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MR. CLEAN: When it comes to fashion tie-ins, just one refrain applies: anything goes. That’s the only way to explain Thakoon Panichgul’s Wednesday appearance at the Kenmore Design Studio to celebrate the appliance company’s new line of washers and dryers. He didn’t actually design or consult on the new models, which feature a system that allows troubleshooting data to be sent directly to the Kenmore tech department via phone line. Rather, the designer was there to discuss the increased garment care the new styles offer. “In this economy, they give you an option other than dry cleaning,” said Panichgul, who recently bought an earlier model for his Catskills home. “I love washing my silks in the machine.” Reminded that his pricy wares aren’t exactly toss-in-the-washer durable, he noted that some of the opening exits from his recent spring runway — the cottons, for instance — were.
But, really, what exactly was he doing there shilling laundry appliances? Is a sponsorship in the works? (A Kenmore rep said no.) Did he score a free washer and dryer? (The company offered, but the designer declined, having just bought his own.) Is this leading up to a Panichgul-designed machine next spring, embellished with Swiss eyelet patterns? Not likely, he said, pausing to add, “but never say never.”