Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Chef, designer or both?

Having a subscription to Delicious magazine is not something I'm proud of. I'm 22 and it's odd to subscribe to a cookery magazine this young but I do. I'm admitting this because it's how I found out they're launching a range of dining ware. I'd like to poo-poo it but it's actually quite nice. But it makes me ask questions about who should design this stuff, chefs do know what they need out of plates, but do they really know design? Not really, they know pretty and they know tasty and since they're usually celebrities or (in this case) have easy access to promoting their new product, it get's a lot more attention than something designed by someone who actually loves this stuff. And it gets under my skin more than I can really explain.
The real problem is that names attached to products all too often have nothing to do with the design world, gone are the good old days when celebrities could stand beside a product and say 'This is lovely!' now they have to unconvincingly claim that they designed it. And it erks me. I was going to loudly complain about Jamie Oliver now, but a quick flick through his website shows lots of credit going to the real designers, there's no pretence, there's just some excitement about good design, hard to criticise.
A lot harder to criticise than what Wedgwood, Royal Daulton and Waterford Crystal practice, their collections are now filled with fashion house names, designed to draw a customer who wants to surround themselves with famous names. I understand that fashion influences design, I just don't want to wake up one morning in a house designed by someone who really makes shoes.
I broke my favourite mug the other day, it's a very simple white mug from M & S with sprigged flowers and fruit, it's horrifically twee, but I'm really struggling to find a replacement I actually like. Part of me worries it's because I can't get beyond the endorsed and fashionable thing which makes me sad. And thirsty, since I have nothing to drink out of.

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