"Modern Primitives" Takes Over Fendi in the Galleria

Last night, well-heeled Houston stepped out to celebrate both brains and beauty: a collaboration between international design house Fendi and New York-based Aranda/Lasch architects. Fendi is presenting a spring line of "Modern Primitives" wares based on duo Aranda/Lasch's mathematically inspired creations.

On view in the Galleria store are the duo's crystal-based structures (not for sale) as well as the Fendi throws, scarves and leather skins they inspired, in a lovely assortment of pop colors for the 2011 Fendi Spring Collection.

The Aranda/Lasch team met Sylvia Fendi at the 2010 Venice Biennale, where they were showing crystal-based designs for chairs, stools, tables and sculptures. Fendi was inspired by their work and wanted to introduce their concepts to the world of fashion. The duo handed her their sketches and trusted her design abilities to create her own take on their objects.

Ben Aranda, who grew up in Houston, was on hand at the Galleria Fendi store yesterday installing his crystal designs.

Architects Aranda/Lasch incorporate the mathematics of natural forms - crystals, no two of which are the same - into their work. They've developed a design vocabulary consisting of basic shapes in different sizes to create their unique models. Think of the finished pieces as Lego creations made from different sized pyramid blocks.

The results have been shown at the Miami Design Fair and at museums all over the world, including an amazing installation at the MoMA. The architects plan on utilizing their research to eventually create building systems.

Though Aranda insists that his work is ultimately architectural, we could not help but see art in the pieces - both the duo's and the Fendi products that incorporate those designs. One throw in particular (shown right) would make a fantastic wall piece in anyone's home.

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Vernon Caldera