Quick five questions with Frederick Fischer – Managing Director Lalique UK17th May 2023
René Lalique (1860-1945) was an iconic designer. Is it challenging to move forward with designs, whilst maintaining the DNA of the 20’s and 30’s?
Our latest collection Enpreinte Animale is a celebration of colour and relief, where the crystal skin mimics scales and feathers in a tribute to the wildlife which Rene Lalique loved. We have used traditional patterns and textures reinterpreted in bold new shapes and finishes which provide a modern and versatile feel.
Has technological advancement made lead crystal artisanship easier or more complicated?
A little bit of both: We now need computer skilled designers to program the robots which produce the iron casts for each piece. However, the factory in Alsace recently celebrated 100 years where processes remain unchanged – the work of the hand and eye and unique know-how of our artisans is what makes Lalique. It takes between 5 to 10 years to train as a Lalique craftsman. Technology has created an “everything now momentum” with no time to wait. Lalique’s craftsmanship is laborious and time consuming, some pieces dry in the oven for 2 to 3 months before moving on to the next process. Our lost wax techniques can take 6 months from start to finish just for one piece. With slow production and a global shortage of products we can only go as fast as our artisans – regardless of technology.
Does Lalique have an archive of designs which have never been created?
Rene Lalique was a trained fine artist (in London!) – he drew all of his creations before they were made – beautifully illustrated drawings that are works of art in themselves still exist. Many of his original drawings can be seen at the Lalique Museum in Alsace which attracts nearly 70,000 visitors a year and is close to our two hotels – Villa Rene Lalique which is now a 5 star hotel with a 2 Michelin stars restaurant and Chateau Hochberg which was also a former glassworks and is now home to a Lalique hotel and restaurant situated opposite the State owned Lalique museum. We do have a number of original designs that have never seen the light of day – our creative director Marc Larminaux is keeping them close to his chest so watch this space!
Where is your biggest market for new and antique Lalique products?
Do you have your own collection of Lalique? Is it new or old?
Of course! My grandmother started my collection when I was a very young boy, she asked me what I would like for a special birthday present – I asked for a piece of Lalique – she very kindly obliged. This started a long love affair and from that day I have collected both new and antique glass that I can as well as picked up in flea markets all over the world – I love glass as a medium for light and colour. Lalique is my job but also my passion.
New collections for Spring Summer 2023