The world-famous pastry shop and tea room, Maison Ladurée, recently released one of their most gorgeous collaborations yet. Australian illustrator, Kerrie Hess, has created three beautiful, limited edition macaron boxes that you can purchase at any Ladurée boutique worldwide.
The boxes are absolutely stunning, and rendered in pastel shades and dainty forms that match perfectly with the Ladurée look, a recognizably Parisian pastry shop that was established over 150 years ago. In her own words, Hess “wanted to capture the beauty and tradition of the Ladurée brand in its iconic pastel tones through paint, as well as a touch of fashion and whimsy.” She certainly knocked the ball out of the park!
Ladurée began as a simple bakery on Rue Royale in 1862, but after being destroyed in a fire, was rebuilt and transformed into the first pastry shop of its kind: part pâtisserie, part literary café and part elegant salon de thé. Jules Chéret, considered the master of Belle Époque poster art, was responsible for the interior decoration of the new boutique. He painted a feminine, rococo scene complete with cherubs dressed up as chefs, which are still part of the brand’s logo today. He also helped select Ladurée’s trademark color, a pastel celadon hue that covers the packaging and storefronts.
At that time, Chéret was known for depicting women in his posters in a revolutionary new way – not as degenerates, martyrs, or Greek goddesses, but as real women, enjoying the pleasures of Paris with joy and exuberance. These women he portrayed came to be known as Cherettes, and some even associated them with the women’s liberation movement. Ladurée was just the kind of place that this new type of woman would flock to, so it seems only fitting that a modern-day Cherette, Hess herself, would be tasked with creating new visual products for Ladurée. It’s not just that her figures recall the style and femininity of Chéret’s own illustrations, it’s also the fact that she lived in Paris for a number of years. In her own words, “Illustrating packaging for Maison Ladurée was such a perfect match for me. It took me straight back to my time living in Paris.”
Hess has worked with big names such as Chanel, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton and Vogue, just to name a few. She’s a strong, independent woman who has made a name for herself through her artwork, which should be celebrated as a major achievement! She also illustrated a fashion book called Shoestring Chic, sells her own personal work online as limited edition fashion prints, and has lived in London, Hong Kong, and Paris. She is now based in Brisbane, Australia.
Hess has created three beautiful boxes, each with a unique color scheme. The one pictured here is the pink and green box, but there are also lavender and black versions that are just as lovely. They each depict chic, fabulously dressed Parisian women, standing in front of Ladurée boutiques, either with loyal dogs by their side or holding shopping bags. These boxes hold 8 macarons of your choice. The macrons I chose were: Raspberry, Marie Antoinette, Salted Caramel, Lemon, Melon, Rose, Pistachio, and Coffee – a nice mix of standard and seasonal flavors.
Fun Fact: The macaron originated in Italy, brought to France by Catherine de Medicis in 1533 when she married the the Duc d’Orleans, who later became king of France. However, the macaron as we know it today didn’t exist, rather it was simply a disk of almond flour, egg whites and sugar – rather like a cookie. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the modern macaron was born, when Pierre Desfontaines, grandson of the company’s founder Louis-Ernest Ladurée, had the genius idea to stack two of those cookies together and fill the middle with ganache. Who knew that creating a double decker pastry could result in such a legacy?
Macarons are perhaps the most beloved French pastry of all time, and it certainly helps that they’re so darn cute, colorful and photogenic! Be sure to check out the work of Kerrie Hess at her website.
You can purchase Kerrie Hess’ limited edition macaron boxes at any Ladurée boutique around the world. Find your nearest store here.
Ladurée Boutiques in Paris
21 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris
Metro Saint Germain des Pres (line 4)
18 Rue Royale, 75008 Paris
Metro Madeleine (lines 8, 12 and 14)
75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
Metro George V (line 1)
Ladurée in Printemps Department Store
64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris
Gare Saint Lazare (Metro lines 3, 9, 12, 13 and 14)
Metro Chausée d’Antin Lafayette (Lines 7 and 9)
(All photos by the Author)