Sunday, 10 August 2014

Artist in residence: Kerrie Hess

Commissioned by Chanel. Based in Paris. Featured in Vogue. Kerrie Hess' resume reads like the script of a fabulous fashion flick or Lauren Weisberger novel. But for this Australian illustrator, a glittering list of experiences and encounters is simply the by-product of an enduring passion for drawing. We've long been fans of Kerrie's beautiful illustrations (and yes, she's sister to Megan Hess, featured on The Apartment recently) and caught up with her to talk about her work, style and home.

An Australian in Paris - is it just us, or does Kerrie have a bit of Carrie going on? Photography by Carla Coulson

"If I could be any of the women I've drawn, I'd love to be one from my exhibition at Le Meurice hotel in Paris earlier this year," says Kerrie. "They were all dressed in styles inspired by haute couture." For those of you unfamiliar with her work, Kerrie's spĂ©cialitĂ© is depicting wonderfully stylish women - the kind you wish you could be. With each watercolour brushstroke comes a vision of a Dior-draped damsel on her way to the opera, a pair of sylphlike girls taking tea and macarons, or a well-heeled lady walking her dog to Tiffany's. 

While Kerrie's to-die-for drawings have graced billboards for Paris department stores, the pages of Tatler and a recent Louis Vuitton campaign, she also creates limited-edition prints (described as her "personal little passion project"), which you can purchase here. Our advice to fashion fiends: bag yourself one of these beauties to dress up your interiors.


Shop these prints - and more - at Kerrie's online store.

Kerrie created nostalgic paper dolls for Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2013 campaign. 
"Louis Vuitton actually asked me to write the brief for the project, which was scary!" she recalls.

It seems fitting - given the sense of style and sophistication infused in her work, not to mention the major fashion houses seeking out her talents - that Kerrie spent a "magical" 18 months in Paris. Here, she lived in a chic apartment decorated in timeless monochrome. "I've always loved black and white interiors with pops of metallic," she says, also professing her penchant for high-glamour statement pieces. "I think it's fun to add some unexpected elements to your home, like a chandelier in the office or kitchen."

Just like her illustrations, Kerrie's Parisian dining room is a vision of elegance.

 Artwork by Kerrie Hess.

Although Kerrie recently returned to Australia, the City of Light continues to inspire her work and lifestyle. "Aside from all the great shopping, style and fashion in Paris, the thing I miss most is my daily trip to the local boulangerie for a baguette," says Kerrie. "And my young son has become a food snob - he now prefers smoked salmon and goat's cheese to ice-cream and chocolate, which makes me laugh."

So what's next for this creative talent? "I'm currently working on some amazing projects with Laduree Paris and Lancome Paris," says Kerrie. And after that, well, we imagine she could be anywhere from exhibiting in New York to chronicling couture in Cannes... We await the next chapter of this fashion fairytale.

STYLE NOTES {kerrie hess}
dream home: It’s under renovation/decoration right now…
style icon: Emanuelle Alt.
favourite flower: Peonies.
best scent: Chanel No. 5.
colour palette: Black and white (but currently obsessed with pink and copper).
music of choice: Pink Martini.
film that inspires: Rear Window.
go-to outfit: An LBD, or jeans, t-shirt and blazer.
era of choice: For style, the 1950s.
ideal holiday: On the beach with my son, eating ice-cream.
perfect Sunday: A sleep in, breakfast out or a stroll at the markets, an afternoon of painting, then dinner somewhere cosy.

Image via

Note: if fashion, Paris, macarons or flowers are your cup of tea, 
follow Kerrie's achingly beautiful Instagram account @kerriehessillustration.

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