Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Wearstler has gone from being a well-known Los Angeles–based interior designer to being head of her eponymous global lifestyle brand. She’s still doing interior design (for private homes, hotels, etc.), but has expanded to fashion, furniture, jewelry, and accessories. And we’re sure she won’t stop there.
She has a singular eye and bold vision (if you don’t follow her on Instagram @kellywearstler, we recommend you remedy that now). Inspired by fashion, architecture, and design, she pairs together things we never would consider, and the result is always utterly fabulous. “Curiosities” perfectly reflects her particular taste. Everything up for auction was something she would want to live with or wear herself. Authenticity is key in the world of Wearstler.
Whitewall partnered with Wearstler and Paddle8 on the sale, and our winter 2014 Luxury Issue, out next month just in time for Art Basel Miami Beach, features an interview with the designer. Here’s a sneak peek at our conversation, where she talks about curating the Paddle8 auction, what museums she visits for inspiration, and why the fashion industry is hands-down the toughest business.
WHITEWALL: Since we last spoke, you’ve gone on to launch an accessories and fashion collection. Has anything about fashion design taken you by surprise?
KELLY WEARSTLER: I have such tremendous respect for everyone in the fashion business. It is hands-down the most difficult business. The pace is relentless and designs are tossed away so quickly. It’s incredible the amount of thought and time that goes into every detail. There are so many voices . . . I want this . . . I love this . . . This is not working . . .Can we see this in green? . . . It’s crazy!
WW: Whom do you envision in the fashion you design?
KW: Individuals that love rich materials. A girl who loves to layer and takes risks.
WW: You’ve said that you “look at fashion for detail inspiration.” How has having a fashion collection affected your design?
KW: It has changed my appreciation for textiles and materials. It’s not about just how something looks. It is about how it feels. Is it high quality? How does this fabric move? What does it evoke? Fashion taught me to see fabric as a whole new animal. And the finest details, which I carry into my interiors. Fashion inspires the interiors projects and my interiors inspire the fashion. The two mediums fuel one another.
WW: Between the accessory collection, home collection, fashion collection, and interior design work, how would you describe your design philosophy?
KW: Raw and refined. There is always a natural element blended with something more sophisticated. I want the designs to feel curated and found, spirited and soulful. I want to take risks. It is the only way we evolve and grow.
WW: For young designers, you’ve said it’s important to educate the eye to know the anomalies that makes a special object unusual. What are some of our favorite museums to visit for that purpose?
KW: Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The Tate Modern in London. LACMA in L.A.—it’s small enough to feel intimate and special.
WW: Tell me about the inspiration behind the upcoming Paddle 8 sale.
KW: It’s inspired by my love of vintage and collection of oddities and rarities and things I love that are so me. I enjoy the notion of juxtaposing so many different things that at first glance might seem incongruous or off-kilter, but group them together and a pattern arises. The through-line is great design.
WW: Is there anything you’d like to keep for yourself?
KW: There’s plenty. I would happily take all of it home.
WW: You recently went on a trip to Europe. What did you find there?
KW: I’m such a curious gal. I was in heaven. Everywhere you look there is something to discover. Paris flea markets are treasure troves. It was a whirlwind trip of serious scavenging. We found so many gems at bookstores, warehouses, and boutiques—from jewelry and art to amazing furniture.
WW: Where do you best like to find furniture, art, and objects for your clients?
KW: I source from all over. I’m regularly attending flea markets and showrooms. 1stdibs is an incredible resource. I have my favorites. JF Chen in L.A. is consistently outstanding.
WW: You have a fantastic blog, Pinterest board, and Instagram account. Do you follow anyone else’s Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration?
KW: Pinterest is so incredible! I could spend hours on Pinterest. I follow the Coveteur, Into the Gloss, and Domaine Home.
The Paddle8 “Kelly Wearstler: Curiosities” sale is live through November 13. To read the full interview with Wearstler, be sure to check out the winter 2014 Luxury Issue of Whitewall out the first week in December.