CHIVAS REGAL 18 BY CHRISTIAN LACROIX
LIMITED 30 BOTTLES IN HONG KONG
The internationally renowned whiskey maker Chivas has been collaborating with art and fashion key figures on limited editions. Chivas Regal 18 was re-styled by the great late Alexander McQueen last year; this year Christian Lacroix is responsible for a unique bottle and packaging design for a limited edition of three thousand worldwide.
Head mixologist Colin Scott creates Chivas Regal 18 with over thirty years of experience. The over eighteen years whiskey is intense and rich in flavour. The bottle design reflects the decadent aesthetic of Christian Lacroix – silver with gold pattern and hand embroidery, the box is embellished to its max. The amber shade is seen through the intricate pattern. This is also a timely project for Christian Lacroix, who is temporarily taking a break from Haute Couture and womenswear.
Thirty bottles are allocated for the Hong Kong region, available for sale at Voi_la! and City’Super. Sacha Walckhoff, creative director or Christian Lacroix, flew in from Paris to share a few thoughts with THINK SILLY editorial.
How did this collaboration come about?
We met with the Chivas team around two and a half years ago, and we really got on with. They told us a lot about their company, positioning, anticipation for the luxury market and interest in craftsmanship. We’ve always been known for our Haute Couture, and felt that we could work on something together. After the success of our design for Chivas 2009, I’d say this is our second baby together. We also design a brocade box, an evolution from card box. It’s very popular, because it’s almost like a handbag. It’s versatile – not only for whiskey bottles.
The design truly demonstrates the aesthetic of Christian Lacroix – with intricate design detail and technical process involved. Please could you tell us a bit more about the process?
We started designing it like we do with fashion – we imagine Chivas 18 as a lady, the box her closet. It’s lined with mirrors. We took a key design from our Haute Couture archive and applied it to the bottle, the label in the centre is applied with jacquard, embroidery etc. The brocade, silver beads and crystals are applied by hand. We also use the laser metallisation technique that we used last time, when we designed Chivas 12, to apply patterns on the bottles.
Mr. Lacroix was once given a cape, which became an inspiration for a red dress, as shown in AW2002 Haute Couture show. Madonna also wore it in a background music video ‘The Beast Within’ for her 2004 tour. It was also on the cover of ‘W Magazine’. Since then, it’s become a lucky object for us. We always think about this lucky pattern every time we work on a project. Therefore we’ve used it on the bottle to make a unique design between the two companies. The brocade box shows our pursuit for the best. The stylish cap is also inspired by Haute Couture, like a crown almost.
How long was the production?
The design process was quick, but the production took us a whole year. All the details are made for the first time, and it took many trial-and-errors to get right. The pattern on bottle cap alone took us three months! It took even longer than Haute Couture collection.
What’s the main difference between designing clothes and bottles?
Not much, to be honest. I must say I really took the bottle as a lady! I even asked ‘her’ if ‘she’ likes my design. Of course I didn’t receive a reply, but I believe the answer would be a positive one. For me personally, creating is all about sharing. I’m excited by every new challenge, because my job is about creating desire and emotions. Although I’ve always worked with fabric, but who know what’s next? It could be a wine bottle or furniture. The main point is to bring joy to the world, especially the world we’re living in. Each happy moment is a precious one.
Are you going to collaborate with Chivas again?
I’d be excited to! We are like family by now. I know a lot of them through the process, Colin Scott is now a good friend. Everyone is so passionate about what we do, and it is something that we share. We talked about it last October, when we were finishing the last step. We were already missing each other. They said there’d be a twenty-five years proposal but I’m not sure whom they’re going to work with yet. It’d be an honour if we get asked to be on board.
What do you bring to Christian Lacroix, as the label’s creative director, that is most different from what it was?
We are no longer working on Haute Couture and womenswear, but we’re working on our first menswear, accessories and lounge wear collections. There’ll be leather, jewellery and watch collection next winter. We hope to re-build the label and prepare ourselves for the womenswear collection. I hope it’ll be a modern and active collection. My girl friends are all workingwomen, and despite of their salary level, they don’t necessarily want to splash it all on clothes. They are also concerned with housing, car, family and various costs. A lot of women invest in bags and shoes these days, and we’ve already launched our accessories collection. Based on the fabulous archive, we hope to re-introduce Christina Lacroix to the public, perhaps with a more youthful feel. Once we feel there’s substantial support, it’s time for us to reintroduce womenswear collection.
Text: iemi | Translation: dilettante
Photo: Kimio Ng
Update: 26 Jan 2011