144 FRENCH KISSES
A big-hearted seasonal collection by L’occitane.
If the pointy end of the year should be about anything, surely it should be fun, festivity and frivolousness. But it should also be a time of giving back and honouring our loved ones, our planet and those we share it with. One company that recognises this is French skincare and fragrance brand L’occitane en Provence. Long famed for its fabulous festive offerings such as its advent calendar and gorgeous gift sets for pampering the body from top to toe, L’occitane sets the 2018 festive season soaring through the night sky in collaboration with one-of-a-kind Paris fashion house Castelbajac. The house of Castelbajac is famed for its use of primary colours, bold shapes and unique graphics. Celebrity fans include Katy Perry, Madonna, Kanye West, Dita Von Teese and Lady Gaga, who once wore a jacket by the brand made entirely of Kermit the Frogs — a spiritual partner piece to the teddy-bear coat worn by Madonna and by Helena Christensen in Robert Altman’s 1994 fashion film parody, Prêt-à-porter. Now, the house infuses its fantastical, whimsical sense of fun into L’occitane’s Christmas line-up,‘ dressing’ the cosmetics in packaging designs that are as enchanting as the products are functional — think shooting stars, crescent moons and aligned planets on bold blue, yellow and red. As with all L’occitane products, the seasonal releases will be manufactured via long-standing relationships with growers in Provence, thus supporting the region. All production practices meet the high standards set by L’occitane and are as gentle on the planet as possible. L’occitane’s environmental commitment marries beautifully with Castelbajac’s ‘happy culture’ ethos.the collaboration is a perfect pairing born of a love of fun and respect for our world, intended to fill the season with joy, generosity and love. “We only have one planet and one shot at preserving it for future generations,” says L’occitane’s Australia-based brand manager, Julie Chan. “That’s why it’s so important to us to develop products that are increasingly respectful of both mankind and the world we live in.” The first release from the collab is the Shea Butter Hand Cream (from $15), part of a line-up of covetable cosmetics from the True Empowerment of Women in Burkina Faso range, which supports Burkinabé women. Other products include the Almond Shower Oil, $39, the profits of which aid local farmers, and Shea Wonderful Rose Lip Balm, $16, helping underprivileged children all over the world. Millions of Pairs of Eyes Solidarity Soap, $6, is available year-round, with all profits going into L’occitane’s partnership with Unicef to help prevent blindness and aid the visually impaired. In 2017 alone, this initiative raised some $1.6 million towards supplying more than 400,000 children in Papua New Guinea, Bolivia and Myanmar with vitamin A supplements to support healthy eyesight, and the project aims to provide eye care to 10 million people by 2020. Completely creative and seasonably silly, the L’occitane en Provence x Castelbajac collaboration is also utterly irresistible. What could be better than helping others as we spoil ourselves?
Above: Katy Perry front row; a runway look; the Kermit jacket.
A Castelbajac look on the runway, and below. Right: L’occitane x Castelbajac Shea Wonderful Rose Hand Cream, $15, Shea Delightful Tea Shower Foam, $39, and Shea Lip Balm, $16