White is synonymous with refinement, whether its used to project artistic sensibilities at Chanel or high-tech sophistication at Apple. This timeless color is the ultimate symbol of honest elegance. And because it speaks to virtue, evoking innocence, transparency, and integrity, it is sometimes used to convey more sustainable packaging, where it gives room for pause.
Single malts go tone on tone
With the release of Ladyburn 1966 Edition One, William Grant & Sons launched a suite of limited collector editions available only by direct sale. A tribute to the Ladyburn single malt distillery—which operated from 1966 to 1975— the offer will include 210 hand-numbered bottles containing extremely rare whiskies. The bottles in Edition One contain a 54-year-old aged in sherry casks and were designed in collaboration with David Bailey, a photographer known for capturing the spirit of the Sixties.
Ladyburn 1966 Edition One presented in white wood coffret ©William Grant & Sons
The labels, signed by the artist, feature images from London’s East End in that era. In a nod to the ghost distilleries, the collections are presented in white wood coffrets (GPA Luxury). Each spray-finished coffret holds one bottle, and features silver hinges and a magnetic closing mechanism. Inside, the bottle is held in a pristine, white leather-lined fitment concealing a carboard platform lined with EVA. The door holds a debossed leather panel recounting the history of the distillery. Pulling on a leather tab reveals a concealed white leather folio, also covered in immaculate debossed text.
Less is more at Pantone
2022’s Pantone color was Very Peri, a delicate bluish-purple. But white continues to be popular, particularly in cosmetics, where it communicates formula purity and clinical efficacy. For Lords + Angels, a new high-end, unisex skincare brand, Redfire (New Zealand) opted for coffrets lined with a velvety mat laminate and discreetly printed with the brand’s name. The typographic play between old-style Feijoa and sans-serif Söhne (both created by Klim Type Foundry), evokes both science and the more spiritual field of alchemy. When opened, the boxes reveal bold geometric compositions of bright colors (sunny yellow and deep blue) inspired by the stained-glass windows of Notre-Dame.
Redfire's velvety mat laminate coffrets ©Lords + Angels
White out at Piaget, Cartier & Lancôme
White material is often embossed, but at Atelier Patrice Bégnier, it is skillfully cut. The craftsman designs complex architectural structures using only paper, inspired by the great names in luxury. These creations take the form of window decorations for Piaget, Cartier, and Lancôme, embodied in animated Haussmann-style buildings, complete with motors and integrated LED lighting, or giant watches. Created using a Valian digital cutting machine, the designs are made entirely of cardboard and virgin-pulp paper; in this case extra-white Alpha WhiteCore cardboard provides the underlying structure for several layers of Fedrigoni fragrance cards of different weights chosen for their velvety, ultra-matte finish.
Window decorations for Piaget constructed using only paper ©Atelier Patrice Bégnier
Exhibit A goes for artful white
Based in Auckland (New Zealand), Exhibit A is a young design brand based on a concept store format. It aims to cultivate local, co-creative projects and series that, while not exactly limited edition, are produced on an intimate scale. The brand’s first project—an atypical London dry gin with a smoky twist—is presented in a refillable bottle of modernist inspiration, hand-crafted by ceramist Gidon Bing. The gin is called N°580 and the bottles—which come in a black and a white version and in two sizes—and the cocktail accessories (including a collection of solid brass picks also by Gidon Bing) are designed by Brogen Averil, who developed the visual identity and packaging for Exhibit A. This includes minimalist carry bags and boxes in textured kraft paper, hot stamped and embossed by Porter Packaging, as well as the surprising biodegradable natural rubber sleeves that protect the bottles. The same rubber is used for the labels and stoppers on the refills.
Exhibit A London dry gin's refillable bottle created by Gidon Bing ©Exhibit A
This article was first published in the Spring 2022 issue of Formes de Luxe.