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This Holiday Season: Give the gift of Cashmere

November 24, 2014

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Carini Lang offers hand woven and hand-dyed cashmere shawls and blankets. Our cashmere is carefully picked and hand-woven in Nepal with the same care as our carpets. We are taking Nepal’s revived natural dying process and creating contemporary geometric and ethereal patterns. Our shawls are lightweight which comes from using an intricate weave and high quality cashmere.

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Our Water Edge and Tie Dye shawls in Orange

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Dip Dyed in Indigo

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Our Yak scarf with an intricate fringe

This season Carini Lang will be a part of Donna Karan’s 2nd Annual Urban Zen Holiday Marketplace! Along with other like-minded partners such as FEED, Bottletop, From The Road, Elvis and Kresse, Carini Lang will be selling cashmere shawls, blankets, and select area rugs.

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Taking place at The Urban Zen Center at 711 Greenwich St, from Novemeber 21st – December 31st.

 

Contact us for inquiries!

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Where fashion comes home to play, rest and dream

September 26, 2014

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It’s often said that Karl Lagerfeld doesn’t seem to reside on planet earth. We tend to agree, and not just because his signature style—Edwardian collars, ascots, and the occasional monocle worn with skinny jeans—gives him the appearance of a dandy robot from an unknown future-past, but rather because there seems to be no way to imagine that someone could accomplish as much as Lagerfeld in Planet Earth’s brief 24 hour day. On Planet Lagerfeld the days must be significantly longer.

Now well into his seventies, Lagerfeld heads three of the world’s largest fashion houses, producing approximately 12 collections a year; owns a Paris book store; a publishing imprint Edition 7L.; works as a prolific photographer, producing books and shooting the ad campaigns for his designs; and continues to design homes on multiple continents. All this fueled by his only drug: up to 10 diet cokes a day, served by his butler on a silver platter.

So when he quips that his only ambition in life is to wear size 28 jeans, we have a hard time believing him.

Referred to by his friends as a “a pure creature of creativity”, it’s clear in all facets of his life that Lagerfeld is a master of transformation and innovation in the way only great artists are.

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Karl Lagerfeld back when he was Chloe’s head designer in the late 1960’s

Lagerfeld is a polyglot who switches seamlessly between French, English and German (and claims to feel like a different person in each one), who once lost almost 100 pounds in a year because he had become so smitten by Hedi Slimane’s slim designs for Dior Homme.
His transformative powers aren’t only on display on himself however, in the 1970s when he was already designing for Chloe and Fendi, Lagerfeld changed Chanel from a lifeless company kept afloat solely by perfume sales, to one of the largest fashion houses in the world, coveted by the youngest, hippest most stylish stars. Critics may have claimed he had “desecrate[ed] the Chanel style with sight gags and overkill, with a tarty sex appeal and crass sensationalism” but it worked phenomenally well.

It’s no surprise then that Lagerfeld can move between dramatically different styles in his living environments.

In the 1980’s Lagerfeld’s Monacco house was decorated by the avant guard design team, Memphis.

Karl-Lagerfeld-in-his-Monte-Carlo-Memphis-furnished-apartment-1981.-Photograph-by-Jacques-SchumacherMemphis, the quirky design group of the early eighties, comprised of a coterie of architects and industrial designers famed for questioning modernist minimalism and eschewing functionalist forms with color, humor and asymmetrical shapes. Known for their performative, exaggerated, and sometimes unapproachable style, we can understand why Lagerfeld would be drawn to it.

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These days Lagerfeld has taken a paired down philosophy to design, recently selling off an extensive collection of antique furniture and various homes including the French chateau in which his mother was buried. Today Lagerfeld’s primary residency is comprised mostly of glass, steel, fluorescent lights and a notable lack of color.

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Lagerfeld shuns color because it constantly surrounds him. In this cocoon for sleeping, bathing and working Lagerfeld wants to feel as though he is in a neonatal hospital.

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iPods in every room reveal Lagerfeld’s continued fascination with music

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The refrigerator supposedly only holds Diet Coke

karl-lagerfeld-parisian-apartment-6 largeLagerfeld insists upon freshly washed and ironed, embroidered sheets every day.

karl-lagerfeld-parisian-apartment-5 largeOld fashioned windows are the only thing that gives away the apartment’s early 1800’s origins. Chrome chair by Marc Newson,  stools by Jasper Morrison.  Futuristic sofa by Amanda Levete.Karl-Lagerfeld-Paris-Apartment across the street

His other apartment just a few meteres down the street is often the site of raucous dinner parties, photography shoots, and houses many of his more than 40, 000 books. We love the simple but bold textures provided by the books,  the parkay floor and gorgeous carpet.

Karl-Lagerfeld-Paris-Apartment accross the street

Lagerfeld is a master at creating an environment. Chanel fashion shows consistently explode the constrictions of typical runway events, as Lagerfeld chooses instead to create entire universes highlighting or contrasting the look and feel of the season’s collection. This year’s Paris show was a particularly brilliant example of Lagerfeld’s creativity as he transformed the Grand Palais into a Chanel Costo, sending models down a Warhol inspired runway, lined with aisles of brightly colored household items.

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One of the things we find particularly compelling about Lagerfeld’s approach is his insistance on carving out time for day dreaming.  While many of us are glued to our iPhones, Lagerfeld insists on driving around Paris, the city he has lived in for all his adult life, just to soak up its atmosphere.  He takes time to really look at the world around him, to read, to sketch and let his thoughts wander.  If he can find the time to do so, so can we.

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Morocco the Magnificent

September 19, 2014

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“Where a man feels at home, outside of where he’s born, is where he’s meant to be.”   – Ernest Hemingway

Morocco is a country with wide swaths of paprika desert, where Berber men wrapped tightly in indigo cotton make their way across the sands on lurching camels, stopping mid-step to take a phone call. It has attracted visitors from all walks of life looking for something unknown. A feeling of being transported to when life was saturated with poetry and music. Paul Bowles made Tangier is home for over 50 years. He once stated that in Tangier, “the past and the present exist simultaneously in proportionate degree… a very much alive today is given an added depth of reality by the presence of an equally alive yesterday.” A city able to transport a person of this reality into the vibrant life of the past is rare and sacred. Morocco deserves praise, pots filled with couscous, and a blog post worthy of its grandeur.

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Atlas Mountains

So why can’t we follow in the steps of Bowles, or take Hemingway’s lead and take a layover in Africa in between Paris and Cuba? Why can’t we get lost in the Atlas Mountains on our CB350 Honda, wind in our hair. It might be your work obligations, your kids, or maybe your mother. But as the Moroccan’s say, ‘If God Wills It.’ For now we’ll order lunch from the local bodega, take our shoes off, and let our imagination run wild.

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Carini Lang vintage Moroccan rug against a Moroccan landscape

Textiles are an important part of Carini Lang’s philosophy, culture, and lifestyle. Morocco is more than an inspiration, it serves as a playing field for color ways, textures, and design. One of the things which captivates us most about Morocco is this deep contrast of enduring traditions and creative contemporaneity.  The very same weaving techniques that have been producing some of the world’s most beautiful carpets for centuries, cushion the floors of  Marrakech’s hip boutique hotels of today. Mixing old with the new has never been more romantic.

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Woven in the Atlas Mountains, the Berber people are using techniques hundreds of years old made from the curly wool coats of the Berber sheep. Morocco’s Beni Ourain rugs highlight the beauty of repetition through muted colors and shaggy textures. Despite the sometimes seething, tumult of Morocco, beauty in order and repetition can be found. Whether it is vat upon vat of different color dyes in an outdoor tannery; nuts and spices piled higher than you could imagine. Rows of intricately carved hands of Fatima, protecting a house from the evil eye, this is one design trick Morocco has mastered.

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Carini Lang’s vintage Moroccan carpets side by side. Discover more here.

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Carini Lang Moroccan Carpet

Owning a Moroccan carpet means more than just being ‘in’ for the season, it means being connected to the earth. To a time when simplicity through technique gave way to intricate design. The repetitious shapes, prayers, imagery; oh and the color. Morocco’s topography has been producing natural dyes made from roots, berries, and leaves since the Neolithic period. The terrain can be so punishing yet fruitful. How can such a treacherous earth give way to such a beautiful creation?

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Lovely Morocco –  smelling of zest and turmeric and wood chips, watered by different languages, encircled by the mountains, cradle of civilization, one of three countries to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines – We shall see you soon.

God willing.

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Cat King: Multi Hyphenated Wonder

September 11, 2014

cat picEvery once in a while someone comes along who captures your gaze with a kind of unshakable power, a genuineness you can sense, a mesmerizing mutability that doesn’t quite let you pin down what you’re seeing. That’s precisely how Cat King is: a kind of modern day mirage you can’t exactly figure out. One moment you’re captivated by her bright green eyes contrasting with her jet black hair, her tough girl tattoos and boisterous DJ mixes that make you want to stay up all night with your baddest friends. The next minute she’s an angelic blond, with disarmingly ernest tenderness, wearing her heart on her sleeve, writing poems on old wooden saws, screeching sweetly into a microphone. Sweet, wild, hopeful, hysteric enchantress, this tattooed love-child of Iggy Pop and Marilyn Monroe is going places.
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You’re an unbelievably multi-talented person working in a wide range of fields. Is there a unifying element to your various work? What’s your favorite aspect of these different jobs?

Well thank you! A few years ago, I made the decision to try to survive doing only what makes me happy. The road has been long and bumpy but creativity is where my happiness lies, so I choose to spend my time creating. Whether it is creating the atmosphere through music when I DJ, or creating a different view for people to see the world through my writing, or art to put up on walls for the public to see, I am following my happiness.

 

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One of many Cat King’s DJing outfits

All we have in the end is who we are and what we create. Writing allows me to delve deeper into myself and weed out my true feelings beneath all of the static. As I communicate the findings with the readers, I am communicating them to myself as well. Life can be so fast-paced I feel lucky to have a job that allows me to continue my education within myself. Street art is something I started doing just as a fun hobby. Rebellion is such a key aspect to my happiness and I only put things up that I believe would make other people smile.

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I enjoy DJing because it becomes my job to ensure that people have a good time, and allow themselves to let go of their inhibitions on the dance floor. I want people to remember how fun the simple things in life can be and to remember what it is like to feel free.

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What’s your favorite medium to work in?

Honestly most of my mediums start from trash or garage sales. I like the feeling of turning something once thought of as trash, into treasure. I have been etching my poetry and designs onto rusted, old hand saws lately. I find the work to be so rewarding. Trash and treasure are only words if you look at them as such.

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Cat's graphics transformed from street art into a silk Carini Lang carpet

Cat’s graphics transformed from street art into a silk Carini Lang carpet

A Cat King Constructed Chair

A Cat King Constructed Chair

Clothing seems to be a big part of your look/ artistic expression. Any emerging/ new designers you particularly like?

Haha it’s funny because although I have been in the modeling business for a while, I don’t pay much attention to fashion or fashion trends. My style consists mainly of pieces that I find at thrift stores and then customize myself. I did do an interview recently for IXLVS and I am a big fan. That’s about as far as my current fashion knowledge goes right now. I am a huge fan of Beacon’s Closet.

My tattoos are basically my adulthood scrapbook.

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Can you tell us a little something about your tattoos? Are they all by the same artist? When did you start getting them? How many do you have? What’s your favorite one?

I collect them as I go, many from different artists among different states. I got my first one when I was 17 years old right in the middle of my sternum. To me they tell a story, or remind me of important values to hold dear always. My favorite one is my broken wishbone on my left wrist. People ask me all the time why I chose a broken wishbone and it’s because I like the idea of the fact that it is broken and still so beautiful. Who is to say that something that is broken has less value?

How does music inspire your other work?
Music inspires my entire life. It always has. I was a child of rock n’ roll and then spent much of my time among the punk scene. I like all kinds of music and the range has shaped the soundtrack of my life and the person I am today.
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Patti Smith said she thinks contemporary young artists should go anywhere else but New York City, and a lot of folks from her generation have said they never would have been able to survive here in today’s scene. What do you think about being young and creative in NYC these days?
I have to say that New York is definitely a struggle. Things are expensive and it is easy for a creative mind to go into a dark state if solely surrounded by concrete day after day. It is the place though where I have met the most inspiring, creative people. I feel lucky to have such wonderful, supportive friends who have always had a couch for me when I need one, or a positive talking to. It is harder to get by in New York for sure, but if you can make it through, you can thrive and build a name for yourself. Having a name for yourself in New York has more value than having built a name for yourself in a small town.

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Cat King appeared in Brick and Mortar’s music video for their song Move to The Ocean off of their new album Banga

Who are your greatest influences?

FILM: David Lynch, Dario Argento

MUSIC:Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd

FASHION: Diana Vreeland

ART:My artist friends. ELLE, VEXTA, Alayne Macchiaverna, Mr. Toll, Roddy Wildeman. Basically anyone who I hangout and create with.

BOOK: The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

LIFE: My mom

What would be your dream collaboration?
I would love to do something with David Lynch for sure.

We’ve got another great collaborations with Cat and Carini Lang coming soon! In the meantime, here are some places you might find Cat King shinning around NYC

Where do you go for a night out?
Lately I have been really digging the food and atmosphere at Northern Territories in Williamsburg. They have a beautiful rooftop and a menu to make you drool.
Verboten in Williamsburg is the place right now for a good dance party.
Pearls Social and Billy Club in Bushwick is my favorite bar

For a little R& R?
I am honestly no good at rest or relaxation. The Soho House pool is always a good place to rest and get your work done at the same time. I also spend a good amount of time down in New Jersey around Asbury Park.

Favorite gallery?
Jonathan Levine in NYC and Torche galerie in Belmar, NJ .

Perfect song for dancing around in your underwear:
Mapei- Don’t Wait

P.S. Cat’s band Hell Sells music video was directed by Phil Knott, featured below:

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African Inspiration

August 21, 2014
Minimalism with an African touch

Minimalism with an African touch

The vast African continent is most often in the news these days for political conflicts and horrible heath crises, but of course there is so much more to Africa than problems. Not only is the continent the birthplace of civilization, but it also brought us some of the earliest libraries, the first surgeries, the oldest known art (drilled shells found in a south African Cave which are believed to be around 75,000 years old!). In fact when we’re looking for a jolt of inspiration we often look to Africa for its exquisite craftsmanship, incredibly painterly use of colors, unexpected textures, and soul by the bucketfull, from the ancient, to modern, to contemporary, Africa is nothing short of electrifying in its inspirations.

Architecture

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African Blog5 Homes in Northern Ghana[/caption]

A Mosque in Burkina Faso

A Mosque in Burkina Faso

Design influences

Sophisticated designers sometimes seem to shy away from African influences in their homes. Perhaps they view it as too earthy? We’d argue that given the enormous range of cultures and styles, there is something to elevate every style, from the crisp minimalist to the opulent eccentric, unexpected African accents can really help elevate a room, bringing depth and complexity through textures and clean lines.

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John Vogel

An Airy Modern African Bedroom with beautifully rounded accents

An Airy Modern African Bedroom with beautifully rounded accents

For our extensive collection of vintage African rugs, stools and chairs from exquisite craftsmen all across the continent, be sure to check out our first dibs website or come into our TriBeCa showroom to see the collection for yourself!

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