Have you seen our new Halloween entertaining collection? These spooky, striking linens and dinnerware are unlike any we’ve ever offered before, so we asked our design team all about the inspiration behind them.
“There were a few of us who were very passionate about this year’s Halloween because it’s the collection we have always wanted to design — so we could buy it!” says Marie Joie Hughes, our product development lead. As it turns out, the decorations are the result of personal passion and creative collaboration between these team members, who all brought something unique to the table.
It all started with a love of Victorian jewelry. “I collect Victorian jewelry and have been obsessed with mourning jewelry for years,” says Marie Joie. Mourning jewelry was worn in the 18th and 19th centuries by both men and women as mementos of the deceased; in those times, widows could only wear black jewelry during their two years of mourning. That jewelry became the foundation for our Halloween Medallion Plates, embellished with icons of the season: a viper, a bat, a skull and a crow. Katharine Peterson, who painted the design for the plates, also loves Victorian jewelry and was able to illustrate the concept beautifully.
Last year, the whole team went to Paris for Halloween inspiration. Head designer Laurent Gerin took them to a taxidermy store in Saint Germain, full of bones, skulls and other oddities that were incorporated into our collection. Laurent took the lead on the skull pieces, including plates, mugs, a punch bowl and an appetizer tray. Now, the team members use the skull mugs for their morning coffee.
Marie Joie has also collected skulls since she was a teenager, and her collection keeps growing — thanks in part to designer Emily McKibben, who’s given Marie Joie skulls as Christmas presents. Emily created the Skellie Toile pattern that appears on the tablecloth, table runner, napkins and more.
“I am incredibly proud of the work we did,” says Marie Joie. “This collection is very smart and conceptual — creepy, but still elegant. It’s the most innovative and edgy Halloween we’ve ever presented. Our next challenge is to come up with an even better, more brilliant Halloween for next year — we have a few ideas already!”