A Swiss beauty brand’s relentless quest for excellence is driving its patronage of the arts.
Discerning women know that the best skincare products in the world can beautifully designed jar in their hands to the second the sumptuous salve melts into their skin, the entire ritual can be likened to an artful self-care ceremony and an exquisite treat to the senses.
Case in point: La Prairie’s sleek packaging and enveloping textures. When the Swiss brand’s partnership with Art Basel was first announced last year, it was a natural move for La Prairie to draw the link between its unwavering pursuit of scientific breakthroughs and luxurious formulations with its support of artists who continue to push boundaries in their process of creation. La Prairie even engaged several contemporary artists to create a series of caviar-inspired works in celebration of its Skin Caviar’s 30th anniversary last year, which were then exhibited in cities like Paris, Shanghai and New York.
This year, as La Prairie teams up with Art Basel once again, the brand shifts its focus to the study of light, which is in line with the launch of its latest product, White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire. Touted as its most efficacious formula to date, this exceptional moisturiser contains Lumidose, a patented brightening active that exhibits the most powerful melanin-inhibiting capacity amongst the 50,000 ingredients tested by La Prairie scientists.
Which explains why the brand worked with Julian Charrière, an emerging Swiss conceptual artist, on his latest expedition to extreme, frozen landscapes of the world. In his exploration, Charrière relied on the use of light, incorporating state-of-the-art technology like specialised drones to uncover pristine landscapes that would otherwise not have been possible to witness. Piecing together the stunning visuals and footage captured, Charrière transports his audience to these far-flung locations in Light upon an Imaginary Space, the special film edit he created for La Prairie, which was unveiled at the brand’s booth at Art Basel Hong Kong’s VIP Collectors Lounge.
“My purpose is to create a space for people to have a sense of wonder and provide that space to dream,” says Charrière of his film. In addition, this expedition is a work in progress and an ongoing learning process for Charrière. “I had to develop new technology because I’m exploring an entirely new frontier, and I had to learn new skills. So there’s a lot of scientific methodology involved, even though the end product is something so poetic and abstract.”
With his unwavering pursuit of precision and audacious creative approach, it is easy to draw the parallel between Charrière’s admirable work ethics and La Prairie’s pioneering spirit. As Charrière says: “I definitely see a lot of similarities between me as an artist and the brand [La Prairie]. And their products are like works of art, because people might see it and love it, but they don’t know the amount of work that went into making it. Like La Prairie, my work constantly tries to push the boundaries of what is thought to be possible, while being unafraid to forge new ways to implement new ideas.”
After all, the realm of La Prairie has always been about striving for technological distinction with a luxurious aesthetic. While it has been recognised for its scientific know-how, the influence of art has always been deeply imbued in the Swiss brand, as seen from something as intrinsic to its brand identity as the Bauhaus-inspired product packaging. Its support for emerging artists goes beyond merely nurturing future talents and having a presence at Art Basel—it’s a meticulously calculated move towards elevating science to an art.
From top: A still from Light upon an Imaginary Space by Swiss artist, Julian Charrière. The La Prairie Pavilion at Art Basel Hong Kong’s VIP Collectors Lounge. Julian Charrière. White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire, $1,090, La Prairie.