We measure time in the ticks of a clock, but for the artisans behind LOUIS XIII, time is measured in liquid drops of gold that take up to 100 years of ageing before it is bottled for release.
What if other feats of human creativity throughout the history of mankind can be captured in the measurement of time? That’s what the legendary cognac brand set out to explore in their latest global project, Believe in Time. Mother Nature is the chosen theme of the two-year collaboration between three powerhouse ladies from around the world—rather aptly evoking the feminine energy at hand.
Singer, songwriter and visual artist Solange Knowles is the sonic driver of the film, as well as—spoiler alert—the embodiment of Mother Nature herself. This is achieved by Chinese couture artist Guo Pei’s elaborate, ethereal garment built from precious stones, gems and rocks—a true vision built from nature’s ‘bones’ and brought to life.
French-Senegalese Mati Diop, a Cannes Festival Grand Prix winning director for Atlantics, rounds out the trio by directing the immaculate, shimmering short film with its irresistible momentum, the story of life itself. Diop may be the lesser-known name among the three, but she’s no slouch, being the first black female director to be in contention for the Cannes Film Festival’s highest prize, the Palme d’Or. (Her film, Atlantics, eventually won the second prize, the Grand Prix.)
“Time and space are really at the foundation of my expressions,” explains Knowles. She and Diop wanted to celebrate the process of creating a film around time, as the storyline begins at the Big Bang—the birth of the universe. Even as the lenses swirl through seminal developments such as the formation of the Himalayas and the eventual discovery of human flight, it is the hypnotic jazzy musical score that propels the narrative. Knowles elaborates that the original track was built in real time: starting with one instrument, adding another layer, building upon all of the sonics and textures, and soon accompanied by her entry draped in the iridescent gown that LOUIS XIII commissioned to represent Mother Nature’s dress.
“Time and space are really at the foundation of my expressions”
“The most precious treasure for a person is life,” muses Guo, the gown’s creator, “and life is [made of] time. Just like LOUIS XIII cognac.” Drawing on her philosophy of couture as eternal, she took two years to bring together nature’s bones—gems, stones or rocks, what she espouses as the most energetic, powerful part of nature. For the bodice of the gown, she chose tourmaline which manifests blue, green and gold—colours that give her “infinite feelings”. Around the bodice are rattan patterns that represent growing vines—a clear allusion to nature’s growth, and also the vines that bring cognac to fruition.
For the gold skirt and gold aura that the film ends on, Guo harked back to her first taste of LOUIS XIII in Paris. “The moment it was poured into the crystal glass, I was amazed by its absolute beauty,” she smiles. In its journey from vine to glass, LOUIS XIII cannot be rushed. The cognac is produced from the finest eaux-de-vie from Grande Champagne vineyards in the Cognac region, each selected, distilled and aged between 40 to 100 years. In an impatient digital age where speed, mass production and industrialisation are taking over, LOUIS XIII cannot help but believe in quality and time—without these elements, we wouldn’t have the immaculate taste of LOUIS XIII—nor even the world that Mother Nature has built.
The only time we have is the time we are each given. But thanks to artisans and creators, time can be captured for eternity—you can depict it, wear it, feel it, dance to it, and also taste it, all 100 years of it, thanks to LOUIS XIII capturing it in a bottle.
LOUIS XIII is available at fine retailers, including at the brand’s shop-in-shop in The Whisky Distillery’s flagship store at One Raffles Place. Opened in 2021, the first of its kind shop-in-shop offers the widest range of LOUIS XIII products available in the domestic market in Southeast Asia, including large and rare bottles. Interested customers may also contact Kristine Lim, private client director for LOUIS XIII.