Just in time for Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013, Ladurée launched yesterday its newest product to satisfy your appetite, limited-edition macarons by Lanvin. The Lanvin and Ladurée collaboration offers bubble-gum flavored macarons in a package designed by the brand’s designer Alber Elbaz.
A spokesperson from Ladurée said, “We like to collaborate with designers who allow us to develop the idea of gift-giving. They promote our image of beauty and delicacy.”
Collaborations between sexy sweet things and fashion are nothing new; a few years ago, designer Alexis Mabille (who opens his first store in Paris this week) designed a Yule log for the famous patisserie Angelina. Karl Lagerfeld has dressed up champagne and Diet Coke. Early this year, Jean Paul Gaultier was tasked to be the soda’s Creative Director, 13 years after he dressed a Piper Heidsieck bottle in a corset, following a long list of Diet Coke bottle designers like Kenzo Takada, Sonia Rykiel and Roberto Cavalli.
Fashion and champagne collaborations make even more sense than fashion and diet drink collaborations; they give off an air of glamour replete with stilettos and fur shrugged off after too many glasses of bubbly. Past collaborations include Emilio Pucci and Veuve Cliquot and Christian Louboutin and Piper Heideseck. Edgier than champagne, but more calorific, are vodka bottles by fashion designers. Absolut vodka tops Skyy, with designers like Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, and Gareth Pugh as part of the venerable list. Chocolate in fashion, perhaps the most commonly seen over the decades, either as collaborations or part of a brand, include Armani and Gucci; Brit designer Giles Deacon once created a dress for the Cadbury Caramel Bunny.
For the least fattening, fashionable way to run from show to show without fainting, there is water in fashion (Perrier by Agnés B, Christian Lacroix Haute Couture for Evian). More recently, a lower-end fashion brand has teamed up with a food magazine: Banana Republic and Bon Appétit. Where does it end? Lady Gaga’s meat dress not withstanding, we have yet to see bulky foods teaming up with a fashion brand. It might be a stretch to see a high-end bucherie with Chanel, not least because Karl Lagerfeld has said in interviews that he does not like to eat much.
Macarons and high fashion, however, make perfect sense: the treats are easy on the eye, and small enough for an extended manicured finger to pluck gently off a box, or as the French traditionally eat their little sweets, to delicately slice with a small, silver two-pronged fork. Macarons look like gems and their bite-size won’t immediately ruin your lipstick nor your size 2 figure.
Ladurée has collaborated with several brands in the past, including Tsumori Chisato, Matthew Williamson, and Marni. What makes the Lanvin and Ladurée collaboration different is its flavor (bubble-gum--youthful, fresh) and its packaging, which includes childlike illustrations by Alber Elbaz. These macarons aren’t precious, they’re ‘fashion’ and they’re fun, and they fit Elbaz to a T: “Everybody knows I like to eat macarons,” said Elbaz, “and then this collaboration came up.” It’s believable to imagine him taking a bite.
The Lanvin x Ladurée limited-edition box of 8 macarons in 3 colors is available in France. It will be available on September 28th in the UK, US and Japan, on October 2nd in Switzerland, and on October 1st in other countries.
- Ria de Borja