FashionPhile: Cher goes gothic with choice

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Indy Lifestyle Online
CHER IS currently on tenterhooks about her latest production: a mail-order catalogue called Sanctuary, selling her own line of medievally-inspired home furnishings and accessories, writes Christa Worthington.

Imagine Morticia inviting you to visit her lovely home. Sanctuary is fuelled by the rock star's experience of renovating some 15 houses in the past 25 years; the enterprise is her own creation and financial investment.

Copies have not yet been delivered to the 350,000 American homes that are the initial target, but we can reveal that the catalogue is likely to be chock-full of spooky votive candles and gilded appurtenances that could have fallen off the altar of a Greek Orthodox church.

It is also likely to be chock-full of chocolate. Cher is said to be particularly partial to a gourmet chocolate bodypaint produced by Tom and Sally's Handmade Chocolates, of Brattleboro, Vermont. 'Heat to 98.6 degrees, apply liberally and let your imagination run free,' says the label on the jars - just like those she picked up at an American trade gift fair earlier this year, which she attended to find samples for the catalogue. She also bought boxed chocolates promising sin in gothic lettering.

Cher did some of her research in London at the Pugin exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. There she met the senior researcher, Clive Wainwright, to discuss the work of the 19th-century architect who, like Cher, was not afraid to paint a lily.

The more mainstream merchandise includes frosted glass goblets, incense holders and a velvet pillow patterned like the vault of a gothic church. Prices are moderate. The most expensive item is a gothic-style bed in metal and wood for dollars 1,150.

Meanwhile, Cher's own bedroom is crowded with stock. Sanctuary will be mailed out on 20 October, just one week before Hallowe'en and, in a covering letter, the living legend levels with her customer: 'I have worked hard, used my own money and, basically, put this baby together with sweat, long hours, late nights and a few dedicated fellow workers in my own home (which looks kinda like a warehouse now).'

(Photograph omitted)

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