LOS ANGELES — For designer Todd Oldham, creating fashion didn’t end when he sold the trademarks for his name six years ago to Jones Apparel Group.
Although he has since reacquired them, Oldham has focused his energies on the fashion of home interiors in recent years — from his two-season project for Target to his long-term contract with La-Z-Boy.
“I’m not really into the idea of investment furniture for everything in your house. ‘Sofa’ and ‘investment’ don’t belong together,” said the 42-year-old ultimate outsider, who spoke to an audience of more than 300 people last month at the California Market Center as part of the Otis College of Art and Design’s “Inside the Designer’s Studio” series.
Patterned after “Inside the Actor’s Studio” on the A&E network, Otis’ version puts fashion department chairwoman Rosemary Brantley in the interviewer’s chair — a giraffe-print sectional from Oldham’s La-Z-Boy collection — and features an audience of mostly students from the fashion school based in the CMC building.
Oldham’s collaboration with the furniture maker offers some 300 textile options, making it more in-line with the temporary whims of fashion than old notions of furniture as quasi-permanent fixtures.
Although it has been six years since the boyish designer from Corpus Christi, Tex., put out his ideas on the fashion runways, he has remained in the public eye through his home design collaborations, including air time on MTV’s episodes of “Crib Crashers.”
This April, he will release his second book, a how-to on midcentury-modern furnishings called “Hand Made Modern” (Regan Books/HarperCollins, $29.95).
The book will offer doable step-by-step instructions on making home accessories — vases, pillows, throws and furniture — end tables, daybeds and room dividers. It also includes essays on midcentury pioneers such as Charles Eames, Eva Zeisel and Charles Harper, among others, some penned by Oldham himself as well as journalist Julia Szabo.
He kicks off a national book-signing tour April 15 with a “Today” show appearance in New York; in Los Angeles, he’ll stop at Barnes & Noble on April 21.
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