films. That mood also infected the making of Lady Gaga’s fragrance, Fame. “I like black, especially what it has to do with fame, because it is a veil,” she says, tapping her knife-like ebony talons on the table at a hotel in New York. “It’s sort of like saying, ‘I don’t want you to see something.’” The R&D department struggled to create the noir-hued perfume that turns clear once airborne—an industry first. (Rumour has it one staff member was inspired when he spotted a bottle of black vodka behind the bar while out for a drink.) The request for an ominously coloured juice was music to the ears of its perfumer, Richard Herpin. It meant he didn’t have to exclude ingredients that can be visually unappealing when mixed together. “I could use anything I wanted,” he says. As fashion has taught us, black hides a multitude of sins.
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