Donna Karan fascinated by colours of India
Donna Karan is fascinated by the colours and quality of fabrics available in India.
New York-based Karan is the creator of the Donna Karan New York and DKNY clothing labels and is known for her wearable collections, which feature jersey dresses, denim and tights.
Appearing at the Mint Luxury conference in Mumbai, India over Easter weekend (26-28Mar16), the 67-year-old said that even though she is known for her minimalist design aesthetic and use of the colour black, a trip to India has inspired her to experiment with bold statements.
She added that a tour of the state of Varanasi was a "beautiful journey" in which she became fascinated by the way in which local people used vegetable dyes to achieve a vivid spectrum of colours for their fabric.
"I was so overwhelmed by India when I first came - it still inspires me because I still go for the culture, I still go for the colours," she told WWD.
Karan added that she would consider helping launch a vocational college in India to aid the development of artisans, similar to what she has already established in the Caribbean nation of Haiti.
"I don’t think it’s necessarily me doing that but finding cooperative relationships with other designers who would be interested in doing it," she said.
Karan explained that she was also intrigued by the all-white outfits worn by men, which inspired her to create a neutral white collection.
Karan added that her time in India and interest in yoga and meditation has also influenced her new Urban Zen collection, a compilation of lifestyle wear, furniture, jewellery and decor developed with the help of artisans. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the range will go to her Urban Zen foundation.
"I did Urban Zen for myself, to make clothes for me and my friends, a similar philosophy to when I started Donna Karan," she shared. "Except this time I hope it will stay that way so that I will be able to support young designers and mentor them."