“I think porcelain is very much linked with joie de vivre …. it brings you into the intimacy of the people you are sharing with. That’s what I love – you are sharing very important times of your life with everyone. Lots of big moments of your life are around the table. Weddings, a birthday, Christmas.”
Marie Daâge speaking to Unpaused founder Judy Stewart via Zoom, April 2020
After 30 years in business, Parisian Marie Daâge is a model of the truly modern woman. Her eponymous brand of exquisite hand painted dinner porcelain, has endured turndowns, lockdowns and the inevitable ups-and-downs of the economic cycle. Thirty years on, the brand and business prosper: Marie launched her first dedicated store and studio on Paris’ Left Bank in January 2020 and, on the easing of restrictions, has reopened her doors.
Somehow, Marie also found the time and wherewithal to raise six children while her business evolved. Five of the six joined their parents at their country retreat north of Paris for the lockdown, where Marie revealed something of the way the family lived and occupied their home via the medium of an iPhone and IGTV. It’s a wonderful tale of generosity and wisdom.
The hand-painted porcelain collections of Marie Daâge offer a refreshing departure for those who say ‘no’ to the traditional tenants of table setting and ‘yes’ to the festive air of a well dressed table.
One of the first of modern designers to combine contrasting designs within a place setting, Marie’s fusion of pattern and color creates the basis for an exceptional table. Underlying her design philosophy is the concept of ‘possibilities.’ One can dress the table depending on mood, menu or season by changing the combination of patterns and colours. A presentation plate may be striped, the main plate a floral or dessert and coffee cups painted with an island scene. Whether using the bold punch of black and white or the quiet expression of paled hues and jewel tones, just changing a serving or salad plate transforms the table.
Marie was educated at the prestigious Ecole du Louvre where she studied architecture, furniture and textile design. She draws inspiration from traditional materials and patterns, using time-honoured methods of craftsmanship for her collections. Her creations are reminiscent of the charm and splendour of France, and the Baroque grandeur of Austria, where she was born. Marie takes much of her design aesthetic from the cultural imperative to create special atmospheres – whether at home or in a public place. Her fascination with colour took form from her many visits to the great Baroque churches of her native country. The figurative nature of flowers, angels and birds, and the humour with which they were sometimes painted, left a strong impression.
Marie incorporates life’s exuberant colours and joyful patterns to create collections that are fresh and contemporary. Light brush strokes and a painterly quality are a hallmark of her work. The collection, made of Limoges porcelain, is one of the last to be painted entirely by hand. Whether fruit, floral, or geometric patterning, the distinctive designs are elegantly conveyed by the fluidity and translucence of hand painting. Her aesthetic is appealing to modernist or classical taste. Over 60 patterns are available in 61 colours. A full set of multi-purpose serving pieces and decorative accessories complete the Art of the Table.