NEW YORK — For Marc Rosen, there’s nothing wrong with living in a glass house. At least, that’s the message conveyed by the exhibition of his fragrance packaging designs at the Pratt Institute.
The installation, called “Glass Houses/Perfume Dwellings,” is located at Pratt’s three-week-old Manhattan campus. Rosen, who holds a masters of fine arts from Pratt, has been an adjunct professor there for 18 years. When presented with the idea of doing a retrospective, he instead opted to do a themed exhibit.
“I started thinking about bottles in a different context — as glass houses,” he said at a Monday opening, which also marked his 55th birthday. The theme was inspired by the Lagerfeld Men bottle, which, when observed in number on its side, “looks like glass bricks.”
The exhibit displays flacons with photos of buildings, creating a surreal connection between bottles and architecture. For instance, Perry Ellis 360° bottles are arranged to resemble the Taj Mahal, which is pictured adjacently. Color photographs by Vincent Ricardel also comprise a large part of the show. The exhibit is open to the public and runs until Oct. 25.
“We see packaging design as very important from consumer and industrial standpoints,” said Pratt Institute president Thomas F. Schutte. The school’s new Manhattan center, a seven-story building on West 14th Street, was purchased in 1999 and renovated to the combined tune of $41 million. It is said to house the only graduate course in the world on fragrance packaging design.
Monday’s opening drew a number of heavy hitters, including Andrea Robinson, president of Ralph Lauren Fragrances; Eric Thoreux, president of Coty Beauty Americas, and Paul Austin, Quest International’s vice president of fine fragrances. Arlene Dahl, Joan Rivers, Rex Reed and producer Marty Richards also attended, as did Rick and Kathy Hilton with daughter Nicky. “We’re here because Marc is developing a fragrance for us,” said Rick Hilton. Nicky added, “We’ve been working with him for over a year.” The family was mum on details about the fragrance project, but sources said it consists of two fragrances, Uptown and Downtown.