French artist and designer Marie Daâge compares the complementary shapes, colors and patterns of her hand-painted porcelain to a mix-and-match wardrobe for the table. “People should look at dressing their table like they dress themselves,” she says. “To have one dinner service is like saying you have only one party dress. My collections are designed so you can play with different styles and colors.” By creating two new collections a year, each with three or four different motifs, Daâge now has a catalog of some 80 patterns in myriad shapes and shades. Her original designs are hand-painted on Limoges porcelain in six French ateliers, three in Limoges and three in the Paris region.
Some of her decors are brushstroke sketches: The captivating, pagoda-hatted Chinese boy of her Indes Galantes series swings on a rope; charming foxes and stags gambol across the new Territoire line; Klimt is contemporary, a minimalist take on the Viennese painter’s Art Nouveau whorls and swirls. The new Jardins d’Udaïpur set was inspired by the exotic 16th-century palace gardens of Prince Udaï Singh. Other motifs are geometric. “My decors are really timeless,” she says. “Their roots are in the past, but they are interpreted in a modern manner.” The Palmyre pattern is “a thoroughly modern acanthus leaf,” she says, and her signature wide stripes are an updated variation on a French Empire theme.
An example of her mix-and-match concept: “Choose two colors of dinner plates, say a Transat stripe in taupe and Bamboo in cactus green. Then, you can constantly transform your table by using smaller dishes like fashion accessories. If you started with dessert plates in taupe Palmyre, later you could add some in this year’s chic yellow.”
Daâge now has her own corners in Printemps and the Bon Marché department stores in Paris and Bergdorf’s in New York, along with a large private decorator clientele. “All designs come in every color,” she says, “so it’s almost impossible for any two clients to end up with the same exact service. It’s haute couture for the table.”
14 rue Portalis, Paris 8th, 01.44.90.01.36. website
Originally published in the December 2010 issue of France Today
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