LIVE: Watch Prada Spring/Summer 2021

After months of anticipation, Prada will finally reveal the first collection co-designed by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons.

The Spring/Summer 2021 show, will begin at 12 AM 25 September, New Zealand time. You can tune in below.

Earlier this week Prada enthusiasts were invited to submit questions for the duo via Prada’s website. Following the virtual show, selected questions from viewers around the globe will be presented to Miuccia and Raf in an intimate conversation with the pair.

The New Aesop Fragrance You Need in Your Life

Rose-scented fragrances are a dime a dozen, but with its latest perfume release, Rōzu, conscious cosmetics house Aesop brings edge and intrigue to this olfactory staple.

f you’ve ever stepped inside an Aesop boutique or seen a line-up of its bath and body products on a well-appointed vanity, you’ll agree that aesthetics are important to the brand. But if you’re a little more clued in, you’ll know that its number one criteria for product development is ‘usefulness’, and as such, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that Aesop’s latest muse was an icon of modernism — the early- to mid-century art and cultural movement whose catch-cry was ‘form follows function’.

The woman in question, French furniture designer and architect Charlotte Perriand, subscribed to this function-first modus operandi throughout her prolific career, demonstrating “a desire to improve the lives of others through intelligent design” until her death in 1999. Since then, Perriand has inspired many a creative venture including, in 2007, the Wabara rose — developed in Japan by specialist nursery the Keiji Rose Farm, and now available by the bottle in the form of Aesop’s Rōzu. “The Wabara rose was the inspiration for this fragrance, both aesthetically and for its unique scent,” confirms Aesop’s global director of innovation, Dr Kate Forbes.

Working with long-time collaborator Barnabé Fillion (the nose behind Aesop’s Marrakech and Hwyl fragrances), the team spent two years exploring different extraction methods, concentrations and mixes of materials and botanicals to recreate the Wabara — an undertaking not without its challenges. “Keiji is a niche nursery and did not cultivate the Wabara with oil extraction in mind,” says  Dr Forbes, explaining that the rose yields only rosewater — not potent enough for perfumery.

So instead, the unisex formulation’s heady, floral bouquet is comprised of Japanese rose supported by petitgrain, bergamot and jasmine, with pink pepper and ylang-ylang offering both fresh and dry hits of spice. Notes of guaiacwood and sandalwood achieve a smoky, woody undercurrent, while the unmistakable greenness of vetiver brings the wearer back down to Earth. Intended to articulate the life cycle of a rose “from greenhouse soil, to sumptuous blooms, to delicate fading petals”, the complex combination of ingredients speaks also to the commonalities between Perriand and Aesop — a devotion to minimalism and order; attention to craft, materiality and all the senses; a commitment to non-conformity and deep regard for nature.

Nods to the designer’s works too, are present, such as the light metallic note evoked by the Japanese herb shiso. Not only a reference to the way the Wabara’s petals fade gradually to a copper tone blended with pale grey, this detail recalls the metallic accents that were a signature of Perriand’s designs, and symbolised the then-new and somewhat terrifying tensions between nature and machinery. A major modernist preoccupation, the same and similar paradoxes can be seen in Rōzu’s being at once delicate and brazen; tender and intense; familiar and unfamiliar. Or, as Dr Forbes suggests, “like a ghost — the trace left after a light incense has been burned”.

Aesop Rōzu is available now