Sabine Marcelis designs sculptural objects to enhance your La Prairie routine

Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis on her ongoing collaboration with luxury skincare brand La Prairie

Sabine Marcelis working on La Prairie collaboration
(Image credit: La Prairie)

For Sabine Marcelis’ latest collaboration with La Prairie, the Swiss brand that transforms some of the world’s most precious ingredients – caviar, diamonds, platinum – into luxury skincare products, the designer has created a sculptural display tray and applicator to accompany its Skin Caviar Luxe Cream.

Marcelis is best known for her innovative approach to diffusing light. Idiosyncratic shapes crafted in resin and glass are made soft and welcoming through playful, reflective and translucent effects – see her donut-shaped lighting for her Ikea 'Varmblixt' collection, or her glass and stone intervention at the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion.

La Prairie Skin Caviar cream and Sabine Marcelis-designed tray and applicator

Marcelis has designed a swivelling display tray and a stone applicator to accompany La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

(Image credit: La Prairie)

She has collaborated numerous times with La Praire, including in 2019, when she served as a mentor to six students taking part in the La Prairie x ECAL competition for young designers; and in 2022, when she mentored five young female artists taking part in the La Priaire-sponsored, The Women Bauhaus collective, which aimed to celebrate and perpetuate the legacy of the women behind the Bauhaus movement. 

Sabine Marcelis interprets La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

This year, Marcelis debuted her most ambitious collaboration with the brand yet: an installation at Art Basel 2023, inspired by La Prairie’s new Skin Caviar Luxe Cream and its distinctive blue packaging.

She created an immersive experience, The Colbalt House, which invited visitors to enter a cobalt glass-walled corridor that led to a second, cream-coloured space filled with some of her designs (including her first-ever sofa).

‘As with all my projects, materiality is the most important player and inspiration. The two spaces can only exist because of the material qualities exploited in both settings,’ says Marcelis of the installation.

La Prairie Skin Caviar cream designed by Sabine Marcelis

The designer with sketches and materials for the new skincare accessories

(Image credit: La Prairie)

‘The cold, intense blue glass even [adds to] the acoustic experience, where sound bounces around the hard-surfaced geometric grid of panels. And [then there’s] the contrasting super-organic cream interior with objects void of any sharp edges, made from a variety of soft and veloury fabrics. The material tactility, the acoustics, the colour, the way the space envelops the visitors – it all plays a role in the total experience.’

La Prairie skin caviar

(Image credit: La Prairie)

Next up from the collaboration is Marcelis’ capsule collection of objects to accompany the new Skin Caviar Luxe Cream, which launches in September 2023 exclusively at Selfridges. The new iteration of the cream comes in two distinct textures – a Luxe Cream that is rich and velvety, and a Luxe Cream Sheer that is light and airy. Marcelis has designed a display tray and a stone applicator that nestles inside.

La Prairie skin caviar

(Image credit: La Prairie)

‘This was the first time for me to work on a product that is in such close proximity to the body,’ says Marcelis. ‘The capsule collection includes a spatula to apply the cream with. It also acts as a gua sha tool. We had to make sure the material (natural stone) was completely suitable for use on the skin. 

‘This was the most challenging part for me, as the decision is completely out of your hands – the lab test results defined whether we could use the stone or not – luckily, the test results were in our favour! 

‘I think you are always racing a bit against time with projects like this  – but there is nothing quite like a good deadline to give a project the right momentum. It was an absolute pleasure to work with the La Prairie team and I’m very proud of what we achieved.’

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.