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Ralph Home taps into apparel

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, September 2, 2002

New York — Four diverse lifestyles are highlighted in the Ralph Lauren Home collection, with many influences translated from the designer's apparel collection.

Among the apparel flourishes are embroidered pillows, fringe and whipstitch embellishments, saddle belts, studs, pieced suede and beaded silk used as pillows.

Decorative pillows, both as part of bed statements and as accents for furniture, reflect an expansion of this product category throughout the line. The expanded offering also is evident in the more moderate Lauren by Ralph Lauren collections of bed and bath. The Lauren collection also reflects a concerted effort to expand the bath line to coordinates in shower curtains and rugs for each of the bed styles.

A significant entry in the Lauren collection is the Lauren Classic towel, a beefier, heavier, Supima cotton towel that replaces the venerable polo player towel.

Lauren Classic is 27" x 54" and weighs in at more than 16 pounds, compared with its predecessor that was 27" by 50". Lauren Classic is $12.99 for the bath and is showing in 61 colors, which could be pared to 30 once the retailers make their selections, according to Joe Granger, vp, bed and bath. Shipping on Lauren Classic will begin in December, he added.

In Ralph Lauren Home, Jamaica creates a sense of a Georgian mansion with 464-count cotton top sheets that have an inset ribbon as well as shams in the same look. The fitted sheet is a jacquard over paisley motif.

Moreton, another lifestyle, reflects an old boy's school with an emphasis on the sporting life. School crests are used as pillow decoration. White and crisp blue colors are carried through the wool rug, silk jacquard pillows and upholstery fabric.

The sheets are 400-count cotton in a sateen stripe, mixed with a silk foulard jacquard on the pillow shams and linen club pillows. The printed sheet, also of 400-count sateen, is a smaller version of the rug motif. A cotton yarn dyed matelasse quilt is a key part of the statement.

It is in Sheltering Sky that the apparel influences are most apparent. The washed poplin sheet has button embellishments, and the bed blanket is pieced suede. A piano shawl is used as a blanket, and lace, ruffles, beading, fringes and whipstitching are important design elements. Pillows range from styles that have saddle belts and studs to silks and beaded silks. The sateen sheet is a basketweave print, a design statement that is parallel to the raffia, western chairs and nailheads used in the furniture.

Les Marais evokes the feeling of a French garret with a dusty color palette. The yarn-dyed stripe sheet is $65 for the queen, the hand-done cotton matelasse coverlet with an attached crochet edge is $300 and a reversible quilt in a soft print is $229 queen.

In Lauren by Ralph Lauren, American Summer carries a red, white and blue color statement with yarn-dyed quilts, cotton matelasse blankets, and a 200-count cotton print sheet at $26 queen. A highlight is a new denim in a broken twill construction and detailing and shank buttons with double and triple needle stitching at $100 for the twin. Fiber-reactive beach towels, yarn dyes and sculpted towels are $14.99 to $25.00.

Hyannisport features a Mascioni-printed faille at $229 for the queen duvet, and a striped sheet at $65 for the queen. Other elements include a lace-embellished, yarn-dyed quilt; a cotton matelasse sham; linen embroidered throw pillows; and four styles of towels at $14.99, including a plaid, jacquard box with whipstitched edges, sculptured jacquard and a fiber-reactive print. Prints and heavy yarn-dyed canvas make up the shower curtain collection, and rugs are olefin.

In other Lauren introductions, Tuilleries represents the "best" in terms of price points and looks with a 280-count cotton floral stripe sateen print at $70 for the queen, and the duvet is $250.

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