Vivienne Tam at the MET in front of her Mao patterns
Fashion designer Vivienne Tam wanted to create a fragrance which would mark the occasion of the MET Gala inagurating the new exhibit, "China: Through the Looking Glass" opening at the Costume Institute. Robertet answered the call and perfumer Jérôme Epinette composed Red Empress...
French evening coat, ca. 1925
Red Empress is a one-time perfume meant to commemorate a special day. Tam said,
"I wanted Robertet to create a fragrance for me that celebrated the glamour of the Met Gala, and captured the essence of who I am as a designer".
There are no plans at the moment to commercialise the perfume, but these things have a way sometimes of being contrarian.
1951 Quiproquo cocktail dress by Christian Dior
Robertet perfumer Jérôme Epinette said,
"It was a dream to translate into this special fragrance the weaving and embedding structure of her new collection as an olfactive mosaic. Transparency, delicacy and vibrant flowers are laced on an impeccable structure, echoing the complex yet serene Phoenix motifs decorating Beijing's Imperial Palace."
A still from In the Mood for Love
The ephemeral and exclusive fragrance (for now) is described as "a deceptively simple modern bouquet composition with key notes of subtle Calabrian Bergamot, regal Sichuan Pepper, delicate Pink Lotus, translucent Golden Water Lilly, sensual Rose Petals and vibrant Sandalwood."
Tom Ford (American, born 1961) for Yves Saint Laurent, Paris (French, founded 1961)
Evening dress, fall/winter 2004-5
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Yves Saint Laurent, 2005
Photography © Platon
The MET exhibition looks at the influence of Chinese culture and art on Western fashion design.