When Selfridges open The Beauty Project – a celebration of all things beauty that take over the four stores between 1st May and 15th June – you can expect an excited clamour for the expert Salon debates, personalized Fragrance Lab and temporary tattoo parlour featuring Marc Jacobs. However, for Jo Malone London fans, the thrill will be in seeing how the classic fragrance company famed for its unusual blends, is taken over itself by four London artists.
For the six-week extravaganza, the luxury perfume brand has appointed the exceptionally cool Calm & Collected as artists-in-residence. The collective – who cover creative fields from illustration and pictograms to typography – will set up studio at in-store Jo Malone Boutiques to screen print bags and boxes with their unique designs, featuring visual re-interpretations of five iconic Jo Malone scents: Lime, Basil & Mandarin, Pomegranate Noir, English Pear & Freesia, Earl Gray & Cucumber and Peony & Blush Suede.
Not that the bottles themselves will be any less special. A limited run of 1,200 with beautiful Calm & Collected-designed labels will be available in stores and online. “We created a pattern design that incorporates cross sections of raw ingredients used in the fragrances, but manipulated and abstracted using print process,” they explain. “Some obvious influences on our output include pattern design, vintage advertisements and signage, artistic movements, architecture, and in a large way, packaging. So it was interesting to reverse our usual approach and design onto packaging rather than reference it.” So expect floating basil leaves tinged with orange and peonies that pay homage to the screen-printing techniques of Andy Warhol.
But back to those in-store artist salons: “For us, the highlight will be taking a classic box or bag and injecting this vibrant touch of C&C to create bespoke artwork. We like the idea that after the scent is finished, the box will be kept and used to house something else, different from its original function.” And who said modern art was throwaway?