Catching up with Corey Lynn Calter, the designer who’s more than just a pretty dress
Corey Lynn Calter’sultra-feminine frocks have landed on celebrities such as Dita Von Teese and Zooey Deschanel, but lately the L.A.-based designer’s brand has been growing in ways that still encompass her quirky prints and whimsical aesthetic, but include her passion for interior design and staying in touch with her fan base. Calter launched a line of pillows and aprons at Anthropologie as well as recently started a blog called “The Bees Knees,” a nod to the bee tattoos she has inked on each one of her knees.
I caught up with Calter in her new office and design space in downtown L.A. and got a glimpse of her creative process, key inspirations and a sneak peek at spring 2011.
You seem passionate about home design and interiors. Any plans to expand your line in that direction?
Home has been a natural transition for me, because my mom is an interior decorator, so I grew up with that. It’s always something I’ve wanted to do and there are so many outlets for all these prints I have. I can see them on makeup packaging and handbags as well! Home is such a passion for me. I just love it and right now I’d really love to design wallpaper. I am so into wallpaper right now.
Besides your existing prints, what inspires your home and interior design?
I still love the uniqueness of vintage things. You always get something that’s unique and authentic. When I go to Paris and London I do all the flea markets. I just really love to go somewhere where everywhere I look there is something going on, rather than going into a showroom that’s all beige, it’s like OK, I get it. We get the gist of that!
Tell us about your Bees Knees blog.
One of the things I used to hate about this industry was the smoke and mirrors about it. It’s hard to have your own business and you have to have a certain kind of backbone and skin for it. I am very transparent and want there to be a certain transparency about the company and the blog allows me to do that. Plus, we’re small enough that we have the ability to have this personal interaction with the customer and the world. I can let people know I’m a real person and that I love Nina Hagen and dumplings.
-- Melissa Magsaysay
Photos: At top,inspiration boards and swatches for Calter's spring 2011 collection; middle,Corey Lynn Calter, Calter's new office and design studio in downtown L.A./Melissa Magsaysay
At bottom, Nina Hagen/Joel Robine AFP Getty; and a bowl full of dumplings/Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times