Picture it. The year is 1994 and Uma Thurman is dazzling as mobster's girlfriend Mia Wallace in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Her hair? A chic bob. Her nails? A rich, red-black with the polish colour identified as Chanel's Rouge Noir — or simply Vamp in the US. Released to the public the following year, Rouge Noir signified the first time a mainstream cosmetics brand had embraced such a deep and daring nail lacquer and cause an all-out buying frenzy.
But although the colour seems to have sprung up only in the mid-90s, it has its roots deep in the history of the house of Chanel. Coco Chanel was using the colour — dubbed a rich garnet, like the centre of a black cherry — along with black and white in her fashion collections back in the 1920s.
Now Chanel is celebrating the spirit of the red-black shade in its Collection Rouge Noir Absolument. The deep red makes a few appearances including in the form of a dazzling cream eyeshadow. Most notably the colour is celebrated in the original polish shade that has been updated with an additional gold-flecked top coat to lend a festive edge to the shade. And if you like the mystery and romance of a dark lip, layer on the brand's Lèvres Scintillantes in Étincelle — a sheerer shade of Rouge Noir speckled with gold — over your lipstick. Check out our favourites from the collection below:
Available from 16 October at Chanel counters and stores