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Creative Bath's shower of curtains.

NEW YORK--"We're going to hit people pretty hard this market," said Mike Robinson, Creative Bath's vice president of merchandising as he surveyed a conference table piled high with 24 fabric and 10 vinyl shower curtains.

Most of the fabric curtains come with coordinating towel (embellished, jacquard or print) and accessories (ceramic decal, texture, handpaint or relief) and many come with coordinating rug (print or tabletop).

The bounteous introduction is what happens when two of the best designers in the business--Bob Lester and Henny Lakin--team up to seize opportunities resulting from Springs acquisition of Dawson.

Hence the launch of a mass merchant brand: Watercolors by Creative Bath.

"It's a fabulous name," said Robinson, "It says everything we want to say in a very elegant way. We havn't been in the mass up until now. We're making a big push with full accessories and printed towels."

If this market's line is any indication, Creative Bath's approach to styling going forward is to identify a trend and then interpret it six ways to Sunday.

Take jacquards. They are hot everywhere in the home and Creative Bath offers them in traditional damask, contemporary shell and leaf designs, and heat transfer printed floral designs. The leaf design, in celery color, can be merchandised with Brandywine accessories.

Retailers interested in pearlescence, luster and metallic accents well find plenty at Creative Bath. The line includes a woven stripe in shimmering Lurex, a neoclassic pattern with gobs of gold metallic, and a sheer featuring a lattice pattern with pearl pigment. There's also a butterfly pattern with pearl pigment in the ground.

Which leads to another major theme of Creative Bath's market introductions--nature studies, including buttefly, bird, botanical and gardening motifs.

Gazebo may be the gardening-theme curtain to end all gardening-theme curtains. Within the 6-by-6 piece of fabric contains several repeats of watering cans, birdhouses, garden tools, terra-cotta pots, seed packets, trellis, landscape diagrams, etc.

Botanical Sketch is like a page ripped out of a botany book, showing a stately succession of engraved flowers. It is featured in one of Creative Bath's Fifth Ave. windows.

Butterfly Sketchbook is a classy vinyl curtain featuring butterflies and florals in frames. Butterfly Burnout isn't about an overworked insect, its a polyester curtain of tossed butterflies which achieves a burnout effect in lace (offered with double-polished clear liner for sparkle).

American Songbirds is a poly/ cotton featuring pastel songbirds in frames. Hummingbirds, in greens and rusts, with vine motifs and a top border, comes with ceramic accessories which are collectibles.

Another nature-inspired curtain is a photoengraved panel pattern depicting a rainforest replete with toucans, parrots and wide-eyed monkeys. "It was made in Japan which has that technology," said Robinson.

Creative Bath rides the wave of nautical looks with Maiden Voyage, using the usual motifs in the usual colors.
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Author:Adler, Sam
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Oct 9, 1995
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