India Mahdavi creates a pink Parisian fantasy in Ladurée’s Tokyo tea salon
India Mahdavi – the design-eye behind Ladurée in Geneva (2016) and Los Angeles (2017), as well as the Gallery restaurant at London’s Sketch (2014) – has again lent her elegantly eccentric vision to Ladurée’s new salon de thé in Tokyo.
The Paris-based macaron and pastry specialist has become a world leader in Versailles-inspired whimsy, no small thanks to Mahdavi, who’s on a sugar high this year. Her candy-hued Salone del Mobile 2018 offerings for Bisazza promise to be as pop-tastic as ever.
Known as the ‘queen of colour’, Mahdavi uses a palette of celadon-greens and bonbon pinks. With typical brilliance, she elevates what could be a kawaii-cute tone with sophisticated, tongue-in-cheek flourishes. Twisting candy-stick tables sprout from a graphic, grey and white marble floor; blown glass floret lamps bloom from the cherry blossom-pink walls, and meringue-shaped ceiling lamps soften the down lighting.
Bespoke, scalloped furniture is rendered in plush velvet
‘Ladurée is a garden of delights,’ she says. ‘I am here to bring joy, and Ladurée’s essence is closely connected to enjoyment. I wanted to bring some French-ness to Tokyo and make this place a full experience.’
Full experience is right. Visitors are encased by walls of Marie Antoinette-inspired white garden latticework, and they lounge upon bespoke, scalloped furniture, plumped with plush velvet cushions fit for a Parisian banquette.
The fare? Think typical French delicacies with contemporary twists. Strawberry and coconut délice, pistachio saint honoré, and fluffy macarons in every conceivable flavour, washed down the rabbit-hole with a china thimble-full of aromatic tea.
The space – like stepping inside a mille feuille – is set-like, an Instagram dreamworld, a fully-realised mise en scène. On International Women’s Day 2018, Mahdavi told us it was her ultimate goal to make a movie. When she does, we hope there’s a love scene in this cinematic salon de thé.