Hermès' New, 'Casual' Tableware Collection Is Full of Showstoppers

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It represents a different approach for the luxury brand.

This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.

Hermès—the luxury leather and lifestyle brand responsible for the world's most expensive handbag (and some seriously beautiful scarves)—wants you to actually use your nicest dinnerware. In fact, every time you almost set the table with your best plates, then decide to save them for "a special occasion," the ghost of Thierry Hermès sheds a single tear (it's true, look it up). 

That's why, fully aware that their porcelain "Art de la Table" sets are so well-designed as to discourage, you know, eating off of, the company presented them in the most fun, casual mashup of mass-luxe possible: an Hermès cafeteria, in the brand's Madison Avenue flagship store. Check out those stacked trays (and those branded napkins)! Also, please note the pats of individually-wrapped French butter.


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While visitors to the New York City store can't actually order Hermès-approved food, they can wander up to the third floor to check out the cafeteria-style installation, which will be up through Saturday, October 27.


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 The latest tableware launch, titled "A Walk in the Garden," and created in collaboration with artist Nigel Peake, is featured prominently (think energetic, freehand designs and abstract florals in springtime colors).

And, if you're into the brand's more traditional pieces, we also spotted porcelain plates and bowls painted with lush jungle scenes, tropical birds, and bold repeat patterns inspired by the ironwork found in Andalusian towns. Is there any bigger power move than ordering a pizza and serving the slices on Hermès? 


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If you're more into fancy French cookware than fancy French tableware, Le Creuset also launched a new collection this month, in their latest color—morel (a mushroom-inspired, silky brown).

Available exclusively at Sur la Table right now, the lineup features the following brand favorites:  a 2.75-quart Dutch oven, a 6.75-quart Dutch oven, and a 3.5-quart buffet casserole with glass lid.