NEW YORK— New ideas in dining and home entertaining was the overarching theme at the Fall New York Tabletop Market, held at Forty One Madison, here. As consumers continue to transform how they serve and set their tables, so too have category vendors in the way they deliver the tableware necessary to help the consumer’s home dining and entertaining experience.
Reimagining sets, especially when it comes to dinnerware and flatware, that make sense for how consumers are dining at home was evident among many showrooms.
Dinnerware sets, while still relevant, have been reimagined in new ways that offer up a personalized mix-and-match approach that welcomes consumers to customize their dinnerware in a way that best suits their tastes, home décor and lifestyle.
Plate/bowl shapes have also transformed as vendors are attempting to focus on modern designs that speak to the types of foods consumers are eating.
Coupe shapes, which offer up a slightly raised rim, have become a popular design aimed at younger consumers. The new shape offers up more real estate for food in the center and offers up an edge to keep ingredients contained within. The shape offers a more handcrafted look and is the next step in the popular evolution of the bowl being the catchall vehicle for meals.
When it comes to design, technology has played a key role in offering customers elevated ideas in dinnerware. For example, reactive glazes continue to trend and are now seen in new treatments be it a triple tone dip or detailed splatterings rather than a full plate treatment.
Digital printing has emerged as a design and technology to watch when it comes to tableware. The technique is being embraced by a few vendors that are seeking new ways to bring fresh, modern patterns to plates and bowls in a more exciting and uniform way. It also offers more flexibility for manufacturers seeking to expand their offerings.
Flatware, too, is also going through its own transformation, with vendors putting the focus more on open stock and smaller sets, rather than the larger, more formal 20-piece sets of years past. This evolution is a result of the new approach to dinnerware, as consumers are becoming just as aware of their flatware needs as their dinnerware preferences. As far as design and shape, flatware vendors are exploring new design trends, some reviving classic patterns with a modern bent, in order to ensure their offerings are meeting the various casual tastes of consumers. Tastes in flatware can run the gamut from classic and formal to contemporary, modern and rustic.
Glassware had a strong presence at the market, as it continues to remain in the spotlight. Wine and cocktail culture are strong, leaving vendors in this category room to license lines as well as to explore creative new shapes and approaches to stemware and beverageware. Some vendors turned to their archives, reimagining designs from previous decades, while others have turned traditional stemware upside down, so to speak, breaking old rules and offering new shapes instead.
Color, when it comes to glassware, was also a big story, be it touches of color to enhance a glass detail or giving a goblet or tumbler a full frost treatment. Giftable glassware has also helped buoy color back into glassware as several brands are expanding their collections to include more holiday motifs and cute and sassy sayings to please the social media crowd.
Taking Shape On The Table
Taking a deeper dive into what specific brands debuted, new patterns, shapes and collections abounded at the Fall New York Tabletop Market.
Lifetime Brands offered up new coupe shapes in its Mikasa Hana collection, an organic shape with a high rim with a high gloss finish on high fired terracotta. The new Alena line is also a coupe shape dinnerware, made of stoneware with a reactive glaze finish.
The company also delved into other new shapes for its more casual selection of dinnerware. The new Elodie and Dakota patterns from Mikasa, both made of stoneware, take shape in square form. Elodie is finished in a luster effect reactive glaze finish, while Dakota has an exposed bisque rim and semi matte reactive glaze with gloss speckling finish. Mikasa’s Shay collection, also made of stoneware with a reactive glaze finish, brings a freeform organic shape into the mix.
Lifetime Brands also showcased a variety of flatware from its Towle Living and Wallace brands, many of which featured updated finishes and a modern spin on classic shapes. For example, the company offered up a new Ombre assortment, available in both gold and gunmetal effect. In other flatware news, Lifetime is bringing its Studio Nova brand back, this time offering up 20-piece sets of 18/10 flatware in a variety of styles such as a classic Vintage style as well as a more modern Chopstick & Spoon collection.
Shapes were also a focal point at the Villeroy & Boch showroom, as the company’s latest introductions explore new ideas, some of which have been dug out from the archives. The Iconic Boule dinnerware collection was first created in 1971 by designer Helen von Boch. At the time, the collection was named “the Globe,” as it comprised four table settings nested together in the shape of an orb. Villeroy & Boch is reintroducing La Boule with a contemporary twist. The porcelain orb will include a serving platter, bowls and plates. It will be available in black matte, white glossy, Memphis (multi-colored) and black and white. The collection features seven pieces and serves two people, and it includes two bowls, four dinner plates and one serving platter.
Gibson showcased its assortment, highlighted by several “stories” that the company works to bring together in order for it to be translated for retail. For its introductions, the company put the spotlight on its reactive glaze assortment of dinnerware under the Laurie Gates brand, as well as animal prints, patterns with global inspiration and a collection of mixed material serveware with a focus on woods, glass and ceramic.
Fiskars Living presented its approach to modern mixing and matching, with The Art Of Code Mixing, a new concept that the company is introducing in an effort to showcase how different patterns from the company’s Wedgwood brand can be mixed and matched to present a fresh merchandising display that appeals to consumers seeking to make their dining table selections their own, rather than sticking to a specific set.
The company also expanded upon its Waterford crystal Mixology barware assortment, adding rum specific glasses and pitcher for those aspiring to be bartenders at home. The Reed & Barton Thomas O’Brien collection also expanded, this time with new vintage coolers that harken back to the golden age of cocktails, made popular by the TV series “Mad Men.”
Luigi Bormioli also looked to the past for its latest stemware assortment, Roma 1960, which was designed in the spirit of the Italian city during that era. The collection is also designed for the at home bartender and includes everything needed for a complete set including traditional rock and double old fashioned sizes, highball and coolers. Stemless wine, classic cocktail coupe, martini, margarita, wine, gin and rum specific glasses are also included in the line.
Libbey introduced several new ideas for its glassware, also showcasing new shapes for the company, such as the new Bujarda, which gives the all-purpose stemless wine glass a unique gem-like shape and texture. The company also delved further into free form, organic shapes with the Lava tumbler and a double old fashioned assortment. The company also continues to add to its stackable assortment, popular with apartment dwellers and those downsizing into smaller spaces. The new Paneled stackable tumblers fit neatly inside one another to be tucked away.