Jason Wu is the U.S. fashion designer famous for dressing Michelle Obama, at not just her first, but also her second inaugural ball. And with Diane Kruger as his muse, pretty much anything he does piques our interest. That’s why, when we heard he was collaborating with Caudalie’s founder Mathilde Thomas we got seriously excited. Wu and Thomas have worked together on dressing the iconic Beauty Elixir in a new bottle design. Essentially this new look turns the beauty classic into a seriously covetable (and Instagrammable) objet that would proudly sit on our bedside cabinet. Oh, and it costs the same as three flat whites. We wanted to find out how Wu made a much-loved beauty product seriously covetable again and whether he would ever consider his own beauty range? Keep scrolling for our exclusive interview.
BYRDIE UK: How did your collaboration with Mathilde and Caudalie come about?
JASON WU: It just felt very natural to work together, the DNA of Caudalie is not that dissimilar to the codes of the Jason Wu house. Also, I am a loyal customer of Caudalie. I first met Mathilde Thomas at the Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa at The Plaza. We connected at first meeting. She discussed her inspiration behind the brand and we shared similar stories; my mother directly influenced where I am today and Mathilde’s family’s vineyard in Bordeaux is where Caudalie was born. And from there dressing the bottle was born.
BYRDIE UK: Is the Beauty Elixir your favourite product from the range? Which others do you like and why?
JW: Of course, I love Beauty Elixir and I have been using it for a long time, it really is a unique product. I also love the Caudalie Moisturizing Mask (£22) and the Deep Cleansing Gentle Buffing Cream (£18), they’re part of my morning and night skincare routines.
BYRDIE UK: Any unusual tips you have for using the Beauty Elixir?
JW: The Beauty Elixir is an automatic refresher. I use it once in the morning straight out of the shower and to refresh throughout the day—it is especially great during show prep! The light scent of mint immediately makes me feel revived.
The Jason Wu for Caudalie Beauty Elixir also comes in 100ml (£32).
BYRDIE UK: What was the inspiration behind the design for the bottle?
JW: I spent about a year planning this project. We worked on many versions of the leaf pattern seen in the lace. We had to render the details and scale of each leaf individually to fit the specs of the bottle seamlessly. The challenge in executing the design for this bottle is that the rendering had to feel just as delicate and refined as the actual embroidery.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mathilde. The Beauty Elixir is a beautifully crafted product and it just felt very natural to work together. The Jason Wu collections draw on beauty and refined modern design with fundamental shapes and strong lines. Together we decided upon the dentelle lace for the glass that can be found in my Spring/Summer 2016 collection.
Wu then topped it off with a signature Gold top that reflects the hardware on the Jason Wu Diane bag (pictured, below).
BYRDIE UK: How important do you think skincare is to the Jason Wu woman?
JW: That’s definitely something that has developed in the fashion industry, alongside the trend in beauty, towards a more natural look. I think my design has always been focused on a more refined aesthetic that really enhances a woman’s natural beauty.
BYRDIE UK: You've also worked with Lancôme on makeup, can you envisage a Jason Wu beauty brand down the line? And if so what products would have to be in it?
JW: Beauty has always been extremely important to my design process and I’ve made it an integral part of my fashion shows over the years. I suppose when the time is right, it might come to that, as beauty just goes so hand in hand with fashion. So stay tuned for more to come!
BYRDIE UK: The Jason Wu woman isn't afraid of makeup—a bold eye or a lip—how does the makeup look come about for your catwalk show each season?
JW: Beauty plays an integral role in fashion and vice-versa, I have always considered it an important part of my design process. I could not fully express the mood of the collection in my shows without the quintessential beauty look. The makeup look varies from season to season, the looks are always reflective of the mood of the collection.
BYRDIE UK: Do you have any favourite beauty looks from your past shows that you think worked really well with the collection?
JW: I love all the beauty looks! In my most recent show, Autumn/Winter 2016, I emphasised luminous and dewy skin with a dramatic spider lash. The hair was wavy and down, but pinned away from the face. This looked beautiful on the runway.