Tiffany’s blue has long been the brand’s hallmark. But just as influential, perhaps, is a long line of extraordinary women who have left their impression on the company. It was, in fact, Napoleon III’s wife, Eugénie de Montijo, who inspired the robin’s egg hue; in the 1970s, Elsa Peretti reenergised the house with her sumptuously simplistic silver; and Paloma Picasso’s heart-shaped jewellery in the 2000s introduced a whole new set to the century-plus-year-old establishment. The latest to join the ranks? Lauren Santo Domingo, who was just announced artistic director of Tiffany Home.
At Tiffany & Co.’s 5th Avenue headquarters, just off of Manhattan’s Union Square, Santo Domingo walks me through her debut collection—heavily inspired by the house’s archival trove, which spans magnificent silverworks, novel diamond settings, and stained glass lamps. (Those U.S. seals on the backs of every dollar bill were designed by the company, too.) Dressed in a black satin maxi skirt, sleeveless turtleneck, and croc-effect boots, she handles a whisper-thin drinking glass crafted by the storied Austrian house of Lobmeyer and featuring a spray of purple-blue wisteria inspired by Tiffany’s Art Nouveau lamps. “Rumour is that you can squeeze that as hard as you want, and it won’t shatter,” she says, revealing the spark she brings to her famous dinner parties. (“Not only do I like to entertain and set a nice table, I also, quite luckily, am invited out a lot.”)
Since her appointment as a contributing Vogue editor in 2005, the LSD (as she’s known to her friends and 427k+ followers on Instagram) went on to found the e-commerce site Moda Operandi—the chicest interpretation of “fast fashion,” allowing shoppers to place orders on pieces almost immediately after they appear on the runway. In recent years, she has introduced Moda Operandi’s own home line, Moda Domus, so she’s picked up a technical knowledge of crockery and glassware along the way.
“I realised that most of the patterns haven’t changed or haven’t been updated—we’ve all been looking at and eating off of the same ones for a really long time,” she explains, speaking not only of Tiffany’s designs but of the fine tableware category at large. “And while there’s something beautiful in tradition, there was definitely a huge opportunity to speak to a woman who entertains formally, but still wants something modern.”
To that end, Santo Domingo reinterpreted a couple of house favourites, paying close attention to scale and mix-and-match-ability. A new pattern winks to the Tiffany T jewellery collection with gilded, Art Deco T’s ringing dinner plates, saucers, and chargers. Santo Domingo—who splits her time between her New York, Paris, and her husband’s native Colombia—has extended her worldly understanding of tabletop proportions to this reinvention, as well, exaggerating her chargers to appeal to American households and sizing down her drinkware. The U.S. has a penchant for outsized vessels, while Europeans tend to offer glasses that are too small, she says. “We split the difference,” she says of a set of stemmed water and wine crystals, “it’s actually a size that I think should just become uniform.”
In addition to these perfect-pour drinking vessels—which come in a fluted, gold-rimmed, or delightfully simple stems for every day—are colourful Murano tumblers and goblets. There are also linen napkins and placemats in a variety of shapes and sizes; Santo Domingo subscribes to the belief (“I think I made it up” ) that a round table must be set with rounds placemats (oval for oval, rectangle for rectangles, etc.) so, naturally, she’s accommodated them all. Silverware is a category Santo Domingo will turn her attention to eventually, but in the meantime, patrons of Tiffany & Co. will have plenty of new styles to add to their china cabinets. Notably, a more casual porcelain pattern that features a toile of New York vignettes—Washington Square Park’s Arch, Rockefeller Center’s Atlas statue. Though it was first released in 1994, Santo Domingo has freshly rendered the design in powdery hues inspired by the semi-precious stones made popular by Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of founder Charles Lewis Tiffany.
The new collection arrives in concert with the LVMH-led renovation of Tiffany’s historic 5th Avenue flagship, set to reopen in late April, where visitors can dine at the revamped Blue Box Café. Breakfast (or lunch or dinner) at Tiffany’s, with a whole new look.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.