Fragrance has long been an extension of the most established fashion houses, but, increasingly, there’s a new way for us to signal allegiance to our most loved designers: the fashion candle – which is officially big news.
From blockbuster names to niche fan favourites, myriad luxury houses have crept into the category, offering something bigger, bolder and more unique than the ruling class of candle brands.
“Throughout the pandemic and beyond, homeware has been a key focus for our customer,” Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear at Matches Fashion, told us. “We find our customer gravitates towards super-luxurious pieces including interesting gifting they may not be able to find elsewhere.” On the site, candles from the major luxury labels are in high demand, with Wiggins name-checking those such as Harris Reed, Gucci and Brunello Cucinelli in particular.
“We have also worked with Reflections Copenhagen on exclusive pieces made with their beautiful coloured glassware, and decorative objects and candlesticks from the likes of Anissa Kermiche remain popular,” she adds.
Of course, scent matters here – but the appeal of the most coveted new candles is equally rooted in design. In a sea of black and white votives, ‘grammed to the point of exhaustion, the most discerning shoppers are now looking for home decor that feels as unique as their wardrobes: something that speaks to their style and sets their home apart from others. Indeed, they’re a natural extension of a house’s ready-to-wear accessories and fragrances. Take Alexander McQueen’s debut candle collection featuring three scents – Ghost Flower, Pagan Rose and Savage Bloom (pictured, top) – each envisioned by a different perfumer while storytelling codes of the British fashion house. Weighing 200g, they come cased in egg-shaped black lacquered glass with either a silver, dark or gold metal lid. Protected by a mycelium shell and presented in a wooden crate that’s fully recyclable (though you’ll likely want to reuse it yourself), the hefty objects make architectural statements.
Or, look to Loewe’s traditional terracotta candles; available in a rainbow of hues and in sizes as big as a flower pot, they are destined for an artistic living room, while gilded offerings from Gucci and Versace are sure to lure in the maximalist. Jeweller Kermiche is creating Instagram catnip with her kitsch yet refined candle holders, which double as sculptural status symbols, and Celine’s chic collection is destined to be showcased on marble mantelpieces.
Of course, these status candles are a natural way for us to invest more wholly in the brands we love, bringing personal style beyond the wardrobe. As we become increasingly discerning about the things we purchase, resisting the pull of the new in favour of brands, designs and pieces that truly reflect our values, filling our homes in a similar fashion feels wholly satisfying.