March 21, 2016

We don’t usually pay much interest to bottles, only regarding them as vessels that hold whatever prized liquid we’re interested in drinking, anything from aged red wines to mineral water. Even the nicest, sleekest ones end up in the trash. None of these ones will go anywhere near a dump though; these empty vessels seem to be making the loudest noise, but only in the best way possible.

The bottles are part of a charity project dreamed up by Luisaviaroma, for a cause greater than themselves. You don’t see this everyday, but earlier in March, they successfully proved that the large fashion e-retailer isn’t just about selling things – they’re about giving back too. Hot on the heels of Firenze4Ever, one of the biggest fashion community events in Italy, came this philanthropic initiative, “Fill Your Bottle With…”, aimed to raise money for Fundación Origen, a non-profit organisation that supports women, particularly those living in situations of poverty, violence or vulnerability in Mexico.

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For that, they pulled together fifteen fashion designers and internationally-acclaimed artists, and got them to set their creativity free on an iconic Mexican product, the Maestro Dobel Diamante tequila bottle. These were auctioned by Sotheby’s at the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, and all proceeds went to the foundation.

The fact that they’re able to name-drop designer greats in this humble project of theirs says a lot about the retailer’s influence in the fashion and art world, and also about how eager these people are to be involved in a project that means something.

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Etro and Aquazurra were pleased to put up colourful designs that boldly reflected their brand philosophies, the former Milan-based brand with paisley fabric flowers that reflected their bohemian spirit, and the latter with pompoms inspired by Mexican folk costumes, though woven by hand in Tuscany. The more subtle pieces include Blumarine’s macramé lace design that looks like a delicate dress, or jewellery designer Daniela Villegas’ sparkling piece topped with spiders and beetles cast in silver.

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As for the artists, they presented more philosophical designs – Héctor Esrawe gave us “Ascend”, and in his bottle sits laser-cut stairs weaving in and out of a building, meant to reflect society’s need to walk together and evolve to reach an enlightened perspective. Loris Cecchini put together an immediately sculptural design, as stainless steel agave-like elements twist around the glass bottle, while Héctor Zamora painstakingly put broken bottle pieces together, appealing to us to reflect on the complicated issue of alcohol intoxication. And while they all thought outside of the box, artist Maurizo Donzelli chose to put his bottle in a box, behind prism lens, so it appears like a strange illusion. We certainly won’t see bottles the same way anymore.

Luisaviaroma’s “Fill Your Bottle With…” original artworks, made with Maestro Dobel Diamante Bottles, were auctioned by Sotheby’s on 8 March at the Museo Soumaya, Mexico. All proceeds go to Fundación Origen.