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The Home Trend & Lifestyle Show, observations, trends & my picks…

This past week, I attended the NY TableTop Show in New York or as I wish it was called, The New York Home Trend & Lifestyle Show. (ok, that’s my made up name but its sounds much more interesting!)

It’s actually not the first show that I’ve attended where I thought to myself that the industry should start connecting itself with others. I’d like to see the category of tabletop shown & aligned with all types of decorative arts, home design and the culinary arts industries. In the past, we had a wide array of publications that boosted the industry through glamorous print editorial which sadly are now a small handful. Just before this TableTop Show it was announced that Conde Nast would be closing Modern Bride, Gourmet and Cookie Magazines. There was also big announcement that the oldest and most prestigious German manufactory of porcelain, Meissen would not longer have a wholesale showroom in the US. I have spend over 20 years of my life and career tracking these luxury tabletop companies and even with all of the above, they still continue to produce and manufacture products with great artistry, quality and inspire those who will attempt to make it cheaper.

Over the next year eTableTop plans to bring you, our customers & industry friends, closer to these masterful collections. We are dedicated now more than ever to the mission of educating and featuring designs that will be future heirlooms to the next generation, whether it’s mouth blown glassware from Prague, sterling silver from France, porcelain from France, Italy & Germany. We ask that you visit us monthly for new ideas and read our blog for trends and inspiration. Whether you are a customer or an industry partner, get involved in the discussion. We want to hear from you!

Ok, so speaking of trends & inspiration, check out some of my personal favorite pics & some overall trend spotting in the market.

Favorite Product: Reunion Vase from Rosenthal
Why? It’s a clever design created by an intern, Pieke Bergman that shows both current forms like Magic Flute with and discontinued Rosenthal like Century & Romance. It’s nice to see these old forms again and hey, if anyone at Rosenthal is listening, “bring back Romance & Century dinnerware!” Another thing I observed as that a few historic companies were showing objects that showed many old & new patterns together for consumers…perhaps there is a nostalgic trend on the horizon. A way of connecting to these manufactories rich history.

Favorite Dinnerware: Kelly Weastler for Pickard

Why? A few reasons. I like that Pickard is a US company, remaining relevant and competitive in a shrinking market. They provide US jobs and supply both the White House and Heads of State with beautiful dinnerware to be proud of. I like Kelly’s collection because it show’s that you can indeed make an ivory, more traditional form modern and chic. She has done a nice job creating modern, yet warm & inviting dinnerware to the table. The collection is currently exclusive for Bergdorf Goodman but eTableTop will be carrying it this Winter.

Best New collection: The New English
Why? It’s all in the name. I’m told by it’s creator Paul Bishop it represents both thier innovative approach to design and manufacturing in the infamous Stoke on Trent, the birthplace of UK cermanics for over 250 years. I personally am thrilled that they revitalizing some manufacturing in to Stoke on Trent whose industry have been devastated…connecting young, creative students with the manufactories. They are seeking genuine trends in art & industry and translating that in the “art for the table”. They are slated to appear in Liberty of London and the hippest design shops on Rue St. Honore in Paris.

What’s a mini trend exactly? It’s a trend that I pick up on after four days of scouting the show for new product. This year, I noticed that alot of the products had rough edges in both shape and pattern. The vibe is alot more playful and dare I say “casual” for the table. “Casual” was the buzzword and is evidenced in the declining sales of more formal style dinnerware. We could say that the market is going “cheap” and “casual” but I think not. I think it’s changing to a more “casual style” in both the items that we use on the top of the table to the patterns/shapes that are most popular. As we approach the Thanksgiving holidays we can and should bring that casual style into your home entertaining. While we can’t just throw out our dinnerware and start over, you can bring in elements of a trend to your table. Consider having a new dessert service or a serving platter for cocktail hour that is adorned with varietal cheeses and fruits. Here are some examples of designs that have more unfinished, urban chic edges.

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Comment from Laurie Burns
Time October 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Christina - I love it that you chose The New English as your best “new” product. I was asked by Michelle Isreal of our very own Bloomingdales to bring something entirely new and different to the Market and went out and found this great company, affiliated with the Staffordshire Uni of Ceramics - and Nick Munro - a hot product designer also from the UK. Hope Michelle saw them both! Thanks for your coverage of this great industry!

Comment from Christina Norsig
Time October 22, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Hi Laurie,

You have a good eye! Bravo on the Show and finding The New English.
Christina Norsig

Comment from Kimberly McSparran
Time October 22, 2009 at 7:40 pm

You both are such tremendous assets to our industry…thanks for keeping it fresh and alive!

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