The new collaboration between wedding maven Monique Lhuillier and ceramics authority Royal Doulton has got me so excited that I’m going to continue yesterday's animal skins theme. The entire collection is exquisite—it is made in England of bone china and is inspired by the materials and colors that Monique uses to create her stunning wedding gowns.
My two favourite patterns are “Femme Fatale” and “Atelier”. Both feature a subtly embossed lizard motif (fun!) and platinum edging (formal!). This delicate balance of irreverent and refined makes the patterns ideal if you like the idea of fine china but hate the gilded, floral, cheeseball reality of it.
The nicest thing about these two is that they come in coordinating colorways: the former in clean white with a pearlescent sheen, and the latter in a warm grey. They complement each other without getting too matchy-matchy—because identical sets of anything can be so stuffy.
After drooling over the collection at Bloomingdales this weekend, I scurried home and put five place settings of each pattern on my wedding registry. But one question remains: do I want my tea set in “Femme Fatale”, with its gorgeous elephant grey?
Or do I prefer it in “Atelier”? I do so love the platinum bead detail as seen on the creamer below.
Or do I take my own advice on not matching everything and hunt down a different tea service? The Théière from Astier de Villate could inject the perfect touch of bohemian whimsy to counter the uptown sophistication of the Monique pieces.
Because fine china should never take itself too seriously.