INTRODUCING LA PRAIRIE PLATINUM RARE CELLULAR LIFE-LOTION
It all started with a facial - on what felt like the first official “cold” day of late Autumn - at La Prairie’s Ritz Carlton Spa in New York City. I’d leave for Miami the following morning to join La Prairie on their second annual Miami Art Basel partaking and immersive introduction to the newest member of their coveted Platinum line, Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion.
Just two weeks before when November brought us an unseasonably early blizzard of sorts, my *very* sensitive skin found miraculous answers from the Night-Elixer and Sleep Mask, just when I thought I was doomed for an endless dry-skin viscous cycle. (Don’t we all over exaggerate a bit emotionally when it comes to our own skin- especially that on our face?!)
Now I preface La Prairie x Art Basel with this particular facial in New York and emphasize it so because in hindsight, it was really the most significant experience & introduction to everything La Prairie encompasses in its entity: luxury without snobbery, hospitality, warmth, individual care, aesthetic perfection, understated beauty, attention to detail, community, diversity, oh...and talk about quality?
An example I use likens the feel and effect of La Prairie to that of a photograph with satisfactory resolution versus high resolution. The former looks great to your eye, “amazing” even....until you view that same photo in its highest resolution. All of a sudden, the former photo is noticeably pixelized in comparison.
But how could you have possibly known the image’s potential quality had you not experienced it? Exactly. I recall the feeling of pixels shrinking as a range of meticulously crafted La Prairie product was applied to my skin.
“BLP” (Before La Prairie)
Because I do have sensitive skin, I’d always been afraid to try new products in general- be it skin care or cosmetics - and when I did venture out every once in a while, it usually didn’t end well.
I’ve never been one to try every serum on the planet or have a closet full of rotating oils and creams I swear by. Call me crazy, but I didn’t even have an makeup-less, in-flight airplane routine!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely obsessed with scientific nitty gritty and understanding chemistry on a molecular basis (especially when it comes to La Prairie, as you’ll see below.) However, when it comes to skincare, all scientific reasoning and product/brand reputation go out the window at the end of the day and I’m left with two simple categories:
1. What works for me
2. What doesn’t work for me
I had the opportunity to get to know La Prairie for a significant period of time leading up to Art Basel 2018; building a wonderful, growing relationship with the brand, product range and most of all, its incredible team. LP embraced my “hesitation,” if you will, regarding skin care and encouraged me to listen to my skin and do what felt best for me, all in my own time.
I’ve since added one more sub-category to the above:
1. What works
2. What works works WELL
Haute Couture is referenced as the pinnacle of fashion and one of the most exclusive practices in the industry. From a garment that is completely handmade, it also encompasses thousands of hours of meticulous labour while using the rarest and highest quality materials, not to mention the incredible intricacy and technical planning that goes into their actual construction.
From a tradition that has perpetuated over the last two centuries, this concept not only applies to garment construction in today’s world. The practice has now transcended and its core principles are being implemented onto Haute Rejuvenation, in which by fusing luxury and savoir faire, La Prairie has used its unparalleled expertise to formulate and design the ultimate rejuvenation elixir.
Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion is La Prairie’s newest addition to their Platinum Rare line –their ultimate collection and most prestigiously positioned one, sought after to address and revert all signs of aging– and the very first step on the skincare ritual, where haute rejuvenation truly begins. Drawing inspiration from the cellular rejuvenation therapies at Clinique La Prairie; the Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion offers the first step to boost cellular renewal and rejuvenation of the skin. Ultimately the skin is detoxified, renewed, and reset.
A lotion so exquisite can only be contained in a vessel that echoes and further enhances these values of haute-artisanry. The sculptural jar –with Platinum Rare’s signature amethyst tones– is a work of art itself and meant to act and be displayed as
such. Carefully sculpted and drawing inspiration from Bauhaus architecture; its clean and seemingly simple cuts resemble an expertly cut gem, it not only reflects light at all different angles but also echoes the haute-rejuvenation contained within.
Similar to Haute Couture’s design process, it is not only impeccable craftsmanship and skill of specially trained artisans and Petite Mains needed to bring such unique pieces to life. The foundation must be based on sourcing the most precious ingredients, and La Prairie has made sure to use one of the most rare and noble materials on Earth –platinum.
A lotion born from the stars (quite literally – given than platinum stems from a star that fell onto Earth over 4 billion years ago) enriched with La Prairie’s proprietary Platinum Peptide, allows for collagen
boosting and focuses on detoxification in order to prepare the skin for the treatment products to follow.
Dr. Jacqueline Hill, Director of Strategic Innovation and Science for La Prairie, speaks on the science and complexities behind the Platinum Rare Cellular-Life Lotion clearly exemplifying what it does on a cellular level. Protect, restore, and energize the skin cells as it simultaneously hydrates and prepares the skin to allow for a complete and balanced absorption of serum and moisturizer to follow. Ultimately removing existing cellular skin damage and re-establishing optimal skin functions.
Dr. Hill goes further into a detail to the three different levels of detoxification and hydration Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion tackles. It primarily protects from external stress factors (as a result from pollution, for example), and creates a barrier to protect the skin from the negative impacts of these factors. Secondly, it restores cellular functionality, which allows for cells to identify, recycle, and discard bad toxins and cells. As cells age, they lose activity and their ability to execute this process naturally slows down; Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion regenerates these cells and allows for them to successfully restore their properties removing all signs of aging. Lastly (but not less importantly), there is the energy renewal process in which the Platinum Peptide replaces old mitochondrias with new ones, allowing them to function as when they were young.
Video courtesy of
SOPHIA MACKS: When I learned the piece would be something people could go in the inside of, I couldn’t quite visualize it. But then to see it was very interesting how it compared to what I imagined, the details were just phenomenal. Even to turn around as you were speaking and looking at the panels it was wonderful. In creating this, before I even get to what it means to be with La Prairie, what was the most difficult part about creating something still that has to inherently represent something with so much power and motion as the start of life and rejuvenation –because it’s always moving.
MARIO BOTTA: To answer your question, the most difficult part can also be the easiest part. Because the most difficult part is to find the right idea, but the idea comes to you in a minute. I had a lot of people walking by on one side and on the other there were only [La Prairie] products. So how to mediate the traffic from Art Basel with a product, something small. It’s a product that does not exist, because it’s cream. The objective of what that cream represents –which is beauty. So for me, on one side are the people who walk by it like a Luna park and on the other side it’s the idea of beauty. Then I created some parenthesis, which is like a filter, people must walk and must stop, and then they can walk through. It’s like a mediation area between the beauty and the people.
MACKS: I am very glad I asked you this because I had no idea. At first I of course thought it was so beautiful and looking at it from outside, with the space around it, this makes perfect sense.
BOTTA: Whether it’s beautiful or not it’s not of my concern. Beauty for me is when there’s two people looking at each other [through the structure], that’s when it becomes beautiful. Because if it stays as a void without anybody in there, then it’s nothing. Because this is like a mediation between the consumers, who are the people walking by, and beauty.
MACKS: There’s a continuum in the structure, I guess. There’s always movement. You were clearly thinking about it building it into the environment that it was going to be in.
BOTTA: There’s always a mediation that you need to go in, this must be like a question mark. This is not something that you just see –you must question it. You can go in and say “what is this?” This is a place to give you even a minimum particle of joy, I saw it for a second in you –a second of curiosity. A vision.
MACKS: Yesterday, after giving a beautiful presentation, what was your favorite part about watching people’s reactions perhaps that they didn’t even know that they were having, but you knew.
BOTTA: I saw people be happy. For one second, I could see people be happy. After my explanation they had that aha! moment of “it’s marvelous!”
MACKS: Lastly, what does it mean to you to have this Swiss presence at Art Basel Miami and be able to show your work here to a global influx of representatives?
BOTTA: It means that even a small country like Switzerland can give a little bit of joy. We all need a little bit of joy to be able to live. Your job and work, my job and work, we always try to strive to be able to give a little bit of joy to live. We are happy with our work when other people become happy.
SOPHIA MACKS: What are the most important aspects of your continuing partnership with Art Basel? And what are most challenging and enjoyable elements of integrating La Prairie in this way –with art, with this culture?
FRANÇOIS LE GLOAN: La Prairie is not only a skincare brand with very potent product and formula, but it’s a whole experience including –I would say– an aesthetic and sensorial experience. We wanted the partnership with Art Basel to bring forth these dimensions for the consumer to experience.
From the beginning there has been a cooperation with artists, and we wanted to restart these directly not only with the world but with the artist community and this is why Art Basel was the perfect opportunity to commission something around this launch to Mario Botta, a Swiss contemporary architect.
We carefully pick an artist whose work directly echoes the product that we want to promote. You saw with Mr. Botta and with our product Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion, it was going back to the source of rejuvenation and that’s why Mr. Botta created this art piece which is like a parenthesis, it draws a parallel with the woman’s womb. It creates a parallel between going back to the source of rejuvenation and then create something that was about the source of life. It has linked skincare to beauty and art and it makes the whole story so much more inspiring.
MACKS: You have achieved –with absolute grace and absolute elegance– something that might be considered a little risky for other brands to do, which brings me to my next question about the partnership and the art piece itself. It seems very welcoming to everyone –it’s inviting to discover. By definition, by having a presence at Art Basel you’re really being open and inviting to everyone, yet there’s this incredibly luxurious and amazing new product of the most extreme science –the pinnacle of everything that you stand for.
I was curious, what do you hope that people will take away when they experience the pavilion and Mario Botta’s work, what do you hope they feel about La Prairie that perhaps they didn’t feel before. What do you hope they walk away with?
LE GLOAN: That’s a very good question. I think that La Prairie has a very studied history and probably we did not express the richness of its past before. I think after Art Basel and this collaboration with artists, the public in general (editors, consumers, retailers, and even people working at La Prairie), will leave with the idea of a much more vibrant brand. A brand that has a lot of sensitivity and emotion to project, a brand with a lot of richness and depth.
And you know, what is very telling is that if it had been artificial, if this connection with art was not based on something genuine and authentic, it would have been a miserable failure. Because you have so many brands and so many industries trying to gain some sort of status by connecting to art, but if it does not resonate with our brand expression or brand equity, then it falls flat because it is completely disjointed with the brand itself. And nobody after we have participated now in Art Basel –twice in Hong Kong, once in Miami– everybody found that it was such a natural link with the art world. People were wondering why we hadn’t done it earlier.
MACKS: You know what’s interesting –we know that there is so much science and so much chemistry and what goes into making these products. And what I was very impressed and surprised about is the science that you brought into our experience and how you did that. When we were in the planetarium, what better way to experience and bring in the science of it all. Because I do think that people want to know how things work and you were able to do so, the science of it is very much built into this artistic experience.
LE GLOAN: I think that when it comes to science, this is what we are known for –performance, the art of formulation, the precious ingredients, and some luxury status and price. We are known for that, but we should not take it for granted, so whenever there’s an innovation we still need to “walk the talk” and explain what the product is about, why do we launch these products, what’s the benefit, why the formula delivers such benefits, because this is what we do. It’s not because with Art Basel we express other facets of the brand, but because you should not forget why the consumer is buying your product in the first place. Because they have some needs and they see the things happening to their face and their skin and they pay the price for that. It’s a matter of integrity. And you know, I was really struck yesterday at the planetarium because we had all this explanation about platinum coming from the meteor shower, and then at the same time I took some pictures because even some of the images looked like paintings –literally. It was so interesting to see that science in its expression would look so beautiful, so it’s a perfect fusion of all we want to do between art and science and art expressing itself beautifully.
MACKS: It’s more of a compliment of how well you integrated the art of science, and I think it lends even more so to the visual of Mario’s work and his sculpture. And it really gives people a visual idea of how it works and why it works beautifully. The science within it it’s beautiful but you cannot see, and you brought that to life and you made it tangible. What does it mean to you to introduce the new Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion here?
LE GLOAN: Well of course, it is very exciting! And on top of that, Platinum is a collection incorporating platinum as one of the ingredients, and platinum is helping to stabilize a peptide that’s in the formula. And platinum refers also to jewelry, so it’s also another coincidence –it’s a perfect storm. This collection lends itself even more so than other collections to the art world, so all the stars are aligned.