Geoffrey Beene at home with new line of products

October 09, 1991|By Elaine Louie | Elaine Louie,N.Y. Times News Service

In a year or two, devotees of the fashion designer Geoffrey Beene will not only be able to dress in clothes designed by Beene, but also eat off Beene china, light candles in Beene candlesticks and store their tchotchkes in Beene boxes.

Last week, the designer signed a three-year contract with Swid Powell, a Manhattan manufacturer of tableware and gift accessories, to design products for the home.

"He will probably begin with tableware," said Nan Swid, president of Swid Powell, "and then go into picture frames or boxes."

The company usually has architects, like Richard Meier or Robert A.M. Stern, design tableware. Beene describes his clothes as "liquid architecture."

For Beene, who once designed sheets, this is his second venture into designing for the home. Ever since he was a child, growing up in Haynesville, La., he has wanted to try his hand at decorating.

"I used to spend my Saturdays repainting the living room or the bedroom," he said. "I was always decorating, detailing, or reupholstering furniture, instead of being on the football field."

Like that of his Manhattan showroom, Beene's color spectrum for Swid Powell will include black, silver and nude. He has designed a prototype for a print that could be used on a tablecloth or napkins. On black-and-white cotton sateen, it depicts a bird's feathers as seen from under the wing.

A second prototype is a round rosewood box, lined in black cotton printed with white polka dots. The box was designed for a woman's bedroom or desk.

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