La Prairie explores art and sustainability with its Gold Collection
The Swiss brand’s new collection marks its first foray into refillable packaging and a collaboration with artist Carla Chan
La Prairie isn’t called ‘the world’s most luxurious skincare brand’ for nothing, as its latest launch attests. The Gold Collection sees the brand’s signature La Prairie’s Exclusive Cellular Complex blended with real gold particles designed to fortify ageing skin and infuse it with a glowing, youthful lustre.
Infusing precious materials into skin formulations is nothing new for the brand, which has previously created collections around the anti-aging benefits of caviar and platinum.
Foundational to all of these products is its Exclusive Cellular Complex, a formulation so highly protected that its components are produced in two separate labs and then blended in a third so that no single scientist or chemist has access to the recipe.
La Prairie’s refillable packaging design
While the opulence of the Gold Collection may not be novel for La Prairie, its debut does mark a new chapter in the brand’s history. For the first time ever, a La Prairie collection will come in replenishable vessels, with the Gold Collection’s brushed metal casing and cap designed to be kept indefinitely. Only the glass vials that contain the formulas, once empty, are meant to be replaced by new ones.
La Prairie has noted that this is just one step on the very long road towards becoming a more sustainable brand. As its Chef Marketing Officer, Greg Prodromides, says, ’sustainability is an important topic for us and an
extremely complex one, where is all not necessarily as it seems. We consider it to be a journey.’
Sustainability in beauty is indeed a complex journey and many other luxury beauty brands, like Hermès and Dior, are also beginning with refillable packaging. Although, we’ll have to wait and see what next steps all of these beauty brands will take to continue on the sustainable path.
Throughout its nearly 50 year history, La Prairie has associated itself with the art world through patronage and artist collaborations. In conjunction with the Gold Collection launch, La Prairie has partnered with Frieze New York and Frieze London for a one-of-a-kind project.
Entitled ‘Space Between The Light Glows’, the project features a video installation by Hong Kongese artist Carla Chan designed to immerse viewers into the majestic beauty of the ‘golden hour.’ As Chan explains it, ‘the golden hour is a singular moment that focuses on change and the in-between. It is a moment where you lose the sense of time and space during which emotion, thoughts and imagination are heightened.’
To create the piece, Chan was invited to spend a few weeks at the Monte Rosa Hut, an architectural gem in the Swiss Alps that dramatically juts from the mountainous landscape and shimmers in the sun with its reflective aluminium exterior.
‘Nature was the big inspiration behind this piece,’ says Chan. ‘The human encounter with raw nature – the stillness, the beauty it imparts pushed me to reflect on the relationship between nature and the humankind and how we cohabit together. It was important for me to create an immersive experience conducive to such contemplation.’
The work debuted at Frieze New York 2021 and will be on show in autumn 2021 at Frieze London. §