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"I'm much better at eating than cooking,” revealed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders when interviewed on his relationship with fine dining.
Probably why he decided to bring the attention back to the food that's on the plate, more than to its decoration, while he created Dressed: a white porcelain table set he designed for Alessi in 2011.
Traditionally, the rules would require that pattern be applied in the most important and most visible areas of the object. Wanders, on the contrary, applies it to secluded areas, sometimes even in areas that aren’t normally visible at all: the soup bowl, for example, is adorned with relief flowers on the side oriented to the table, hidden to the sight and revealed while touching the plate when eating.
This creates an enjoyable, multi-sensory experience when using the object.
The importance of food is highlighted since the very name chosen for the series, Dressed: the decoration, like a beautiful dress, should be designed to bring out the contents without being overpowering.
Raised in the Netherlands, Marcel Wanders has made this kind of unconventional 'new decoration' one of his trademarks: he aims to add value to everyday actions, bringing out the dining experience and ritual thanks to the surface of the plates.
An idea that inspired the designer to develop a whole series of kitchen utensils: together with the dishes, the Dressed collection is made up of crystal glasses; cutlery in stainless steel decorated through the coining process; trays, mats as well as bottle coasters in stainless steel, to finish a set of pots and pans.
When asked if the ornamental aesthetics of Dressed came out of his own experience in the kitchen, Wanders has no doubts: the objects he designs have to be simple, yet not necessarily minimal.
"I really want to make the type of work which is fun and human," stated the Dutch designer. "It's been 25 years now where we've tried to make professional kitchens for the home. These kitchens have the organizing principle of the factory. They look like factories! I don't understand why this is the vision. I want it to look like my mum's kitchen!”.
To better enter the philosophy of Wanders, here below you can find an extract of one poem of him.
Welcome to my kitchen!
Today we don’t cook, we create.
Today we don’t hand out, we serve.
Today we don’t eat, we taste.
Today we don’t talk, we are one.
Today we don’t live, we celebrate life.
Today we are at the chefs table and we are still like every
day, dressed for the occasion.
Surprise you heart with your eyes and see that
tomorrow will be another very special day…