The front-row at yesterday afternoon’s Karen Walker show was what style photographer dreams are made of: the slew of it-girls, all of whom double as DJs, included Ilirjana Alushaj, Becka Diamond, Cory Kennedy, and Chelsea Leyland. And in the middle of them all sat Natalia Kills, Interscope’s hot new artist, absolutely killing it in a Christopher Kane dress paired with Karen Walker shades.
It’s those shades that have turned Walker into a household name (New York’s households, at least). “When we first started doing the sunglasses, the rule we said to ourselves was ‘Nothing commercial,’” the designer told us backstage after the show, her 20th stateside. “We didn’t want to do ‘Oh, here’s the two press pieces and here’s the rest that are just dull.’ I think that’s how a lot of eye-brands are. But for us, we said, ‘If there’s twenty pieces in a collection, every piece has to be ‘Wow!’ And hopefully that’s what we achieve. But something’s working, because they’re popular!” she laughed.
Still living in Auckland, New Zealand, Walker admits to bringing some elements of her hometown to her work. “I guess what informs our work from where we live is the casual nature of life there. It’s not red carpet. It’s a totally different vibe from Paris or New York; there’s very much a casualness underlying it all. There’s still an awareness of aesthetics and a desire to look good, but it’s kind of always underpinned with a casual undertone. Even when it’s quite formal, it’s still a boot instead of a heel.” It’s working for Walker, who described the collection in five words: “Captain Nemo Meets Brian Jones.”
Post-show, Kills shyly introduced herself to Walker, confessing that she’s a fan. The compliment went both ways. ” I saw your video and I absolutely loved it,” Walker told Kills. “It came on my Google search—I woke up at 6:30 in the morning!” said Walker.
“I’m blushing!” squealed Kills behind her massive Walker glasses. Now we’re not-so-patiently awaiting news of a collaboration…