Tuesday 23rd January 2018
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Cheap and chic of the week: melamine plates

kissing rabits

For years I coveted this fun Hermes china with an animals of the jungle pattern, because it seemed like an ultimate indulgence to acquire such playful china from such a serious luxury house. But only the sturdiest dinnerware survives my cloddish grasp, and I always knew better to indulge (even during the pixie-dusted couple of years when a benevolent publicist extended me a  30% discount at Hermes—a time during which many friends received excellent gifts in little orange boxes). Still, my affection for dishes with just a little bit to say endures, which is probably why I’ve developed an outsize affection for melamine plates. They wouldn’t break if you threw them against a wall, and there are so many cute ones. Plus, they’re cheap enough that you can buy a ton and not worry if you use them only some of the time. Because these kissing rabbits might be fun for dining on  burgers and cole slaw at a Memorial Day picnic, but possibly not so much come January and brisket time.


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Who else wants to turn the entire backyard into a Moroccan-themed wonderland to match this rather fabulous purple plate?

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The Mad Platters shop on Etsy is melamine plate central, and if I were hard up for hostess gifts this season, it’s exactly where I’d go. This bird looks so stern that he cracks me up a little.

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There is something quite pink lemonade and birthday cale about this option, from West Elm.


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Posted on May 24th, 2013 11 Comments

11 Responses

  1. marjorie says:

    (waving arm like horschach) OOH! OOH! I WANT THE PURPLE MOROCCAN WONDERLAND!

  2. joannawnyc says:

    in a wild fit of rebellion, this

    was the china I registered for. I have 8 place settings!

    That said, I like the bunnies. Also, I wish John Derian would do another Target collab with plates.

    • KimFrance says:

      Good news! John Derian is introducing melamine plates in June. I’ve seen them in person and they are *very* sturdy and nice—not so much my aesthetic (except the spider one) but I think they will make a lot of people very happy. http://www.johnderian.com/collections/melamine-plates.
      Also, nice call on those plates.

      • Joanna aka Alexa (@alexa11221) says:

        Thanks! I’m not wild about the faux-faience, but I do like the spider! I hope he decide to do more.

        That china pattern has aged pretty well, despite being the height of haute-80s kitschy glitz. My mom, lover of all things Wedgewood and Royal Doulton, was initially mortified but even she has come around.

  3. diane says:

    jonathan adler does amazing melamine dinner ware that is almost exactly like his porcelain platinum detailed formal wear and are unbreakable, i love mine, and they are dishwasher proof 🙂

  4. I have a slight obsession with melamine plates that cannot be explained. I get a little silly in the late winter/very early spring when retailers roll out their newest “outdoor entertaining” selections.

  5. donna esposito says:

    thanks for the update on Derians collab!
    Was able to score big time during the Flora/Fauna w
    Target and if you keep your eyes open they will go on
    sale after a few weeks.. I thought No One Else in the
    World was into melamine.. you gotta love it!Donna

  6. Nancy says:

    You’re the best, Kim!
    I always come away with ideas, sources, style advice….you’re the friend I wish I had who could say “This. This is what you need to get.”

    I love this Mad Hatter melamine. Great gifts.

    Also have appreciated being turned on to Poetry clothing.

  7. Suz says:

    I grew up on melamine dishware (as I think I get the clumsy from mom) and these are a cool update. I enjoy quirky animals – who doesn’t?

  8. Suz says:

    This all reminds me of the Babar dish sets that were generally my go-to baby gift to new parents for years. I always secretly wished they came in grownup sizes.

    Plates should be fun to look at. Those West Elm ones are calling me