By: Kelly Ahern, guest blogger
As a very modern and very chic fashion designer Donna Karan is typically best known for her New York-inspired collectionsâ€”those which fully embody a well put-together metro fashionista.
But every designer â€“ no matter how much of a niche has been established â€“ evolves and grows.
Karan certainly is no exception.
As a business-savvy designer with an extraordinarily successful global brand, Donna Karan now proudly resides within this Marchâ€™s Architectural Digest.
Proudly showcasing her latest collection, Karan rests against her gleaming black kitchen table, a major component of the partnership she has recently formed with American tableware company, Lenox.
â€œItâ€™s very elemental,â€ Karan said of the collection, â€œvery close to who I am now.â€
The fashion designerâ€™s latest pieces stray from tailored paint suits and stylish blouses and take form as glamorous, â€œorganically shapedâ€ dinnerware, vases, flatware, stemware and serving pieces all made from high-quality porcelain, stoneware, glass, wood and even metal.
â€œThereâ€™s a soul in the collection,â€ Karan divulged, â€œan energy that some people wonâ€™t even understand but will be affected by.â€
The striking home collection shows a very different side of Karan, something that many who associate her most commonly with her DKNY line, wouldnâ€™t necessarily expect.
Architectural Digest explains it bestâ€”it â€œsomething of a dual personality.â€
On one side of the spectrum there is this urban fashion powerhouse.
A trendsetting, sophisticated minimalist; whose crisp clean hem lines make anyone who slips into one of her fitted frocks look unbelievably polished.
On the other side, is the wild, carefree nomad, or â€œrestless travelerâ€ as Karan has been described, whose latest unique and asymmetrical designs convey a much more free-spirited, bohemian-esque attitude.
However, itâ€™s important to remember that this is not the first time Karan has ventured into home furnishings and dÃ©cor.
Just last year Karan released Bali-inspired furnishing through a philanthropic foundation she started, Urban Zen.
Both Urban Zen and Karanâ€™s latest collection were created based on memories, experiences and inspiration that Karan collected throughout her life and travels.
Itâ€™s her latest collaboration that is leaving interior designers and lovers of architectural design in awe.
The current tabletop line includes delicate Glacier glass vases and intricate rippled vases carved from Thai mango wood.
Karan decided that the collection would be serene and very artisan.
In comes Glenn De Stefano, president of Lenoxâ€™s Donna Karan division. De Stefano eagerly packed his bags â€“ traveling to India, Vietnam and Thailand â€“ soaking in the natural, abstract craftsmanship and overall culture.
One of the most distinct items in the line are the Nepalese singing bowlsâ€”meditation aids that emit a bell-like tone when carefully struck with a soft mallet.
Overall the collection was everything Karan hoped for and more,
â€œThe team at Lenox did an amazing job of celebrating that which is close to me,â€ Karan said.
Architecture is truly one of the freest forms of creative expressionâ€”a true, original art.
The idea of integrating fashion and architecture is beginning to vastly influence todayâ€™s designers.
Another very successful and intriguing collaboration is that found within United Nude.
United Nude is the world’s first architectural footwear brand co-founded by architect Rem D Koolhaas and shoemaker Galahad Clark.
Rem D Koolhaas is the labelâ€™s Creative Director & Founder. As a Dutch architect, trained at the Technical University of Delft in Holland, Koolhaas has a rich artistic historyâ€”from producing a documentary and accompanying book to being nominated for the Rotterdam Design Award, as a result of his exquisite
Galahad Clark â€“ United Nudeâ€™s Co-Founder â€“ is a seventh generation shoemaker from Somerset, England. Growing up Clark learned the family trade working summers on production lines for Clark’s shoes in Northampton and Italy. In 2002 he took over the Terra Plana shoe brand which he has run ever since.
After the pair joined their expressive talents together, Rem and Galahad created United Nude.
The label officially launched in 2003 with the MÃ¶bius shoe.
Since then, United Nude has established itself as an iconic brand that happily marries both structural design and fashion.
After the MÃ¶bius shoe, United Nude continued to evolve, launching various other products.
The current Autumn/Winter collection exhibits twenty different styles of shoes.
Not only are the campaigns breathtaking but the overall concept leaves designers and fashionistas alike absolutely speechless.
United Nude portrays all that is not only elegant but wildly elegant as well.
Who would have thought that such intricate, structural design could cause a shoe to become an architectural masterpiece?
According to the labelâ€™s website, the United Nude brand is sold in over 40 countries worldwide.
With a vastly expanding retail business â€“ with flagship stores in Amsterdam, New York, Shanghai as well as proprietary stores in London, Vienna, Tianjin, and two retail stores in Guangzhou.
Kelly Ahern is a recent Roger Williams University graduate living in New England. Graduating with a degree in Communications-Public Relations and a Core Concentration in Italian, Ahern is an aspiring PR professional who loves social media, fashion and traveling. Currently she is a Social Media & Content Strategist for a Rhode Island-based digital marketing firm. You can find her on Twitter @Kelly_Ahern.
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