LONDON — The Serpentine Galleries threw a party under the dappled evening sunlight in London’s Kensington Gardens this week to celebrate the crisp, unisex fragrance it has created in collaboration with Comme des Garçons. To mark the launch, Tracey Emin designed the graphics for the bottle and its packaging, and donated two works of art to raise money for the gallery.
“The first thing I asked Greg Krum [the gallery’s head of commerce] when he approached us about working on a scent together was, ‘Do you want to make any money?’ He said, ‘Absolutely not, this is about image and prestige, not profit,’” said Comme des Garçons president and co-owner Adrian Joffe.
The brand worked with Christian Astuguevieille, creative director of Comme des Garçons Parfums, and Emilie Coppermann, perfumer at the fragrance house Symrise, to develop the scent, which aims to capture the smells of Kensington Gardens in Hyde Park, where the Serpentine Galleries are located, as well as London’s urban air.
Astuguevieille said the journey began with a visit to Kensington Gardens to smell and touch the plants. “We looked at small plants, like shrubs, and the cut grass and mixed it with scents of a modern city — like tar and pollution,” said Astuguevieille. “Then we created it to make it positive and relevant — because some of those smells aren’t always positive.”
Among the guests that gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones jokingly threatened to mist with the fragrance were Eva Herzigova and husband Gregorio Marsiaj, Joan Collins, Bianca Jagger, Theo Fennell, Stephen Webster, Richard Caring, Raimund Berthold, Nancy Dell’Olio and Jay Jopling.
The scent is composed of grass, leaves, pollen (galbanum, iris leaf), oxygen (aldehyde, ozone), asphalt (black musk, nutmeg), labdanum and smoked cedar with a little bit of pollution (benzoin, juniper wood, gaïac wood).
“It really captures that feeling of spring coming, when they cut the grass around the gallery and the air is filled with that glorious green smell,” said Peyton-Jones.
As well as creating the art for the bottle and box, Emin donated two of her works to be sold to raise funds for the gallery’s education program: A neon wall hanging saying, “The Heart Has Its Reasons,” and a monoprint of her drawing of Antonio Canova’s “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss,” a version of which she picked up in a French flea market.
“I did this for Julia and Hans Ulrich [Obrist, the gallery’s codirector] and for everything they do for art,” said Emin. “I’m quite passionate about things; I like romantic notions, I like romantic things; I don’t know if anybody giving a bottle of perfume is romantic, but I think spraying perfume on yourself and imagining someone smelling you is romantic.”
The London-based art director Daniel Baer designed the packaging for the fragrance: a simple square bottle with a depth half its height. The box also features a removable slipcover, and the pump, collar and cap are all in silver.
The bottle features Emin’s drawing of Psyche and Cupid and the wording: “The Grass, The Trees, The Lake, And You.” The bottle text is printed in luminous silver, while the artwork for the packaging slipcover is made from hot foil stamped in bright silver.
The Serpentine eau de toilette comes in a 50-ml. bottle and will retail at $95. It will be stocked exclusively at the Serpentine Galleries, Dover Street Market London and New York and Comme des Garçons Perfume Shop from April 28.
It will roll out globally from May 5 to around 50 outlets. Joffe said Comme des Garçons Parfums hopes to make 500,000 pounds, or $840,625, in retail sales during the first year, with a portion of all royalties going to support the gallery.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion