Carmen Bellot speaks to the founder of La Double J about the brand's latest collaboration with Ladurée.

There's a lot more behind this afternoon tea set than just some pretty prints. When JJ Martin, founder of the La DoubleJ was first contacted by the CEO of Ladurée – only the most renowned Parisian patisserie in the world – about collaborating, their shared love of divine femininity seemed an appropriate starting point. "She came to me as she'd seen the Goddess collection that we had done for Matches Fashion almost two years ago, which was around these female archetypes," shares JJ, Zooming from her newly opened debut store in Milan. "She got excited about that and wanted to do one of our own. And I said, 'OK, let’s use the same nugget of the feminine energy but use a different angle of it.'" 

Low and behold, a 12-piece collection of tea pots, desert plates, aprons and macaroon boxes are born! Using the Tree of Life as a starting inspiration point, the pair have created an afternoon tea collection that evokes divine femininity in the most colourful, and inherently La DoubleJ way. "I have this incredible artist in Norway who we work with for a lot of our exclusive prints for La DoubleJ," she had also previously designed a variant of the print for the brand's Resort collection, explains JJ. "She did another visual of the tree, and from there siphoned off various symbols and elements that all fit into this cosmic idea of the divine mother. You have all sorts of iconography and imagery within the collection that relates to Mother Earth being a living being – in spiritual circles we call her Gaia Sophia."

JJ certainly isn't a dilettante when it comes to spirituality. She started her spiritual education when she went to an energy healer about issues with her fertility. "I was so disillusioned with the procedure of Western medicine and it was the second time in my life that I had been let down by it. So I started working with an energy healer – about seven or eight years ago – and that’s when my life completely changed." It wasn't until the pandemic hit that JJ thought about incorporating this into the business. "My spiritual practice flourished – of course – because I had all that feminine space, darkness and silence. I started dedicating Instagram videos, posts and lives to these topics and it really resonated. So that’s when we started with the Zoom wellness webinars."

As someone who is as uneducated with spiritual practices as they are with the inner workings of a car engine, JJ approaches my lack of knowledge with complete kindness. After explaining each of the symbols that portray femininity within the collaboration artwork – seeds that relate to fertility; the heart, a symbol of unconditional love; a butterfly which portrays transformation and of course, the tree and it's roots, which show the idea of interconnectedness – we started discussing why it's important we have masculine and feminine energy. "I grew up in a highly masculine, energetic environment – my mom being the most masculine out of all of us. And it took me a long time to even understand that there was this duality, the yin and yang, within my own being. When I did, it was this huge lightbulb moment. It helped me understand why I was infertile, why I was having trouble with depression, why I was having issues with people: it really placed myself in the world." 

But how do you know when you're unbalanced? "This is probably one of the quickest ways you can figure out if someone has a deficiency in feminine energy: if they can’t stand being in a bath." says JJ, relaying that the act of bathing shows that we can truly enjoy our own company, and connect with ourselves.
"Feminine energy is all about receiving and it’s a much more passive, accepting energetic. It’s about feeling. It’s highly connected to intuition, space and emptiness. The masculine is all about filling, penetrating and doing. The masculine goes and does, the feminine stays and receives." Becoming balanced is a process that's annoyingly a lot longer harder than identifying the problem, but J.J. shares a paramount tip. "The first thing you need to do is bring consciousness to it. You need to really take stock of your behaviour and what you tend to run away from." 

I mention that I love how using this collaboration will inevitably help one to connect with their feminine side; by embracing a slower, more passive activity. "I actually didn’t think of that but that’s a great point," shares JJ. "It’s very conducive to the feminine moment of just chilling... It’s really important that women start tapping into this [energy]. Even though on the outside the collection looks like another floral tea set, there is a lot of thinking behind it." And who would JJ invite to afternoon tea, to enjoy a macaroon whilst rejoicing in the energetically feminine act?
"Kuan Yin, one of the ancient symbols of the divine mother. Obviously!"

Shop the La DoubleJ x Ladurée collaboration here.

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