Thanks to a team of passionate designers, Lalique creates each year beautiful pieces inspired by three themes dear to Renè Lalique: women, flora and fauna. In the creation studio, our designers use traditional techniques such as drawing and modelling but also new technologies thanks to digitalization and 3D printing.
Once at the factory, the manufacturing process begins. A single crystal piece can require up to 40 different steps.
The LALIQUE factory was built in 1921 by the company´s founder Renè Lalique, in the village of Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace, a region of France which has the strongest glassmaking traditions. It has remained to this day the world´s sole LALIQUE production facility.
With precise and regular movements, the human hand, that of both artist and craftsman, creates pieces of exceptional quality while preserving the ancestral know-how. LALIQUE is proud to count among its craftsmen four who carry the title of Best Craftsmen in France.
The first few stages of the long process of production are related to the manufacturing of the molds which is a fundamental know-how of the factory. Then the glassmakers brave extreme temperatures in the "hot glass" workshops in order to gather, clean, shape and reheat the crystal. The melting crystal can reach 1,400°C and is captured and manipulated using a variety of techniques.
Some large or artistic pieces need to be manufactured with the ´lost-wax´ technique, a technique used by Renè Lalique until 1930. Its particularity is the use of single-use molds in plaster instead of cast-iron molds.
In the "cold glass" workshops, a piece will undergo a succession of manual operations. These represent 2/3 of the time spent on the manufacturing of each object. The importance given to cold glass is characteristic of LALIQUE. It is the result of the extreme attention given to details, finishing and to the sculpture of each creation.
The pieces are selected not only according to technical criteria (absence of defects) but also according to aesthetic criteria, with full respect of the creative team´s intentions. During the entire process, each item is subject to rigorous checks before it can be signed by hand, a guarantee of its authenticity and quality.
Lalique is synonymous with crystal, but the firm´s history has always been closely linked to changes in perfumery.
Lalique is synonymous with crystal, but the firm´s history has always been closely linked to changes in perfumery. Renè Lalique designed extraordinary bottles for the major houses, in particular he worked extremely closely with François Coty at the beginning of the century. Roger & Gallet, Houbigant, Molyneux and Worth all had Lalique-designed bottles in the 1920s and 30s. He formed a trend flowing through the creative spirit of Art Nouveau where art and industry joined hands in the service of perfumery. Created just after the war, the interpretation of L´Air du Temps for Nina Ricci was named bottle of the century. The emblem of Lalique crystal creations, this design is also a symbol with the presence of two doves.
When his granddaughter´s, Marie-Claude, decided to create her own line of perfume in 1992, this initiative was more than justifiable. It was the combination of a genuine perfumery creation and the know-how of crystal glass-making. The crystal is majestic in the design of prestigious limited edition bottles while a refined work of glass also creates more accessible lines of perfume.
Since 1994 the creation of limited, signed and numbered editions of collector´s flacons have become an annual event. Initially dedicated to feminine perfumes ("Muses" was the first work), these prestigious editions were subsequently joined by their male counterparts in 1998. Frequently figurative, the bottles are the glassmakers´ chance to excel in creating and finishing curves and sculpted details. But boldness can also feature in clean-cut, stylised designs like the most recent edition of Lalique White, where a drop of opal is blown into a totally transparent crystal block.
Specific packaging is created for these prestigious editions, for example the mother-of-pearl treasure set for the very exclusive edition of Lalique White. From shopping bag to precious packaging, a whole world of refinement takes shape around the Lalique perfumery.
Right from the beginning, it was decided to create quality perfumes with the best perfumers, free to use exceptional raw materials.
The flacons are inspired at the same time by Renè Lalique work and by a modernity which has managed to preserve the finest techniques of a noble craft.
The Lalique style is derived from an artistic gesture which outlines a drawing in total osmosis with crystal. Since the early days, Lalique´s recurring themes included the female form, flora and fauna. The female was both the object and the subject of Renè Lalique's masterpieces. She was often portrayed as voluptuous with an arresting sensuality and mysterious demeanor. An ode to feminine beauty, Lalique's craft plays with satin-like reflections and flush crystal that evokes the graceful and delicate qualities of a woman. Fauna and flora consist of flowers, fruit, trees, insects, birds, fish, and reptiles: no single plant or animal is despised. Though depicted by realism yet sometimes stylised, nature remains an inexhaustible source of inspiration on which the Lalique identity was built. Strong Art Nouveau and Art Deco inspirations add strength and lightness to the ornate masterpieces of the past and the present.
One easily recognises the style of Lalique through the strength in its hand-finished form and its intricately sculptured, figurative detailing. The various types of finishing distinguish Lalique crystal from its competitors with the use of both clear and matte surfaces. The human hand of the craftsman marks every work of art with the immaterial force that is the Lalique know-how.
Artist, craftsman and light sculptor: Lalique is an aesthete who is constantly in search of perfection and is inspired by the exceptional.
A strange alchemy takes place between the sensitivity of the artist and the know-how of the craftsman. Fashioned by the magic touch of a sculptor of light, the crystal takes the form of life while illuminating with changing reflections: creation in this form is absolute.
Lalique, the only crystal brand that fuses lead and sand at 1,400'C, is a metamorphosis from raw material to unique masterpieces that exude individuality and honour.
Lalique : exceptional know-how serving creativity and emotion
For more than 100 years, our Manufacture located in Alsace, area renowned for its glassmaking, has perpetuated a traditional know-how. The human hand, that of both artist and craftsman, marks every object of its print and its strength, which convey this "immaterial" presence: our know-how.
The Lalique style comes from an artistic gesture, outlining a drawing in total osmosis with crystal, a style that one easily recognises through the manual modelling of the shapes and patterns, as if sculptured, the richness of the figurative details, the different types of finishing which create this characteristic contrast of clear and matt crystal. An identity built by softness, femininity, nature with strong Art Nouveau and Art Deco inspirations.
When what is contained in matter is revealed through light... Lalique -- the only crystal brand which, through artistry and fusion at 1,400°C, metamorphoses raw materials into unique works of art.
Since 1921, all LALIQUE items are manufactured in Wingen-sur-Moder. Traditional know-how, transmitted for generations, forges the identity of each creation. Our manufacturer is proud to count among its artists seven "Meilleurs Ouvriers de France."
This distinction is acquired at the end of a national contest taking place every three years, in which artists are evaluated by their peers who judge a research task and an artwork. Both the research task and the artwork must express their dexterity, their evolving technical skills, their creativity, and their mastery of both traditional methods and modern techniques.
All of our glass masters are proud of their expertise. They make some of the tools they work with, following old methods. An amazing choreography results from blowing, whirling, and shaping. It is a question of taming the matter and calming the molten crystal in order to define a shape and give life to an item.
The magic of crystal takes place in the fusion of raw ingredients. At this stage, the sand, potash, lead oxide, and recycled crystal (cullet), mixed in proportions which remain a jealously kept secret, metamorphose into brilliant and luminous crystal, with the particular sonority that distinguishes it from mere glass.