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Christmas: Marcel Wanders hits Target. (Or does he?)

November 10, 2009 |  9:25 am

Dutch design superstar Marcel Wanders, known for bold prints and witty takes on traditional forms in collections like New Antiques, has generated a big buzz for his first Christmas collection with Target. (His clever 314-page online look book of the line, posted alongside high-end pieces from his firm Moooi, certainly helped get design junkies jazzed.)

Wanders' line of 30 products for decorating the table, the bar and the tree is a good deal more accessible than Target's ornate 2006 collection by his whimsical fellow Dutch designer Tord Boontje. About half of the '09 items are already stocked online; more should be posted soon. A quick glance at in-store product availability showed that Target stores in Glendale, West Hollywood, Los Angeles and Burbank were a bust, but the outlets in Culver City, Pasadena and North Hollywood had the goods.

I checked out the collection at the always-reliable Eagle Rock store, which had more than 90% of the Wanders Christmas line in its dishes and gift card aisles. Not everything was a winner, but the porcelain pieces -- some reminiscent of the flowerpot hats that the '80s pop group Devo wore -- were irresistible. Note: They look best in black, gold and silver; white looks a tad ordinary.

I dropped $77.95  to create the tabletop tableau above, filled with pieces I'll be happy to use all year long. From left: taper candle in ceramic holder, $14.99 a pair; a 12.5-inch silver porcelain vase, $29.99; a set of black, gold and white stacking bowls, $14.99; and a packet of 20 red and black printed paper napkins, $2.99.

See more from the collection and get an appraisal of what's worth buying after the jump.

Tree trimmings: At $7.99 each, avoid the oddly dissected printed spheres, upper left, and splurge on the silver glittered disk. An exuberantly patterned tree skirt, $39.99 (not shown here), and the  $14.99 flocked stocking with bells, above right, are adorable. The $19.99 teddy bear is too, even though its glowing blue LED nose is a bit blinding. 
Marcel Wanders Tabletop_Look_3_final
Dishes and barware: Highball and lowball glasses, right, $3.99 are completely generic. (There's also a martini version.) I'd pass. The martini shaker, a groovy ribbed tube of silver plastic, $14.99, is marred by a visible molding seam. The dishes, $4.99-$12.99, have a granny-ish gold scalloped edge. The paper plates, which are printed in two colors, are also a pass. The glass dinner bell, which doubles as a place card holder, is a winner at $2.99 but looks better in red, silver and gold. 

Marcel Wanders Pillar Candles_Look4 Candles: At 17.5 inches tall, the $19.99 pillar candle will burn up to 60 hours but looks like someone ripped it out of a staircase railing. (On the upside, you could easily knock someone out with it if they try to get too fresh under the mistletoe.) The more dainty and shapely tapers, $14.99 a pair, are boxed with ceramic holders -- a nice touch, except they don't accommodate standard-size candles. 

-- David A. Keeps

Photo credits (above the jump): David A. Keeps / Los Angeles Times

Photo credits (below the jump): Target