Spotlight on Design
The house’s extrait de parfum collection unveils a fantastic new artist-designed packaging. In this case, it’s not just the work of one artist, but two. As creative director Sarah always leads with design across all aspects of the house’s output working together with her husband Andy Hsu, also an artist. The new packaging concept is a fine example of how their ongoing collaboration creates beautiful and surprising things.
Andy is particularly skilled at conceiving the technical aspects of design, especially less obvious and outside-of-the-box designs. When you open your delivery, it's the monochrome print of an original line drawing by Sarah that is likely to demand your eye’s attention first. But, it is Andy’s clever design of the outer wrapping that enables the subsequent experience.
Not satisfied that the protective outer wrapping should be any less of an enjoyable experience than what lies inside, Sarah and Andy worked on a clever folding wrapping with a smart opening mechanism that ensures you know that no one has tampered with your lovely fragrance. It also comes with a re-seal sticky tab for those want to re-use the wrapping. And let’s face it, many might, with its print of an original drawing by Sarah Baker.
Once you remove the outer wrapping, a handsome charcoal presentation box emerges. When you lift the flap and open the box, the bottle is revealed, snugly held in an insert of a tactile eco foam with a stylish texture, also in charcoal. This eco foam is made from recycled materials and is recyclable, produced by a German manufacturer committed to sustainability innovation in premium packaging.
The starting point for this new design was to make it as sustainable as possible while also being luxurious and special. Obviously there is currently no perfect solution for that. Sustainability, in viable terms, is about prioritising choices. But, we wanted to build on what we’re already doing: avoiding the use of cellophane or plastics in packaging in favour of recyclable materials; using materials themselves made from recycled or sustainable materials wherever possible, and so on.
Sarah and Andy's approach has been to design something that people might want to keep or repurpose. So it's really about not ending up in the trash. And if they don’t want to keep it, they can recycle everything in the packaging, though of course that depends on local arrangements for recycling.
Meanwhile, back inside each presentation box… On the left-hand side, elegantly held on the inner cover of the box, is a mini film script, especially written with each fragrance in mind.
The house has always been about storytelling, has always been about moving image and film, which is no surprise, given Sarah's practice as an artist. But, we really felt it was time to make that a lot clearer.
The references to cinema and the heyday of the silver screen are not just present in the script, they’re also there in other circular design elements that refer to the lens of the camera, such as the new roundel logo on the charcoal box.
The surprises aren’t over yet. As you lift the bottle from its insert, through the liquid, the light catches a metallic base beneath, sending a shimmering rainbow outwards, perhaps an homage to the effect of the legendary prism lens. Films and all of its legends, after all, are created with light, made with something that denies obvious weight, dimensions or material presence.
Even then, the show’s not over. As you pull the lid from the bottle and feel its very material presence in your hand, you risk overlooking the stylish embossed logo on its underside, again evoking those letters around the lens of a precision camera.
Spray and let the olfactory indulgence begin. You are now the star of your own movie. Camera rolling!