Monday, September 19, 2011

Interview with Melissa Coker from Wren

Actress Nora Zehetner at the Wren SS12 screening of Gia Coppola's What's Up? (photo: Vogue)
Keira Knightley in Wren SS12 at The Toronto Film Festival 2011
Hello lovelies! I had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing designer Melissa Coker of Wren. Wren has some awesome fans including Keira Knightley, Nora Zehetner, Michelle Williams, Alexa Chung, Tennessee Thomas and Bryce Dallas Howard. During fashion week for SS12, Melissa showed a short film she collaborated on with stylist Leith Clark and director Gia Coppola. Wow, such a great combination! More on the video here: Gia Coppola for Wren SS12. I am also happy to announce that Audrey Grace will be stocking stock select pieces of Wren. Check out more at their website here
Alexa Chung and Tennessee model Wren Holiday 2009
Hello Melissa! Tell me a little bit about you, your line Wren and your inspirations.
Wren is feminine and classic with a twist.  It's about a world filled with humor and charm. My inspirations are always a little 60s, a little nouvelle vague.
Where did you grow up and where are you based now?
I grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois (where I'm writing you from now!) I live in Los Angeles now after 10 years in New York.
Tell me about your upcoming SS12 collection, and your collaboration with Leith Clark and Gia Coppola? 
SS12 was inspired by a trip to Japan -- a huge trend in all of the stores was classic Americana: bandanna prints, vintage western influences, red, white & blue.  It's an idealized, romanticized version of Americana reflected back to us. As for the film, Leith & I had been discussing doing a film for a while.  This year it all came together with Gia as our perfect third.
Do you feel like the girls who have previously modeled the collections, such as Tennessee Thomas and Alexa Chung, are the essential Wren girls? Who do you design for and who do you see wearing your clothing?
Definitely -- fun girls who have their own sense of style, who wear things in their own way and have a bit of a tomboy's touch. 
Have you always worked in fashion?
In high school, I worked at Neiman Marcus.  In college, I worked at W and Helmut Lang.  My first job out of school was at Vogue, working for Andre Leon Talley.  So, I'd say, definitely, yes.
Tell me a little bit about your fall and holiday collections- select pieces of which my boutique, Audrey Grace will be stocking. 
I was watching Mad Men for the first time when I was designing fall.  Late 50s / early 60s meets today. Holiday was an extension of that, combined with luxe fabrications like silk velvet and hand embroidered sequins.
Who is your style icon?
Duchess of Windsor, Andy Warhol, Anna Karina, Julie Christie.
Which celebrity would you love to dress?
Carey Mulligan is pretty cute!
What are your favorite Audrey (Hepburn) and Grace (Kelly) films and/or specific looks they have worn. 
Breakfast at Tiffany's for sure.  I've been pretty obsessed with the film for quite awhile (I even had the collector's box set with script as  child!)  Audrey Hepburn in that film, in particular, was a huge influence style wise for me growing up. Grace Kelly, I've always especially loved the photos of her in her own life, after the films. Grace Kelly on her wedding day: flawless.  
Describe an ideal day for you.
Spending time with friends & my cat, Pepper.
What can we expect in the future from Wren?
More films, more collaborations, more product lines.

Wren paint stroke dress from AW10, will be available at Audrey Grace!
The beautiful Bryce Dallas Howard in Wren
More Alexa and Tennessee from Holiday 2009 Lookbook
Sofia Coppola, Gia Coppola and Bella Zarember at the What's Up screening for Wren SS12. The dress Gia is wearing will be stocked at Audrey Grace!
Michelle Williams in a Wren skirt
Julie Christie, one of Melissa's style icons
All images courtesy Wren. That's all for today! 

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