PARIS, France — I feel a kinship with Muriel Grateau because we both favor black. True, my wardrobe is mostly made of old band T-shirts that could be charitably described as off-black, but there’s something about the commitment to the color I respect.
Above image: Inside Muriel Grateau’s gallery. Photographs courtesy of the designer.
Now based in Paris, Grateau is a creator who has reinvented herself a couple times over her career. According to a profile of her work in Yatzer, she has a gift for identifying trends and getting ahead of them. This is from writer Despina Pavlaki:
“…Looking back on her long and varied career, you’d be tempted to say that Grateau – who ended up in fashion by divine intervention – was a spirit marked by contradiction. A rebellious aesthete, who simply liked to revolt for revolution’s sake if you like. But that’s where you’d be wrong: each and every one of her little revolutions – making her own clothes when ready-to-wear was still a pipe dream, showing her collections in Milan when everybody was rushing off to Florence or using precious metals only to bury them under coats of enamel – was brilliantly calculated and way ahead of its time. All she had to do was merely wait for the rest of the world to catch up.
“Her penchant for imbuing femininity with masculine elements made a great impression on the Italian fashion scene turning Grateau into a very busy lady indeed. Although by the mid-80s she was designing over 1500 outfits per season, something inside her was hungry for more. This new yearning led her to identify a lasting trend: cocooning. People didn’t want elegance to be limited to their closet; they wanted it to extend to their homes. Excited by this new challenge, she dropped everything and moved to Paris.
Pavlaki’s comment about “cocooning” can be seen in these tableware sets we have to show you today. There’s something about the deft use of color, soft matte or mirrored surfaces and inky black swirls that pull you into their world. These represent only a fraction of Grateau’s creative output. You can see everything from linens to fashion to onyx-black jewelry on her web site. Take a look around and tell us what you think. It appears that there’s some cross-talk between the worlds of fashion and contemporary ceramics on display.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.