Aesop have established themselves as one of the world’s leading skincare brands through their use of natural products and their holistic approach to skincare and health. They’re also famous for their stunning store interiors and unique window installations.
Having just unveiled their latest window installation, ‘Derma’, at Myer Melbourne, Aesop’s International Visual Merchandising Manager Carolyn Jackson took us through the creative process involved with the windows and shared her must-haves for winter from the Aesop range.
Myer: Tell us about the concept behind the windows?
Carolyn Jackson: At heart, the concept is born of Aesop’s holistic approach to skin care, which is predicated on the belief that healthy skin results from a balanced lifestyle incorporating rituals and regimens that nurture the skin by responding effectively to changing conditions.
Derma is a ‘kinetic skin’ installation that will span over 50 metres on completion; it will be revealed throughout 24 hours of scheduled performances. These will commence with four performers: the Tailor, a devoted and impassioned practitioner, will be responsible for the replenishment of the skin; the Appraiser will rigorously test the skin and ensure that the skin is resilient and fortified against environmental impact; the Conservator, both detailed and patient, will nurture and prepare the skin; and the Curator will respond and navigate the environmental conditions, ensuring the Derma is meticulously guided.
As The Derma advances and envelopes each performer they recede from the performance. The performance concludes with the final cell, The Tailor, left working in isolation, defending the Derma before they too depart the stage and The Derma is left active, fortified against the environment.
M: How does the creative process for a project like this work?
CJ: It starts with a strong concept. Again, for Derma, the concept was to highlight Aesop’s belief that healthy skin relies on a holistic approach; our intention was to symbolise rituals of maintenance, fortification and repair that inform efficacious skin care regimens.
In response, we chose to make a large-scale ‘skin’ that would be brought to life through a performative element that was predominantly sober, yet with elements of whimsy.
Every detail was then meticulously considered (and scrutinised), with our thoughts focused on we would add and what we would subtract. This process paralleled the rigorous enquiry that is intrinsic to all that Aesop does – from our product development, in which each ingredient is fastidiously researched and selected, to our store design, which pays scrupulous attention to the history and culture of the local neighbourhood, to our constrained approach to product packaging.
M: What elements of the Aesop philosophy have been brought to life through these windows?
CJ: Derma functions as a mesmerising, large-scale meditation on the complexities of the unique skin we inherit, with the performance underscoring the many factors that contribute to its health – not least a carefully calibrated skin care regime that responds effectively to seasonal, environmental and internal biochemical change.
So it embodies two core Aesop principles: first, that individual skin type and characteristics (as distinct, say, from age or gender), should inform our choice of skin care formulations; and second, that an effective regimen is one that responds to changing conditions, whether internal or external.
M: What product from the Parsley Seed range can you not live without?
CJ: Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner has long been a staple, for the initial layer of hydration it imparts after cleansing, and of course for the anti-oxidant fortification it provides.
M: What is your go-to product for Winter skincare?
CJ: My go-to is Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Hydrating Cream blended with Damascan Rose Facial Treatment, for wonderfully generous hydration, anti-oxidant properties, and nourishment. If travelling in the Northern Hemisphere during Winter, though, I turn to Elemental Facial Barrier Cream for protection against dehydrating effects of the extreme cold.
Shop our range of Aesop Skincare online here.