'French Balloons', the latest limited-edition Papinelle x Megan Hess collaboration
Globally renowned fashion artist & creative icon, Megan Hess, in the French Balloons PJ set
‘Whimsical and dreamy’, is how fashion artist Megan Hess describes the prints she created for the Papinelle x Megan Hess collection. The globally renowned artist penned the original drawings for this limited-edition, luxury sleepwear collaboration. Megan’s creations have graced campaigns for brands including Prada, Chanel, Tiffany & Co ... Papinelle, and adorned the cover of the Sex and the City novel (remember that beauty?).
The ultimate ‘encore’
This is the second collaboration between Megan and Papinelle founder and designer, Renae James. ‘I’ve always been obsessed with Papinelle sleepwear,’ says Megan, ‘So it was a perfect fit when I met Renae and we shared creative ideas.’ Megan is based in Melbourne but works internationally, including her role as Artist in Residence for the Oetker Collection - The finest Masterpiece Hotels.
Megan continues that she was drawn to Papinelle because of the ‘gorgeous, luxurious fabrics and silhouettes they used’. She says the fabrics make one feel special when worn but also proved to be a perfect canvas for her illustrations. She explains cotton and silk blends hold the design and print exceptionally well.
A dream collaboration
The print – a chic woman in a series of hot air balloons moving across a Parisian skyline – was designed to ‘feel like an escape from reality’, says Megan. The combination of pinks with black is contemporary but also gives a nod to the romance associated with Paris. ‘Papinelle is known for its beautiful, soft designs and fabrics, so I wanted to combine my style with the gorgeous pastel world that everyone knows and loves about Papinelle.’
Renae has also been a longtime fan of Megan and the combination of the designer and illustrator proved to be inspiring and resonated with customers. Megan's first collaboration with Papinelle in 2016 included a feminine nightie, a PJ set, and an elegant robe as part of a limited-edition range inspired by Megan’s ultimate pampering retreat, the Hotel De Lux.
Says Renae: ‘Megan’s incredible illustrations, her aesthetic and design aligned perfectly with Papinelle and our customer. Her illustrations are not only exceptionally beautiful and detailed, but aspirational also. They take you away to a magical place.' Both creatives say their objective for the collection was to make all women that wear them feel comfortable and beautiful and have the best sleep of their lives.
The artist at work
The print, Renae continues, aligns with romantic destinations, luxury and a beautiful dose of ‘chic French vibes'. After discussing the ‘thread of an idea’ for the illustration concept, Megan explains she began drawing with a visual in her mind. She then let it develop freely, as she does with all her work.
‘I draw in black ink first, and then I layer in colour on a second version. It's important for me always to keep that first line drawing just in case I want to revisit the shades or start again,' she explains. She's thrilled with the outcome and says her dream destination to wear them, would (naturally) be Paris. ‘I love my own bed, but waking up in a beautiful Parisian suite wearing my new Papinelle collection would be perfect. As they say, Paris is always a good idea!’
About the collection
Words: Lori Cohen Images: Megan Hess