When Donna Karan throws a dinner party — say, at her Stephan Weiss gallery space in lower Manhattan — the tables are usually set with the kinds of elements that inspire her every day.

This story first appeared in the October 4, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

For her first tabletop and giftware collection, which Karan is launching with Lenox Corp. in February, the designer is incorporating many of her favorite notions, from seven easy pieces that can be mixed and matched to sculptured metal and hand-carved wood objects.

Karan said she was seeking a balance of “artistry and function, modernity and soul” for the table.

“Tableware has grown beyond the traditional tabletop,” she said. “It’s all about objects of desire that have to connect with you in an emotional way. It has to connect with a certain sophistication that you bring into your home.”

The soup-to-nuts collection includes serving pieces, stem and barware, as well as flatware that is sold in open stock so shoppers can put together their own mix. Like her seven easy pieces, the tabletop collection can transition from day into night, and is inspired by Karan’s love for textures and her travels around the world.

For example, groups have names such as Devoré, Gold Dust and Platinum Voile, featuring bone china in abstract textures and metal finishes; Donna Karan Singing Bowls, with brass and precious-metal bowls; Wave and Pleats Barware, crystal pieces that are mouth-blown and hand-carved, and Illumination, a collection of stemware that takes its cues from the New York skyline at night.

Karan has designed a few custom-made pieces of tabletop for her retail stores, but this is the first time she is doing a full collection. Under a licensing agreement, Lenox will manufacture, market and distribute the collection in the U.S. and worldwide. Suggested retail prices range from $25 to $3,000, with distribution aimed at upscale specialty and department stores. The line will preview during the New York tabletop market, Oct. 12-15.

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