By and  on May 24, 2007

PARIS — "In design, you always have to connect with real life," Christian Lacroix said Wednesday while unveiling his new range of clothes and home furnishings for French catalogue giant La Redoute.

To be sure, the 35 items by the designer are priced well within reach, from 15 euros, or $20.15, for a stuffed-creature key chain, up to 985 euros, or $1,325, for a striped armchair and ottoman set. They will be available to La Redoute's European customers from mid-July

"I avoided anything to do with bullfights, Gypsies or the opera as I didn't want it to look like a caricature of Lacroix," he said of his fashion propositions, which include a ruffled trenchcoat, a silk taffeta dress with a lace apron overlay and a pair of cowboy-inspired boots. Prices range from 150 to 250 euros, or $201.75 to $336.25. A handbag and unisex travel bag also feature in the compact collection, priced at 90 and 180 euros, respectively, or $121.05 and $242.10.

The range of items for the home is more extensive, from towels, bed linens and tableware to occasional chairs, light fixtures, rugs and screens — all blending Lacroix's Baroque touches with contemporary design.

"[Home decoration] is a sector in which we want to invest and bring as much creativity as we have in ready-to-wear," said Bertrand de Talhouët, La Redoute's president and chief executive officer. "It is core to our values to propose the most brilliant creations and make it accessible."

La Redoute, owned by retail and luxury giant PPR, which controls Gucci Group, has invited prominent guest designers since 1969, when Emmanuelle Kahn created 32 exclusive designs. Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Issey Miyake, Viktor & Rolf, Azzedine Alaïa and Sonia Rykiel are among those who have designed clothes for La Redoute, which dispatches some 30 million parcels every year to 22 countries.

Lacroix, who marks his 20th anniversary as a couturier this year, said he invested nine months in the project, tapping model Lily Cole for the catalogue shoot and for animated Web content devoted to his guest collection, a first for La Redoute. The site, at, is e-commerce equipped and will feature new products, including crib figures and decor items, for holiday selling. Online sales leaped 23 percent last year at La Redoute.The catalogue also called upon Jane Birkin and two of her daughters, photographer Kate Barry and actress-model Lou Doillon, to promote other designers tapped for the fall-winter season. These include Anne Valerie Hash, Isabel Marant, Antik Batik and Manoush.

Birkin and Doillon, who was the first celebrity to have modeled for La Redoute in 2002, posed for a fashion shoot by Barry for the catalogue.

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