Monique Lhuillier Creates Stylish Tableware

Known more for her wedding dress designs, a top designer turns her talents to a beautiful new line for Royal Doulton.

femme fatale dinnerware by monique lhuillier for royal doulton

femme fatale cups

etoile platinum dinnerware by monique lhuillier for royal doulton

From top: Femme Fatale dinnerware; Femme Fatale cups, saucers and coffee pot; Étoile Platinum dinnerware, all from the Monique Lhuillier for Royal Doulton collection.

Q: As a fashion designer, what was important to you to include in your new tabletop collection?

A: Each bridal gown I create is made of the finest materials, allowing a bride to feel like herself—yet at the same time look extremely elegant and refined. I wanted to bring these same design ideals to everyday living. My dinnerware patterns—there are five—aren’t a direct translation of specific gowns, but their influence is evident in the use of rich colors and plays on texture, especially pearlescent overlays and raised-design features. For instance, the Femme Fatale dinnerware line is done in a pearlized gray, lizard-inspired print that I use in my ready-to-wear line.

Q: You’ve said that your travels have been a huge influence on your design sensibilities. How so?

A: Though my design tendencies keep evolving, they have always focused on luxury, glamour and sophistication. I’ve traveled to France often, so as a result, many of the shapes in my dinnerware lines have been inspired by European design—the teacup shaped like a tin can, for instance, and the oversize flatware. In Europe, dining is about more than just eating; it also has to do with sharing time with loved ones. It was my goal to encourage new couples and their families and friends to come together, even for coffee.

Q: You’ve also mentioned the influence that your mother has had on your designs. What did you learn from her?

A: My mother is extremely stylish and made a point of using our fine china all the time. So I wanted to introduce high-quality products for daily use in order to redefine what modern luxury should be.

Q: Is it realistic to suggest that we all use elegant dinnerware every day?

A: Most people don’t realize that fine china is actually extremely durable. And my entire collection of dinnerware is made of bone china—the strongest on the market—and can go right from the table into the dishwasher. Each line includes basic staples, yet is versatile enough to accommodate any dining occasion. I am completely at ease using these dishes, for everything from entertaining with caviar and champagne to having a simple take-out meal with my family. The same is true for my crystal pieces—I’ve designed stemware, barware and accessories that I hope people will use every day. For example, filling my Atelier crystal vases and bowls with fresh flowers is an easy, beautiful way to create ambience in any room.

Q: What is your favorite wedding gift to give to family and friends?

A: I love to give china and crystal. As I’ve said, china fulfills a variety of needs, particularly for a new couple, and crystal is an elegant and timeless addition to the home and will last a lifetime. I’m really excited to give lots of pieces from my new collection. What is more, the hatbox packaging is so gorgeous, I won’t even have to wrap them!

Monique Recommends:


monique lhuillier's recommendations
  • Before you walk into a store to register, think about the key pieces that you are missing in your home. Try to avoid randomly selecting gadgets you will never use.
  • Consider your lifestyle when registering. Are you big coffee drinkers? Be sure to sign up for latte mugs and espresso cups. You can never have too many of these basic items.
  • When choosing items, make sure to involve your fiancé. Men usually appreciate barware and certain flatware shapes, so start there.

Photography: (still life) courtesy of Royal Doulton.