For those in the sartorial know, Mansur Gavriel's bucket bags and diminutive backpacks are a coveted commodity — and now so are the brand's tea cups. In partnership with the CFDA and Swarovski, Mansur Gavriel's designers have fashioned a crystal-encrusted tea set brilliant enough to turn any coffee lover away from their lattes. Part of an initiative to raise funds for Free Arts NYC, the design takes its lofty place amongst other "disruption"-themed creations by CFDA-nominated emerging designers including a crystallized traffic cone by Hood by Air's Shayne Oliver and a bedazzled Marshall Stanmore Speaker customized by the designer's behind cult favorite brand Public School. The tea set, however, appears a cut above the rest.
A decidedly sophisticated purchase, the humble tea set seems to intrigue toddlers for its innately grown-up nature and grown ups themselves for its ability to impart elegance to an afternoon gathering. However, the average twenty-something may not be as inclined to snap up a set, lest a raucous house party result in cracked china or a teacup falls victim to the annual move between rental apartments. However, Mansur Gavriel's clay and crystal tea set could change that preconception. The set, whose bid is currently listed at $700 with an estimated final price tag of $2,000 on Paddle8, is admittedly quite fragile and not a set any sane human being would dare use to eat or drink. However, the sheer bulk of polished, multicolored crystals set against pale, matte clay is utterly enticing.
By way of explanation, Mansur Gavriel's founders Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel stated, "As a brand often inspired by the natural world as well as pop, we found it interesting to play with contrast in materials. Here we explored the juxtaposition of large, sharp crystals with soft, natural clay, an expression of disruption in an object."
And indeed, the set is a glamorous dichotomy of sorts, one which is unexpected from a brand so focused on streamlined, pared-down design. Could an embellished tea set be the next great "It" bag? I'm certainly sold on the idea.