“I look, I observe: the woman, the child, the flight of a bird, a tree, a fish; suddenly, the harmony of a form, a pose, a gesture, a movement, imprints itself on my mind and does not leave, it combines with other compositional elements that I have seen … the work is ripe, and I have only to pick it …”
René Lalique in an interview with journalist Maximilien Gauthier
Lalique can look back with pride on a wonderful tradition. One hundred and thirty years of savoir-faire and creative excellence in the French “Art of Living”, producing timeless creations: art objects, light fixtures, furniture, jewellery, fragrances and more…– all “made in France”. Its undisputed master, René Lalique – designer, jeweller of Art Nouveau, master glassmaker of Art Deco, decorator, industrial entrepreneur, was captivated by the effects of transparency and opalescence inherent in glass, which he harnessed to create a new, aesthetic form of light.
René Lalique was one of the great creative forces of French decorative art in the 19th and 20th centuries and a leading jewellery designer of the late 19th century. René Lalique went on to develop his talents in the service of great jewellers such as Cartier and Boucheron. In 1888, he registered his initials “RL” as his hallmark. He transformed the art of jewellery and began to combine enamel, horn, ivory, mother-of-pearl and semi-precious stones in his creations, suffusing them with a rich profusion of shapes and colours to represent his three inspirations: flora, fauna and the female form.
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His encounter with the perfumer François Coty in 1907 heralded his entry into the world of perfume bottles, which led in 1912 to his devoting himself exclusively to working in glass. He experimented with the effects of transparency, opacity and opalescence inherent in glass. Prompted by the success of his series of perfume flacons, René Lalique ordered the building of the Verrerie d’Alsace at Wingen-sur-Moder in 1921.
The Art Deco style ushered in a creative period for the artist, with the geometric representation of shapes refined to the highest degree in work he presented at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris in 1925, comprising tableware, decorative objects and architectural projects.
In 1935, he opened his boutique Rue Royale in Paris. Later, during the period of WWII, production slowed. Following René Lalique’s death in 1945, his son Marc replaced glass with crystal and raised Lalique’s profile to rank among the greatest crystal ware producers of France and the world. His granddaughter, Marie-Claude, took the helm of the family enterprise in 1977, marrying modernity with tradition.
In 2008, Lalique was acquired by the Swiss group Art & Fragrance (named Lalique Group since 2016) headed by Silvio Denz, and ensured continuity in Lalique’s development by respecting the traditional know-how centered around crystal a tradition passed down with passion by generations of its artists and outstanding French craftsmen. Given that it takes more than a dozen years to qualify as a master glassmaker, we are committed to training several youngsters every year to ensure that these unique skills are not lost.
The company collaborates with exclusive luxury brands, artists and designers to create stunning objects based on both partners’ know-how and expertise, working with the likes of Terry Rodgers, Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Elton John, Zaha Hadid Architects, Mario Botta, Pierre-Yves Rochon, Steinway, Bentley, Studio Putman, Parmigiani Fleurier, Caran d’Ache, James Suckling, The Macallan Whisky and Patrón Tequila, to name a few.
Recognized as an Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (a French label which means “living heritage enterprise”), Lalique is constantly reinventing itself to express its artistic individuality through jewellery, perfumes, home accessories, art, decorative objects as well as in hotels and restaurants – – a wide-ranging orchestration of the brand’s timeless creations. Today, Lalique epitomizes luxury lifestyle in all its forms.