I was surprised and excited when I picked up WWD this morning at the news stand on my way to yoga. The cover had a story on Kelly Wearstler's new foray into fashion with a collection that will sell at Bergdorf Goodman. I will start by saying that Kelly Wearstler is probably one of the most important interior designers working. He taste in art, objects, color and rooms is eclectic, inspired and beautiful. She's fearless with scale, unconventional mixes of color, texture and the environments she creates all make one stop and stare. Her boutique in BG for limited edition objects for home is a treasure trove. There isn't anything in that shop I wouldn't haul home if I had the means. So much is designed by her like the boxes made of bronze with fantastic rough stones set like jewels on the lids. When I first saw these I thought she should be doing a collection of jewelry. This new venture includes a group of bracelets, cuffs, rings, small clutches and clothing.
From the few images available of her clothes I'd have to say that I was less than satisfied. Linda Farg, BG senior VP of fashion gushes over Kelly's natural bent for fashion design. The press always comments on a celebrity's beauty and chic wardrobe as a key to their success as a fashion designer and style icon. According to Fargo, Kelly is "Fashion". That may be, but I don't think she's a fashion designer, yet. The clothes and jewelry are cleverly priced from about $200.00 to $1400.00. One column in white with a bold brush stroke is a really great piece very much like an accent in one of her rooms. I'm a sucker for anything that says Franz Kline but beyond that I found the looks to be odd shapes and strangely naive. Like many design school students, there seemed to be a number of ideas competing in a given outfit. That sort of mad mix can comfortably coexist in the space of a room but not as well on the tight confines of a woman's body. This contemporary price point is clearly where the action/future lies, but she doesn't seem to find her mark, yet. In stark contrast are the pieces of jewelry and a bag or two that are clear winners. Her ability as a sculptor and her choice of materials is very exciting. I'm sure she'll get it right in time. Just because one has a closet full of designer clothes does not make them a shoe in for fashion's big leagues; think Vera Wang. I don't see this as a lark and am sure she's a serious contender. Bergdorf Goodman is an awfully big stage to rehearse your lines.
DANNER X NEW BALANCE
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