Throwback Thursday: Isabella Rossellini Manifesto Beauty

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Do you remember Isabella Rossellini Manifesto, the basil-tinged perfume released in 2000? That was a nice one. And do you remember Rossellini’s short-lived but intriguing Manifesto cosmetics line, launched the same year?

I wish I’d bought some Manifesto products when they were available. (I was a graduate student living in a secondary retail market where they weren’t available, alas.) I read about them in magazines and I admired the colors, the easy-to-use formulas, and especially the packaging. The simple tubes and compacts could be paired with colorful circular bands that acted as cases for the cosmetics or could be worn on their own, as rings and bracelets. Ingenious!

Bulgari's Isabella Rossellini Bag 2010

Manifesto’s multi-use rings and bracelets were inspired, it was said, by Rossellini’s own beloved collection of vintage resin bracelets with bold striped and dotted patterns. Here’s a photo of Rossellini wearing several of her bangles in a 2010 ad for Bulgari’s handbag line.

(These bracelets were first manufactured in the 1930s and speedily went from being considered “junk jewelry” to being coveted as bold style statements. Today, of course, they’re valuable and highly collectible as examples of modern jewelry design.)

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The memory of these clever cosmetics-jewelry items has always lingered in the back of my mind, so I was very happy to find one of the Rossellini’s Manifesto bracelets (or cosmetic-compact holders) listed for a song on Etsy.

I’ve been keeping it on my bureau with a perfume bottle (not Manifesto, but another favorite) standing inside it. I may wear it once in a while (carefully!), and I’m sure it will give me a smile all day when I do.

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