Monday, October 28, 2019

Designer In The News: Kelly Wearstler

Bravo to the highly creative and ever-evolving Los Angeles designer, Kelly Wearstler. I’ve always admired her free spirited design, her fashion style, and her bold and constant experimentation and invention.

She recently completed her fifth monograph on her dramatic new work. ‘Evocative Style’, is out this month from Rizzoli. This week, I want to reveal its pages, her ideas, and her bold new direction.

Designer Kelly Wearstler

“The environments featured within this book represent a continual evolution and refinement of my design aesthetic, philosophy and development. Each project was personal, unique, and presented an opportunity to share my passion for history, the arts, and established as well as emerging artists and artisans, with clients who were open and engaged. — KELLY WEARSTLER

“Inspirations were infinite—from the simple beauty found in nature to fashion runways and street style, from the structured tenets of graphic design to the rich traditions of decorative arts and the innovative use of technology. Each space provided an opportunity to challenge personal and professional boundaries, celebrate the atypical and unexpected, and create multifaceted interiors that are at once inviting and alive with history, culture, and modernity.” — KELLY WEARSTLER

Kelly Wearstler’s new book is an exciting revelation of her new directions. On each page of the volume, she presents her move toward rooms that highlight artist-designed furniture and lighting and dramatic sculptures.

Once known as the Queen of Hollywood Regency, and admired for her high glamour, she is diversifying her repertoire. The rooms presented in ‘Evocative Style’—in New York and Los Angeles—have the modern allure of richly detailed backgrounds, and collectible furniture, plus custom-made pieces of her design.

While Wearstler’s approach reads eclectic, she enthusiastically and constantly references the spirit of collaboration of the Bauhaus as her inspiration.

“I like wildly original furniture but in my rooms it is a little more refined,” she admits, “I also love the 1970s and ’80s, which now looks incredibly interesting and fresh.” Ettore Sottsass, the designer who shaped the look of the ’80s, and who has been out of fashion for a few decades, is now a witty and graphic influence.

“My style remains true to my belief in mixing styles, eras, and media, and bringing together the design stars of the past with today’s emerging artists. I like to create environments—indoors and out—that are at once inviting, comfortable, and evocative.”— KELLY WEARSTLER

KELLY WEARSTLER: EVOCATIVE STYLE is an inspirational look at her inventive new works. She shares the details from her latest projects, creative process, and personal imperatives.

Kelly lives and works in LA and she is surrounded by art museums like the Broad and LACMA and the Marciano, so she delights in working with artisans and craftspeople and artists who are challenging the rules.

The book includes a turn-of-the-century Beaux-Arts townhouse in New York City, a Spanish-style California bungalow, and the latest and very crafted incarnation of her family home in Beverly Hills. Wearstler’s design aesthetic and its constant evolution are celebrated. She is certainly identifying and focusing on a new aesthetic. Her new interiors include abstract sculptures and colors and materials and surfaces that are multisensory and inviting.  

The Proper Hotel, San Francisco

Wearstler’s signature designs explore materiality, color, forms and an intuitive juxtaposition of contemporary and vintage, as well as architectural and organic, and graphic and instinctual elements.

Among Kelly Wearstler’s most notable projects are the Viceroy hotels, the new Proper Hotels, the BG Restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman, and distinctive private residences for art collectors, and clients who want a residence with spirit and soul.


All images here are from ‘Kelly Wearstler: Evocative Style’ (Rizzoli).

©Kelly Wearstler: Evocative Style, Rizzoli New York, 2019.

Published by Rizzoli:

Written with Rima Suqi, a writer whose work has appeared in Elle D├ęcor, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal among others.

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