Welcome, reader, to Le Creuset TikTok: a world in which teens design imaginary kitchens around their favourite brand of colourfully enameled French cookware.
A by-product of the earlier cottagecore movement – in which adopters escaped into rhapsodies of idyllic country living – Le Creuset TikTok sees its predominantly teenage users lust after cooking pots, pair them with Harry Styles outfits, and soundtrack the whole thing to Irish church-botherer Hozier.
At the time of writing, the “#lecreuset” tag has been viewed over 12 million times. But how has a 95-year old kitchen brand become the latest teenage obsession? Who is paying £300 for a “shell pink” casserole dish? And are we all just retreating into pleasing interiors to distract from the reality that we’ll never be able to afford homes??
Of course, to understand the trend, it’s important to first trace its origins. The cottagecore movement reached its peak during the pandemic, hitting the internet in a spurt of homegrown strawberries, picnics and milkmaid dresses. It was quickly followed by maximalism: a trend which saw rooms filled to the brim with knick-knacks, almost hoard-like in nature.
In March, Architectural Digest published a video inside the mid-century modern home of Hollywood actress Dakota Johnson, with one image sending the internet into a notable frenzy: her green kitchen. The muted green cupboards, vintage Persian rug, and strategically placed bowl of limes were the perfect blend of dreamy and ridiculous. Tiptoeing the line of serene and completely unhinged, its energy resonated.
We spoke to members of Le Creusetok to understand the new collective obsession: “I noticed lots of nice comments about my pots so I made a video introducing my entire gang of Le Creusets,” says 18-year-old Yuting Shi, whose TikTok of her collection has over 800k views.
“My account has become me designing an aesthetic based on each different Le Creuset colour,” explains 20-year-old Avery Abelhouzen, the self-confessed “Le Creuset girl”. “It’s just a fun outlet.”
It doesn’t take long to notice that the majority of these videos aren’t from those who own Le Creuset kitchenware, but those constructing fantasy lives around them.
“A lot of people say, ‘I have no use for this yet, I want every single colour,’” says David Greenbaum, a 17-year-old Le Creuset fanatic.
Abelhouzen agrees: “They represent having a nice lifestyle and home, and I think that’s what people want.”
But as aesthetically pleasing as it all may be, Le Creuset TikTok symbolises more than an escapist fantasy. We as a generation are becoming increasingly creative and absurd in our design choices because the idea of owning a home of our own seems just as whimsical as a heart-shaped cooking pot. So, as the world bursts into flames around us, why waste time thinking of the ordinary, when the extraordinary looks so much prettier?
Just don’t mention the price. A £200 Dutch oven? I ask. In this economy??