The crossover from editor to designer is one that rarely happens in the fashion industry, which is understandable. After all, just because someone can write about beautiful designs or style them doesn't necessarily mean they can actually create them. But that said, this month's Line We Love spotlights one of the few success stories: Melissa Coker, the designer and founder of Wren. After years spent working in the editorial and fashion departments of Vogue and W respectively, Coker realized her true passion lied in creating clothing with an easy elegance, which is exactly why she decided to start Wren.Since its launch in 2007, the Los Angeles-based brand has shown off an enticing, carefree aesthetic--think: classic closet staples rendered in breezy silhouettes and interesting, of-the-moment prints--that attracts a legion of fans, including the likes of Keira Knightley, Alexa Chung, and Clemence Poesy. The designer's latest collection, brilliantly showcased in the must-see fashion short "What's Up?" directed by Gia Coppola, is chock-full of youthfully sophisticated dresses, tops, trousers, and knits, all perfectly suited for spring. From the cutest crop top to the perfect LWD, we've selected some of the collection's most noteworthy pieces, so scroll down for details on each of today's picks and don't forget to check out our exclusive Q&A with the designer below!
Open Weave Color Block Crew ($220) in Black/White
In addition to being insanely soft, this cozy open-knit sweater is also quite functional for spring and summer! The neutral, color-block design lends itself to a myriad of styling choices, so wear it now with bright, solid-colored trousers, then swap in a pair of denim cutoffs and neon sandals when temps warm up.
Eyelet Drop Waist Shirt Dress ($286) in White
Every woman should have a little white dress in her wardrobe come summer, and we think this sweet eyelet version is the ideal pick! We love everything about this frock, including its prim collar, adorable pockets, and of-the-moment drop-waist silhouette. Paired with a mix of pearl necklaces and nude wedges, it's the perfect dress for a garden soiree or lunching with the girls.
Soft Printed Pants ($230) in Ikat
While there are loads of printed pants to choose from this season, Wren's take on the trend is a clear winner in our book. To start, the lightweight, airy fabric makes them wholly desirable, especially if your summer plans involve tropical locales or music festivals; plus, the navy ikat pattern instantly adds interest to all your warm-weather basics. So whether you team them with a casual tank and sandals for the weekend or a silky button-up and sleek pumps for the office, consider these pants a refreshing alternative to your skinny jeans.
Tie Front Top ($176) in Coral
The unofficial kickoff for BBQ season is literally two weeks away (we mean Memorial Day, of course!), so if you haven't already begun prepping your closet with all the important clothing essentials, perhaps you should start now with this tie-front top. Featuring a bold coral color, button-down front, and cropped cut, this easygoing top looks cute worn with everything from an accordion pleat skirt to white jeans, making it a piece you'll want to wear again and again!
Q&A with Melissa Coker
What inspired the start of your design career?
I have a background in magazines, and through a twist of fate, ended up designing. There were a few things that I wanted and couldn't find in stores, so I had some friends set me up with pattern makers and I started making things for myself. I made ten pieces and realized that I had a small collection. I showed it to some stores and they bought everything. Wren was born!
What was the inspiration behind this season's collection?
For this collection, I was heavily inspired by the work of Ed Ruscha, particularly his 1971 photo book, A Few Palm Trees. I wanted to recreate the mood of the images and draw on this idea of a classic California summer. I also looked to one of my favorite muses, Gia Coppola. Her personal style is so effortless and cool-I wanted to evoke that feeling with these pieces.
How would you style specific pieces from this collection? Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
Right now, I'm loving head-to-toe matching patterns and tonal looks. I would pair the ikat pieces together, and style the sequin pieces with more dressed-down basics like the tencel pieces. I love the eyelet pieces-there's something very romantic, but still very cool about them.
What kind of girl do you envision wearing your clothing?
The Wren girl is bookish, but still very cool; feminine, but also not afraid to be a little bit of a tomboy too.
How does your design process for a collection start?
For my collections, the prints and textiles really drive the designs. I like to start with a strong print-this season was the ikat-and that leads me to the next print or texture. It's a really organic process.--Jessica Baker