Bold & the Beautiful

Kelly Wearstler designs for the woman who dresses with a bold eye

Kelly Wearstler designs for the woman who dresses with a bold eye

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Kelly Wearstler Courtesy of Kelly Wearstler
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Wearstler's collection for fall features bold color and texture. Courtesy of Kelly Wearstler
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Wearstler with Tootsies owner Mickey Rosmarin Kelly Wearstler , Mickey Rosmarin Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
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News_Kelly Wearstler_look_Fall 2012
012_Shelby, Fresh Faces, August 2012, Kelly Wearstler, Mickey Rosmarin

Kelly Wearstler has been “on” for hours.

An early flight, a day full of interviews and the launch of her fall collection at Tootsies will do that to a person. So I’m primed for a fast interview, assuming we will get a couple of questions in before a publicist moves me along.

Here’s what happens instead. Wearstler and I steal away to a corner where we settle into chairs and she tells me right off the bat that she doesn’t like pre-planned questions, so “let’s just have a conversation.”

 “The girl who wears my clothes is ageless. She takes risks, she’s curious and she’s evolving,” Wearstler says. “It’s a balance of raw and refined.” 

So we did. Topics covered included design, interiors, fashion, styling and motherhood. Wearstler is fresh-faced, dressed in a chambray button down shirt, skinny leather pants and black heels, creating an edgy, easy look. Her collection relies on some of the same ideas.

“The girl who wears my clothes is ageless. She takes risks, she’s curious and she’s evolving,” Wearstler says. “It’s a balance of raw and refined.”

Interior design beginnings

Wearstler first garnered a name for herself in the interior design world mixing bright hues, patterns and infusions of whimsy. Her work in 1999 re-imagining the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills launched her as an influential designer, unafraid of risk. Gigs with Viceroy Hotels and Resorts and projects for influential private clients followed and Wearstler was well on her way to commercial and creative success, her interior design style falling under the maximalist umbrella.

Her clothing collection is an extension of that same aesthetic, full of color, texture and patterns.

“There’s a hand-quality to the collection. The pants, the jewelry — I like the juxtaposition, too, of very raw versus very feminine versus very masculine,” Wearstler says.

There’s lots of layering for fall, with the pieces feeling rocker-chick feminine. She likes the idea of taking something everyday and giving it a new spin. An angled hem leather skirt pops with circular cutouts and the Bedford Gouache twill pants look like art themselves. It’s a collection that benefits from her interior design experience — she wants the woman who wears her clothing to approach getting dressed with a bold eye.

“Sometimes you have to play with it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Wearstler says. “I like to see denim and denim together or put a silk blouse under a dress.”

 There’s lots of layering for fall, with the pieces feeling rocker chick feminine. She likes the idea of taking something every day and giving it a new spin. 

When she’s not wearing pieces from her collection, Wearstler favors Balenciaga and vintage Martin Margiela.

She also likes to have her hands in all areas of her business. She opened her boutique on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, works in her warehouse, scaling shelves for perfect pieces and even writes her own blog on her website.

Her appearance at Tootsies was actually a big deal, because, by her own admission, Wearstler doesn’t go out much. For a woman with a Technicolor imagination, she’s fairly regimented in order to make it all work.

“I get up early, work out, get my boys up, take them to school. I don’t do lunch out, I eat at the office. I get home by 6:30 so I can hang out and play with my boys,” she says. “I answer email at night after they are in bed.”

Her real woman status extends to her marriage too.

“I love my husband [L.A. developer Brad Korzen]. We really don’t go out much, because we would rather be home together,” Wearstler says.

And when she does want to get away, she doesn’t have to go very far.

“I love my library at home. It’s filled with books about design, fashion and all the things I find so inspiring,” Wearstler says.