The Conran Shop is taking a creative approach to next month’s amorous celebrations. Wednesday February 6 sees the opening of The Love Shack in its Chelsea store, and the plan is to keep it open until mid March – on the basis that these romantic goodies are just too fabulous for Valentine’s Day alone.
The store has plumped for an intellectual take on love and desire. Jasper Conran, now The Conran Shop’s chairman and creative director, has drawn inspiration from the six types of love, as established by the ancient Greeks. For those who can decipher their partner’s love personality, choosing a romantic token should be a whole lot easier this year.
Of the six names, the most familiar is Eros. People with this temperament are romantic, passionate and believers in love at first sight. They prefer soft fabrics, feminine scents and products that both spiritually enrich and can be easily shared with others. Mania is a naturally intense personality, which causes its adherents to experience great highs and lows. Obsessive, jealous and possessive, they are drawn to dramatic gestures. Next is Ludus, a game player, excellent at lighthearted interactions but shying away from intimacy. Storge is for friends who become lovers over time, and Pragma for those driven by the head and not the heart (hence a love of clean, minimal, stylish and practical gifts). Finally, Agape describes generous and self-sacrificing people for whom love is all-encompassing, with others’ needs put first.
More than 800 gifts will be arranged by amorous type, and there will be rare and unconventional items to suit the most discerning love interest. John Derian’s illustrated plates (from £45; example in first picture) are a particular draw. Quirkier still is a seven-piece lobster cutlery set (£250), vintage Playboy magazines (£30), Fornasetti pistol-themed incense boxes (£145) and new jewellery from cult brand Tom Binns (a shark-jaw cuff – second picture, £195 – is a key piece). Other new items include Ilia, an organic make-up range from Vancouver (lipstick, £20), and the exquisitely bottled Truly perfume (there are Madly and Deeply, too) from Mariz Lux (£129). From Italy comes a number of exclusive original perfumes by Peccato Originale, including Eros (£129).
The Love Shack promises to be a “one-stop shop for gifts beyond Valentine’s Day”, says Paul Middlemiss, The Conran Shop’s global buying director. And, to make things even sweeter, there will be a bespoke wrapping service using the finest ribbons and papers.