Crystal maker Saint-Louis recently opened its flagship in Hong Kong and launched the Perrin & Perrin Collection. We speak to the company’s art director Anne Lhomme on the new boutique and collection
Can you tell us more about the new collection and the designers behind the collection?
We decided to call on Perrin & Perrin because for the past few years they have been working with glass using a specific and captivating technique. Having studied Chinese calligraphy for 15 years, they created a language of signs that contrasts with the transparency of glass. They are architects and poets seeking to establish a script that beauty is revealed through the coercion of molten glass in parsimonious stages. We asked them to combine their approach with that of our craftsmen in our paperweights workshop. Their rich and enlightening partnership gave rise to three small works of art, which enigmatic and unique language draws us into a world of wonder. Rift, Mesa and Lapilli represent three forms of writing through the superimposition of contrasting and structured signs.
In an increasingly paperless era, people seem to think less about using paperweights. Why did you choose to feature this product?
The paperweight has become a legendary and iconic object that goes beyond its basic function. Continuation in creating this object both perpetuates incredible expertise and fires the imagination of all those who love and collect them. Thus this rather obsolete object is a little work of art adored by many. It is a hand-held microcosm for those who know how to appreciate it and lose themselves in its parallel world of fantasy. Escapism through the imagination – it’s child’s play! The famous French writer Colette was madly in love with these objects. She said, “The sphere of crystal, an abyss, an image-trap, a haven for weary spirits, and a creator of chimeras, never ceases to offer mysterious temptation to man.”
The brand recently opened its flagship in Hong Kong. How has the response been so far?
Given that this is Saint-Louis’s first foray into Hong Kong, the initial results are quite encouraging. The grand opening generated word of mouth, which has enhanced our visibility and footfall. Unfortunately, the current climate in Hong Kong prevents us from drawing a realistic picture of our potential here.
What makes Saint-Louis crystals so special?
The defining characteristics of Saint-Louis are the richness of our colours and our cutting technique. We also use overlay techniques, in which several colours are superimposed to be revealed when cut.
In your opinion, what is the charm of crystals?
Light and shadow!
What are the upcoming plans of Saint-Louis in Hong Kong and Asia?
We have already opened stores in Jakarta, Beijing and Shanghai, and have others planned for the future. In terms of exhibitions, the paperweight trunk show will continue in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia.