Katie Nehra is taking the phrase “triple threat” to a whole new level of impressive with a résumé that includes screenwriting, acting, and fashion design. Not to mention, the Los Angeles native has a killer sense of style and is wonderfully witty—both big pluses in our book! With her latest indie project, Alex of Venice, hitting screens today, we caught up Nehra to talk everything from the challenges of writing to what’s next for her clothing line, Simone. Keep reading for our exclusive interview.
WHO WHAT WEAR: You are a writer, actress, and fashion designer. What do you find is the most challenging of the three?
KATIE NEHRA: Definitely writing. I have a love/hate relationship with the process of writing. I think it is one of the hardest things to do well, but it is also one of the most rewarding.
WWW: You worked as a co-writer on Alex of Venice. How did you get involved with this script?
KN: I started writing the script seven years ago with Justin Shilton. We met in an acting class. I thought he was a total stoner, but he ended up being totally brilliant! Ha!
>WWW: This is actor Chris Messina’s directorial debut. What was it like working with him on set?
>KN: Chris is a dream to work with. He loves actors and understands where you're coming from because he is one. He's sort of magical in so many ways. Chris knows how to reveal the best side of you, and that's not an easy task as a director. When he believes in a project, he gives his all, and there's not many people I can say that about.
>WWW: Did you always see yourself playing Lily when writing that character?
>KN: Yes, I always imagined myself as Lily. And hoped I would play her. She's fucking awesome.
>WWW: The film was shot on location in Venice Beach. What do you love most about the city, and what kind of role did it play in the film?
>KN: It was definitely the fifth character of the film. I actually didn’t love Venice, but [Shilton] lived there, so I would go all the time. My boyfriend lives there, too, and I’m actually like the mayor of Venice now. I love that I can park my car at my boyfriend’s house and we don’t have to get in the car again for the weekend. It’s a nice change from Hollywood and the valet.
WWW: Where do you find inspiration for your clothing line, Simone?
KN: You know, I find inspiration all over for clothes and fashion. It used to be, “I can’t wait until French Vogue comes out,” but now everything is online. You can see so many images and colors and different people putting things together immediately that you don’t even have to wait anymore for a magazine. In a way, it’s great, because you can surf [the web] all day long. I still get inspired a lot by film, and I’ve always loved the '70s and Françoise Hardy. She’s not as easily recognized as a style icon in the way that you always see Brigitte Bardot or Jane Birkin, but I always felt like she was a little more of a badass than them.
WWW: You’re known for your amazing leather jackets. What do you think are the most important things to look for when purchasing this item?
KN: We are making a new shape right now, and I find that I’m really into jackets that don’t have any lining. And I don’t know if that’s because we live in Los Angeles and it’s never cold here anymore, but I’m really into the structure, because it feels more like a cardigan or sweatshirt that you can throw on. I definitely think if you are going to invest in a leather jacket—because, yes, a lot of them are not cheap—you want to get a color that you know you’re going to wear with everything. Like some people get red, and they would wear it with everything, but I find that most people go with a black, gray, or a navy blue, something that’s going to be more transitional than a bright, sort of vibrant neon.
WWW: What item is currently on heavy rotation in your wardrobe?
KN: You know what I just got that I am obsessed with are these Acne boots. They kind of look like cowboy boots, and they are like a metallic color. I have always loved metallics, because I think you can treat them like the color black and mix them with everything. So I definitely love these boots—they are comfortable, and you can wear them during the day and the evening. You don’t see them everywhere, or at least I haven’t, until you put a link up on Who What Wear for where to get them!
WWW: What’s your most prized fashion possession?
KN: Probably my vintage Chanel bags. I have some pretty dope ones. One is of a cassette tape, which is great because you can keep it on your bookshelf as an art piece when you are not using it, and then you just take it when you go out at night. But that’s one of them. I definitely do love to find very unique vintage Chanel. I kind of have a problem. I’m constantly splitting up credit cards to lie to myself about how much I’m spending on vintage Chanel.
WWW: Where do you shop for vintage in L.A.?