Christian Louboutin Beauté invited the studio to design a series of bottles for the brand’s new women’s fragrance range. As only the third product to come out of Christian Louboutin Beauté, the brief set to the studio was not finite and took shape during open conversations. The studio was free to explore ideas and choose the best.
Understanding Louboutin’s passion for classic shapes that withstand the test of time, we wanted to design a bottle that would not look too much of its time.
We were excited by the idea of taking a classically shaped perfume bottle and transforming it in a simple way. This could allow for the design to be rooted in the tradition of perfume bottles but to have another voice or something special that would allow it to be an object in its own right, worth keeping even after it was empty – an “objet d’art”.
In earlier projects like Twisted Cabinet and Paternoster Vents in London the studio explored the possibility of creating folding surfaces in different materials, and we were curious to see how folding would work in the form of hollow glass, and if it was even technically feasible.
The idea was simple: to take a rectangular bottle, put a hole in the centre and turn it inside out. The reflections and translucencies would be special and interesting, and instead of a single volume the bottle would be a more dynamic circle. Christian wanted to create a flow of fragrance within the bottle, fascinated by the idea that “liquid is alive”, but there were a lot of technological challenges.
We explored and prototyped the form in the workshop, but making the shape in glass was quite different to making it in another material. As the bottles are small, a fine level of precision was required and the craftsmanship of the glass moulding became quite complex. To get the form that we were after, we worked closely with the glass manufacturer and through lots of testing and re-testing.
Founder and Design Director: Thomas Heatherwick
Project Leader: Alma Wang
Team: Simone Bretti, Cassandra Tsolakis
Makers: Einar Blixhavn, Erich Breuer, Antoine van Erp