Surprising. Filling with wonder. Inspiring emotion. Guerlain is entirely devoted to original creation, daring and the quest for beauty.
Since 1828, the Guerlains have been passionate about art and rubbed shoulders with the most avant-garde artists of their age. A culture of the beautiful that forevermore distinguishes their vision of the profession. For them, each fragrance, make-up and skincare product is an opportunity to express an emotion and create a sense of pleasure and desire that transcend mere need and function first and foremost.
As aesthetes, they have always taken this creative step to its height. Exceptional formulas deserve a bottle or a case crafted by a great designer, a poster produced by a great artist, down to a boutique designed by a great architect or interior decorator.
For almost two centuries, Guerlain has been in love with the Beautiful. Thrilled at the idea of an ingenious new pencil stroke. Delighted at each step of creative daring.
Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, Guerlain's founder, knew that his creations' extremely high quality deserved a luxurious setting. He initiated a long tradition of "guest artists" that is now an integral part of the House's DNA.
He already called on the services of renowned artists for his boutiques.
Later, in 1914, Guerlain opened "68, Champs-Élysées" and entrusted its decoration to Charles Mewès, the architect responsible for the Ritz Hotel in Paris, and artists from Carrara. The building is now a listed historical monument.
In 1939, the boutique expanded to create the first spa in the world. Jean-Michel Frank was its interior designer, Giacometti created the flower lamps, and Christian Bérard decorated the perfume alcove.
More recently, Andrée Putman and Maxime d’Angeac transformed the entresol and the spa. The now famous golden ribbon was born, an astonishing mosaic composed of 350,000 finely gilded tesserae, straight out of Maxime d’Angeac and Pierre Mesguich's imagination.
Passionate about painting and photography, the Guerlains very quickly learnt how to transpose their creations into images. They called on the talents of illustrators such as Georges Buisson, Elise Darcy, Charnotet, Léonard, Cassandre, Clément Serveau, etc. Later, photos and films were shot by Ridley Scott, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Jaco Van Dormael, along with Guido Mocafico, Ellen von Unwerth, Patrick Demarchelier, Jean-Paul Goude, Steven Klein and Bruno Aveillan.
Guerlain has always turned to the greatest designers. Bottles, cases, compacts and lipstick tubes must combine functionality, beauty and distinction. Creating magic with a few lines and pencil strokes is the realm of talented artists.
Guerlain is distinctive in that it likes to cross disciplines by calling on the talents of sculptors, architects, decorators, etc. A wealth of unusual perspectives that offer a bold reinvention of an object's design.
Robert Granai, a sculptor and Guerlain collaborator, notably designed the lines of the Aqua Allegoria,
Serge Mansau, a sculptor, offered his talent for "Quand vient la pluie" and "Insolence".
Ora Ito, designed the new Terracotta case and displayed an "Idylle" adorned with chrome and black at the Milan Design Fair,
Jade Jagger, a multi-faceted artist, revisited "Shalimar's" famous oriental bottle,
Helle Damkjaer, a Danish architect, created the "Le 2 de Guerlain" mascara,
Hélène Courtaigne Delalande, a jewellery artist, designed the lines of several Guerlain skincare products,
Hervé Van der Straeten, an architect, designed a lipstick for the first time with "KissKiss",
India Mahdavi, an architect-decorator, engraved a metal case in moucharaby style for "Ecrin 6 couleurs",
Lorenz Bäumer, Place Vendôme's star jeweller, offered a jewel case for "Rouge G" lipstick and "Noir G" mascara.
Art has always been omnipresent in the Guerlain family.
In the 19th century, Jacques the visionary discerned the genius of his Impressionist friends ahead of the crowd and became a major collector. Today this passion remains: Daniel and Florence Guerlain created their Art foundation and introduced the Contemporary Drawing Prize.
Imbued with this family culture, the House of Guerlain has been highlighting FIAC since 2006. This International Contemporary Art Fair, which is held every year in Paris' Grand Palais, celebrates both internationally known artists and promising young talent.
Every year, customers, art lovers and the public at large find works of Contemporary Art in a Guerlain boutique! This exhibition at 68, Champs-Élysées is part of FIAC's Parcours Privé programme. Under the direction of an Exhibition Curator, it is devoted to a theme in connection with Guerlain's world or latest news: "Insolence" in 2006, "Mirror, Mirror on the wall" in 2007, "The Renewal of Time" in 2008, "Mechanisms of Love" in 2009, "Bee natural!" in 2010, "What matter the Bottle, if it intoxicates" in 2011, and "Presumed Insouciant" in 2012.
The themes have displayed works by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Jeff Koons, Sophie Calle, Joana Vasconcelos, Martin Paar, Andy Warhol, Annette Messager, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Xavier Veilhan, Pierre et Gilles, Claude Leveque, Philippe Ramette, Pablo Picasso, Kimiko Yoshida, Jeanne Susplugas, Julien Berthier, Tony Brown, Céline Cléron, Wang Du, Dario Escobar, Jan Fabre.