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Vanity Flair

February 17, 1996|CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE

Steel, typically a weighty material, takes on a delicate shape in vanities crafted by sculptor Jill Nicholls.

Nicholls cuts and welds sheet steel, then applies a spray polish to give the pieces, which have a contemporary line, a matte, almost pewter-like finish. Nicholls sands all of the metals before the cutting and welding process.

"They're functional objects of art," says Nicholls, 30, who grew up in Canterbury, England, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

"I'm very boudoir-oriented, and my vanities have a mystic, almost tranquil quality."

Three styles are available, including two Nicholls describes as "massive."

The smallest ($2,000), which measures 30-by-29-by-13-inches, is actually one side of a double-sided piece. It has drawers that swing out, and accompanying stools and two-way mirrors are also available.

For information, call (718) 388-6002.

Band of Gold

Ralph Lauren goes for the gold look of understated elegance to set off his Academy Gold china, the newest addition to the Ralph Lauren Signature collection.

With Lauren's initials and emblems giving the porcelain china a formal yet traditional line, Academy Gold will bring a warm ambience to the table.

The collection ($105 for a five-piece place setting) also includes a platinum pattern, Academy Platinum. Both are available at the Polo/Ralph Lauren Shop, Crystal Court in Costa Mesa, and department stores throughout the county.

Mega Mag

And then there was one.

Instead of sending customers a bevy of catalogs featuring the latest and greatest, Neiman Marcus has switched to a monthly, magazine-style publication.

The Book features a variety of merchandise, from apparel and accessories to home furnishings. Sections of the catalog offer tips and information on current trends, and there is a calendar of store events.

The catalog also includes dialogue on some of the designers whose pieces are featured.

For instance, the Enamelware tea service and dishes showcased in the premiere issue, the February Book, highlights Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs and their inspiration and techniques for making their wares.

The publication will be issued every month except June, July and December and is distributed to active Neiman Marcus customers.

Items can be bought by phone or in the store at Fashion Island Newport Beach. To receive a catalog, call (714) 759-1900.

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