Kelly Wearstler (right) made her contemporary design voice heard in 1999 when she gave the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills a swanky yet sophisticated midcentury makeover. Since then, her unique statements have also translated into collections of jewelry, furniture and home accessories, available at luxury retailers such as Neiman Marcus, as well as textile and dinnerware collaborations. The distinctive designer has published four books showcasing her work; the latest, Rhapsody (Rizzoli), was released in October. Wearstler talks with palmbeachillustrated.com about her aesthetic and her style must-haves.
PBI: Your collections for home and fashion are full of vivid color and prints. What inspires you to create these graphic designs?
WEARSTLER: I adore vintage shopping. I can find a small detail in a piece of artwork or a texture in some amazing piece of tapestry, even in the detailing on a piece of carpentry—and that inspires me to create something graphic, colorful and can even morph into a new print. I am constantly being inspired by a world of different things; you can find inspiration in anything.
What are three items from your spring 2013 fashion and jewelry collections every woman should own?
A brightly colored leather jacket is always a must—I did some beautiful greens and purples for spring. At the moment, I am drawn to the Jasper jacket because it is such a fresh take on the motorcycle style.
A statement piece of jewelry—my spring cuffs with the giant keyholes are super cool!
Anything with a print—there are so many pieces in the new collection that have beautiful prints; it’s hard to choose just one. But I am partial to layering prints with color and texture to add some depth.
Each collection as a whole is so special to me, though, so it is hard to pick just three pieces. I think it is more about choosing which items reflect my mood for the day and layering pieces that really showcase my personality.
How do your interior designs influence your fashion and jewelry designs and vice versa?
They both inspire one another. The voice I’ve created in my products and interior designs speaks to being curious and taking risks, and my fashion extension is the evolution of that voice. You see layering of texture, color/metallic and graphic prints in my interiors, home decor and fashion. This is indicative of my aesthetic in anything that I touch.
If you could make over any public space what would it be?
Anything in South Beach. I am enamored by the architecture there. I would be thrilled to [make over] any of the Art Deco buildings there.
What will style enthusiasts learn from your latest book, Rhapsody?
I hope they will find their own inspiration from the book and see that there is just as much detail going into large- and small-scale projects, from the furniture and lighting chosen all the way down to the placement of a tiny decorative object. I want people to recognize that less is not always more. It’s about each item having meaning or adding to the overall space.
Describe your personal style and what influences it season to season.
My personal style is a mix of vintage and new, raw and refined. I look forward to seeing what comes down the runway as well as what I find in vintage stores. I look for polished comfort that allows me to move easily between being a fully involved mother; leading my design teams in fashion, accessories and home; as well as being active outside work socially.
When entertaining at the last minute, what’s your go-to decor or style tip to help set the stage?
Fresh flowers are a quick way to pull it all together. Having a full bar at all times is also key—everyone ends up happy.
What home, fashion or beauty items are on your spring shopping list?
Home: The marble skulls and brass feet from my home accessories line are fun pieces that can work in any room in the house.
Fashion: Aside from my entire spring resort wear collection, I will definitely need a few new pairs of shoes. The Hydra jacket in Blue Shell Tweed with embellished epaulets is phenomenal.
Beauty: I don’t really change this up from season to season; the most important beauty item is sunscreen, healthy eating and a constant exercise regimen that keeps me balanced.
What are some of your favorite home shopping destinations on Antique Row in West Palm Beach?
Pierre Anthony Galleries, Dolce Antiques, Galere.
Any hints on future projects you’re working on?
I am currently working on a hotel in San Francisco, my fall 2013 resort wear collection and a new collection of furniture.