David Toro and Solomon Chase Give You FACE

Originally published September 2008 on Dazed Digital.

New York accessories designer Solomon Chase has teamed up with visual artist David Toro for a line of facial products, aptly titled “FACE”. The products herein (www.faceprojects.com) don’t promise to lift away wrinkles, banish unsightly red blotches, or plump some life into lackluster lips. In fact, FACE focuses more on adding new attributes to diverse mugs everywhere—like furry bindis or reflective, glow-in-the-dark eyebrows (making safe night jogging a breeze)! Upon the launch of their brow-raising new online site, Dazed Digital faces off with the designers, hoping to get to the heart of FACE.

Dazed Digital: What is the aim of FACE Projects?
Solomon & David: FACE explores temporary facial adornment as practical accessories and self-expression. We see the face as the most important part of our outer selves, the first part noticed, the most judged. We want to transform it unlike what is done with makeup or even cosmetic surgery. Our aim with FACE is to experiment with a paradox of utility and aesthetics, and develop products ranging from functional and wearable to extravagant and conceptual.

DD: What would your advice be to someone who says, “Facial accessories are too outrageous for me! Only people like Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopez or Janet Jackson could pull them off”?
S&D: FACE gives you the option to get creative with your face. Janet, Left-Eye, and Gwen are proving the potential of accessorizing in new ways and we are expanding on that.

DD: Will your line expand to include piercings or tattoos? What about contact lenses?
S&D: We think of FACE as an alternative to permanent embellishments. Our accessories are temporary, interchangeable, and adjustable. In our newest eyebrow collection (coming soon), attachments, including visors and veils, can be added and removed to and from different eyebrows. Temporary tattoos have potential, so we’ll see. We have already designed contact lenses with incredible imagery and are currently seeking out production.

DD: What makes someone the ultimate FACE girl (or boy)?

S&D: Anyone is the ultimate face of FACE. Our accessories are meant to compliment, alter, or distort what someone already has. We don’t want a perfect “blank canvas” for FACE. Instead, the attributes of a face and our accessories will work together to create something new.

DD: From decorative bindis to your latest sportswear eyebrows, your designs range from the ecclesiastical to the practical. What inspired each of your projects so far?
S&D: Our first project for FACE was the bindi, a religious marking: red for married woman, black for unmarried and to keep evil spirits away. But bindis have recently become more elaborate embellishments for all Indian women. We wanted to expand on the modern bindi with new designs and really different materials. Maybe a blue denim bindi also has a purpose? All our material and shapes for the bindi project certainly have recognizable connotations, evoking nature and future, the occult, and Americana. “Eyebrow” was essentially born out of this theme. Most of us have eyebrows—and people like them—but do we really need them to be real? Of course not. So why shouldn’t they look different or have more of a function? Reflective eyebrows provide a nighttime safety guard and easy recognition in bright lights. Our newest eyebrows are more daytime-oriented, protecting one from the sun and also providing an alternative to hats and glasses.

DD: Who, in your opinion, gives the best face?
S&D: The best face goes to Rossi De Palma. Masha Tyelna gives good face, and we’d love to be able to collaborate with Bai Ling.

DD: Do you have any dream collaborations in terms of fashion designers?
S&D: We’d love to design FACE accessories for Ann-Sofie Back and Margiela!

Solomon and David are currently planning new products for wider distribution to accompany their more one-off conceptual pieces. Look for FACE’s contribution in the upcoming “SPACE” issue of K48 Magazine, complete with a glow-in-the-dark bindi in every issue, in stores this September. Products are for sale at New High M(art) Store in Los Angeles, on k48rules.com, and through their website faceprojects.com. For special order, email face@faceproducts.com.