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East meets West in Bloomingdale's home promotion

Bloomingdale's flagship store here last week took the wraps off of its latest home furnishings promotion, East Meets West.

Although furniture accounts for the bulk of the directional fashion story, the theme extends to four hard tabletop collections and assorted accent pieces. Home textiles are represented through slub silk bedding designed by Waterford.

"This isn't an Asian story," said Lester Gribetz, vp, home fashion. "This is an influence of the East translated into Western pieces."

In terms of execution, Bloomingdale's pairs antique, one-of-a-kind pieces with made-for-Bloomingdale's furnishings that reinterpret some of the original's design elements. The frettework in a contemporary bed made in the Philippines mimics the frette in a centuries-old armoire. The soft lacquer finish on an antique Chinese cupboard is echoed in 21st century pieces that take their high gloss from repeated layers of lacquering.

East Meets West is also being staged at the new Bloomingdale's Home store in Chicago, and, like the show in New York, it signals a shift in the message Bloomingdale's is sending its furniture customer, Gribetz told HTT.

"I'm not trying to sell the customer a room full of furniture, although I'd certainly be happy to supply it," he said. "Our point is to tell her, 'If you're only going to buy one thing, buy a really important one.'''

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