The first time I had Ruinart champagne it was after Paris Fashion Week. I’d returned to Milan and I was in the process of completing my “re-see” appointments with designers I’d missed during Fashion Week and I stopped inside the Hotel Milano on via Monte Napoleone (it’s right next door to the Armani hotel) to have lunch.
On a whim I ordered a glass of the Ruinart Rosé Champagne from the menu and, wow, it was exquisite. I was actually sad when my glass was empty, but, at 29 euro a pop I wasn’t sad enough to buy another. Since that experience I’ve officially added the champagne to my list of special treats. My list isn’t long, I don’t have a lot of decadent vices, but this made the list. If you have a chance to order it I highly recommend you do, and let me know if you like it.
This brings me to the collaboration between Ruinart and the esteemed Chinese artist Liu Bolin. While researching the brand – I’m full into Ruinart now – I discovered Liu Bolin created this really cool, fashion-meets-visual arts film shot on location at the distillery, which is the oldest in the world.
Turns out, each year Ruinart commissions an artist to interpret the brand and for its 2018 art commission, Ruinart chose Bolin who created a series of photograph-performances that featured members of the Ruinart team.
Bolin used a number of body-art techniques to camouflage and render the staff invisible so they would blend into the different stages of champagne production. By making the human form disappear the artist placed a spotlight on Ruinart’s distinctive techniques and he made you hunt for the women and men who work anonymously to create this champagne I now love so much.
When I began my research into Ruinart, I learned about the unique know-how of the world’s oldest champagne house and the exceptional beauty of the historic place. I was impressed by the team’s expertise and how the surrounding natural resources are put to use in the production of champagne. From the vineyards to the chalk cellars, whose temperature and humidity are ideal for wine production, Ruinart winemakers draw the best from nature without causing harm. I wanted to use this series to showcase their work.
The camouflauge was a huge production, it took weeks to prepare. Everything was hand painted including the employees and their clothes. After, Bolin used the jackets worn for the performances to decorate ten wooden boxes, each one with its own number. Inside the box is a jeroboam of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs.
I’m excited because I want to try the Blanc de Blancs next!
Check out the #BTS (behind the scenes) video.