FKA twigs on Perfume as Spiritual Communion and the “Voyage of Moving Forward”
FKA twigs, if not exactly clairvoyant, has a crystalline lens on the present. “I fell back in love with music, danger, trying new things, sex, love, raves,” she wrote in a recent Instagram post. No more cautious cocooning. It’s time to live – sacred rites by earthly means.
“I’m definitely a very spiritual person,” the artist explains over the phone from London. “My spirituality, I think, is just a mixture of things I’ve learned from different cultures and religions and spiritual ways that make me feel good and calm me down and most importantly support me to be the best person who I can be.” The mystical realm comes to mind, with twigs as the face of Viktor&Rolf’s newest fragrance, Good Fortune. Its bottle, New Age redux, is reminiscent of a fortune teller’s crystal ball, with a faceted amethyst cap. The creative partnership is also a multi-layered affair, with a campaign video of Andrew Thomas Huang, supported by twigs recent single, “Killer”. An underlying theme is the “continuous journey of moving forward”, she proposes, and it presents itself as a dreamscape worthy of Dutch designers. Victor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren. “I always talk about Viktor & Rolf being Surrealists in that way, especially for their fashion and attitudes,” Twigs says of the duo’s theatrical ensembles. It seems to summon Viktor&Rolf’s Fall 2005 show, where models marched with ruffled pillowcases behind their heads, like an army of sleepwalking princesses. Meanwhile, twigs and kiddysmile caused a stir on Wednesday night during Paris Couture Week, with a live fashion ball in honor of the fragrance.
Good Fortune is the latest fragrance from the makers of the wildly successful Flowerbomb, its message of feminine exuberance has been unveiled in six iterations since its launch in 2005. Good Fortune, on the other hand, arrives as a countermeasure to uncertain times. At the top of the scent is a new distillate of fennel (supposedly linked to white magic) and gentian flower. (A gardening website describes the latter as bearing “an airy delicacy as if ready for flight”—appropriate for twigs, whose pole choreography conveys a weightless ethereality.) There’s jasmine grandiflorum d India for a sneaky drunkenness, with a Madagascan vanilla base. “We always like to play with opposites,” says Snoeren, emphasizing Flowerbomb’s sense of romance and aggression. “For us, Good Fortune is witty and glamorous – two words you don’t always necessarily combine.”
The focus on wellness reflects designers’ own instincts of late. “I’m paying more attention to meditation, and it’s definitely a positive new ritual in my life, if I do,” Horsting laughs. “Honesty is also a good ritual!” For Twigs – a longtime researcher, as seen in the conversation below – she sees the Good Fortune campaign as an “opportunity to blast art on a grander scale”, she says, grateful for the mind meld. with like-minded collaborators. The scent is a reminder to dig deep, beyond easily knowable truths. “I think it’s important for your ego to believe in something bigger than yourself,” she adds. “It keeps me in check. It helps me to be a better person. If there is something bigger than you, be it a god of a religion, or be it a belief, mysticism or spirituality, then surely there is something to look for.
Vanity Lounge: As an artist who works on many levels – music, dance, personal style – how has perfume made inroads into your creative process?
FKA twigs: I’ve always loved different smells and how they can make you smell. Early in my career, I actually wore a lot of masculine scents because I just wanted people to feel powerful. But as I grew as an artist, I started to really realize what was in my products and the integrity of the ingredients, which led me to start creating my own perfumes. I made a perfume with Christy [Meshell], from House of Matriarch, around “Two Weeks”. And then I got another one especially for Magdalene. I guess it was a fragrance, but it wasn’t either – it was about me really inhabiting the energy of Mary Magdalene.