FRANKFURT, Germany-The Ambiente fair opened here today, offering an international audience plenty of new products to view.
In tabletop, manufacturers played with new shapes and offered more decorated and highly detailed designs. Painterly florals continue to be big, gold is being used more, and multi-sided shapes are showing up in dinnerware and flatware.
Royal Crown Derby showcased Windsor dinnerware, an archival pattern with an etched gold border design, and Dapple, a new Bruce Oldfield pattern, with dollops of gold on white, or white on gold. Prouna introduced several new shapes and patterns, many of which were highly decorated, but without the company’s signature Swarovski crystal embellishments. There was Tapestry, a gold-banded pattern on a new, more contemporary shape; Castillo, a black, white and gold design with a Moroccan feel; Origin, all-white dinnerware, also in a new shape featuring a raised well on the dinner plate; Victoria, featuring a decaled black snakeskin border treatment; and Satin Stitch, a peach-tinted bridal design with a rose-gold border. Wedgwood introduced Ashlar, a new, shaped-based white collection with round, square and octagonal pieces, and Palladian, an architecturally inspired pattern in a burnt orange colorway.
Rogaska Crystal offered new crystal stems and gift pieces with more cut and decorated designs on the foot of the stem or the edge of the tea light, as well as several covered glass cake stands. Schott Zwiesel launched Estelle stemware with a reinforced stem, and expanded its Beer Basic line with a tasting glass (works well for wine too) and a glass that has an effervescence point at the base of the bowl to maintain bubbles. Meanwhile, Villeroy & Boch introduced Purismo, a suite of four stems—two for white wine and two for red wine—that are designed to enhance the flavor of either smooth or fresher wines, with the premise that there is no need to have a different glass for each specific type of wine.
Alessi’s newest collections include several whimsical and playful pieces, including the Duck Timer that quacks when time is up; the You Spoon, an individual spoon meant to be taken with lunch or on the go; and a new version of its iconic wire fruit basket, designed by Pierre Charpin. There is also new flatware from Japanese architect Toyo Ito that juxtaposes the harder angles of a hexagon in its handle with the smoother more organic look of a lotus leaf in the bowl of the spoon.
For those looking for the ultimate in luxury and high style, car maker Aston Martin extended its license collection with Grant Macdonald Silversmiths of London to include crystal stemware—handcut crystal bowls sitting on a sterling silver stem decorated with a carbon fiber design. There is also a new sterling silver flatware pattern called Nexus, with a handle that is twisted and carved and oxidized white. The collection is not yet available in the U.S., but the company hopes to expand distribution.—Allison Zisko