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GLOBAL DESIGNS SHINE AT ATLANTA GIFT MARKET; SHOWROOMS OVERFLOW WITH ACCESSORIES FROM FARAWAY PLACES.

ATLANTA-The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, held here last month, was a veritable world bazaar of textiles in a rich assortment of ethnic styles.

The International Design Collection, in its first permanent Atlanta showroom, offered a kaleidoscope of exotic fabrics -- including antique Japanese obi and kimono, Indian saris and Burmese kalagas (ceremonial cloths) -- made into pillows, throws, bedding ensembles and wall hangings.

Several showrooms freshened the proverbial Asian look, including bold calligraphy motifs in pillows and table linens at Swedish Accents; placemats at Now Designs and bedding by CWL Designs; Chinese medallion velvets at Sheffield & Galloway; and new textures and colorations in SDH Enterprises' Far East Collection and Feathersound's Pagoda bedding ensemble.

At Sethi & Sethi, Indian textiles ranged from handpainted organdy and beaded silk organza shower curtains to metallic silk tissue table linens and pashmina throws.

Anichini's India Collection featured pashmina blankets, paisley coverlets and embroidered Muga silk curtain panels. Morocco ruled in bedding and coordinates at MU/H Inc. and pillows at CSI.

Even South Africa showed up, with vivid table linens by designer Carole Nevin at Bellissima Designs.

European textiles -- with new and old world looks -- were also making a strong statement.

Two first-time Atlanta exhibitors were from France: Bonjour Provence showed an array of provincial table linens, kitchen textiles and accessories; and Lolibelle offered a wide assortment of silkscreened patterns on table linens, duvets and shams. Nichols Hill introduced a stretch canvas series called "Ooh la la" -- and will soon add a floorcloth -- to coordinate with French dinnerware by Yves Deshouliers.

British imports included Chelsea Textiles' embroidered bed linens, needlepoint pillows and rugs, and William Edleston's cashmere throws. At Kathryn Clarke Ltd., a delicate Liberty of London print overdyed in 12 colors coordinated with linen pillowcases.

The Ulster Linen Co. brought bleached and natural linen in traditional Irish designs for the table.

Steven Drew International offered Belgian table linens, and Nancy Koltes added Brussels linen in solids to coordinate with her line of floral Italian bedding.

Textiles from Spain, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland spilled across showrooms, including Columbine Cody, Cobra Trading Co., DownTown, La Bouquetiere, Source, Christian Mosso and Associates, Nelson Garfield, Alexander Terry and McPhatter & Associates.

The best seller at Ann Gish was an old world damask collection called Olive Rose, and Fleur de Lis presented three new bedding ensembles that reproduced 19th-century neoclassical European and Moorish patterns.

Why such a diversified market? Exhibitors expressed differing views.

"It's a matter of quality and consumer demand," said Christian Mosso, president of Christian Mosso and Associates, whose showroom includes several European lines. "Today's consumer seems more interested in higher quality than cost, and domestic suppliers are not supplying that."

But at the Source showroom, which also represents domestic and international collections, Suzanne Cowart said, "It has nothing to do with origin. It's a look, a feeling, a lifestyle that the customer is looking for."
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Comment:GLOBAL DESIGNS SHINE AT ATLANTA GIFT MARKET; SHOWROOMS OVERFLOW WITH ACCESSORIES FROM FARAWAY PLACES.
Author:Musselman, Faye
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 2, 1999
Words:477
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