melissa coker on being inspired and why she only listens to r. kelly.

by ray siegel

It was fun to talk to Melissa Coker from Wren about her new resort lookbook shot against a blue wall in her apartment at the El Royale in LA (which was designed by the same architect as the Chateau Marmont). The collection is inspired by Wes Anderson characters, but hopefully the Wren wearer has a slightly more cheerful disposition than Margot Tenebaum. It's fine if they don't though—the line has always been dedicated to "perfect imperfection" and free spirits.

Why do you think resort lines in general are looking less resort-y?

I definitely agree. From a practical sense, stores are more interested in buying pieces that can live on the floor for a longer period of time. I envision the resort wearer to be someone looking for something new at the end of the year—something they can wear in December but that will also carry them into spring.

You founded your line in 2007. Is designing still fun?

It's absolutely as much fun as the first time around—maybe  more fun because I know what to expect at this point. I've learned so much along the way and the process gets stronger and easier with every season.

What inspires you?

I like '60s style icons like Catherine Deneuve, Anna Karenina, and Julie Christie. I'm also inspired by movies like The Squid & The Whale and anything by Wes Anderson's darkly whimsical characters like Margot Tenebaum and Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom

What music are you listening to and does that affect your mood when you design?

I listen to R Kelly almost exclusively. Hopefully it does not affect my mood when I design, but the collection would probably be super sexy if it did. On the off chance I'm not listening to R Kelly, I like Die Antwoord, Beach House, Trick Daddy, and Three 6 Mafia. My favorite song in the world right now though is Cuckoo! by Benjamin Britten. (This song is best listened to on repeat for hours on end).

What are you favorite things to wear right now?

I love my Wren fall dresses, especially the printed ones with fitted bodices and full skirts.

What your most exciting fall purchase?

I got one of those Chanel mini quilted cross-body bags. That was the big thing that I wanted. I want to wear more black this fall, I decided. So I need to get my hands on some black things. 

Why are you so awesome?

Because I'm into dressing like a toddler, grandparents and cats.

You can't argue with that answer. Here's another resort lookbook we love.