We're kind of obsessed with LA fashion right now. Especially labels like Jenni Kayne, Band of Outsiders, McTega, and Wren. Add newbie Kelly Bergin into that mix. Her three-season-old collection is just the kind of thing we adore: It's preppy and clean, yet a little bit beachy and sexy, perfect for the girl we've always wanted to be. What motivates this rising California star? We recently got to know Kelly a little bit better.
1. How did you get your start in fashion? Kelly Bergin: I've always loved fashion and, growing up, spent many weekends poring over magazines and watching runway coverage on Videofashion. [Ed. note: Us too!] The obsession continued though my teen years, more through study than in practice. I eventually made the realization that I could parlay my preoccupation with clothing into a job I'd love, and was able to launch my line with the support of family and friends.
2. There is such a cool contingency of fashion designers coming out of LA right now. What's in the water? I think LA fashion used to be exclusively associated with velour sweats and Uggs, but growing up here I knew plenty of people with style. I'm glad that is being perpetuated by local designers and hope I can contribute to the shifting perception.
3. When did you launch your line, and what was your motivation? I started developing a capsule collection of dresses pretty much immediately after graduating from FIDM. I was eager get to work on my own project, and that dress line essentially became my grad school equivalent, as I learned almost everything on the job. I was motivated by the naive belief that I would spend the vast majority of my time designing. As it turned out, I had to sharpen whatever business skills I had pretty quickly.
4. You use some preppy silhouettes, but there's also a refined sexiness to your wares. How do you achieve the balance? As a child I was dressed in L.L. Bean striped tops with solid coordinating shorts and I think that must have seeped in at a cellular level. These days, I don't find head-to-toe prep to be the most interesting look. I like to take my best-worn staples and interpret them in new ways, and I think any sexiness comes from the balance of masculine and feminine that I like to play with when creating each piece. 5. What's your favorite thing to do, other than designing clothes? I love going to shows, exploring flea markets around town, and hosting friends for dinner.
6. LA designers seem to be more influenced by movies and music--what are you obsessing over right now? Right now I'm loving local bands Warpaint, Local Natives and Best Coast. I've also been listening to Arcade Fire and the new Kanye quite a bit. 7. Choose: Puppies, kitties, or bunnies? Puppies!