Justin Bieber, Jena Malone and Stylist Karla Welch Toast Anya Hindmarch at Barneys
Hollywood came out to play when the British accessories designer brought her brand of cheeky, rousing style to Beverly Hills.
Caution: amusing fashion ahead. On Oct. 15, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay actress Jena Malone and THR power stylist Karla Welch co-hosted cocktails for Anya Hindmarch at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. The event, which celebrated the designer’s latest auto-inspired Service Station collection including "Men at Work" totes, to-go coffee cup displays and a neon-orange safety traffic cone backdrop.
Guests were treated to champagne, Pimm’s Cups and roadside bites — mini hot dogs, fries (in take-out containers), tuna sliders and candy. Limited-edition, high-visibility jackets were on site with optional personalization (Welch posted a photo of her glam squad — including client Justin Bieber, who also attended the event, in their hi-viz jackets on Instagram).
"I love that Anya’s bags have such a quirky sense of humor — I like a little sarcasm and a little tongue-in-cheek, but the craftsmanship is so beautiful," Welch said of the London-based designer. "I also like her rad color combinations!" Welch recalled that her very first AH bag was the "I’m NOT A Plastic Bag" canvas carryall, which shot Hindmarch to Hollywood style stardom in 2007 (Keira Knightley and Reese Witherspoon both toted it).
Other VIPs at the party included Kiernan Shipka, George Kotsiopoulos and Taylor Swift’s stylist, Joseph Cassell. "I think Anya herself is such a fun, spunky person and it really shows through in her designs. She’s not afraid to be original and unique and silly," Shipka told Pret-a-Reporter. Handbags and faux road signs on display included phrases like "are we nearly there yet" and "keep your distance." The Service Station collection is available at Barneys flagships and online at Barneys.com.
Here, the designer quickly chats up Preta. Hindmarch’s secret to success? "I think fashion should make you smile," she says.
Pret-a-Reporter: In general, what inspires your designs?
Anya Hindmarch: Cookie cutter is probably not something you would use to describe them. I’m always fascinated by taking the everyday and making it something — and I’m obsessed with craftsmanship. I love an element of humor as well.
How’d you dream up the Service Station styles for fall 2015?
This latest collection was inspired by an English motorway called the M25, which is not a glamorous thing, but I spend a lot of my time on it — I know you drive a lot here [in Los Angeles] — but if you have an open road, and the music of your choice and you’re not in an airplane, there’s actually something quite hypnotic about it.
Your designs are quite popular with bloggers and on the street style scene — photos of your bags pop up quite often on Instagram. Do you think Instagram has helped to grow your business?
Absolutely, no question. I think it’s interesting now that one of the most effective forms of communication is social media because you can leave lots and lots of imprints of who you are. In addition, obviously to doing really artful beautiful campaigns. But the combination of the two is quite fabulous. It’s a really fun way to communicate.
While they’re not the average evening bags, would you like to see more of your designs on Hollywood’s red carpet?
It’s always so flattering to see someone carrying one of my bags, but I’ve quite liked that we’re a bit of a secret as well. I think we’re the go-to for people who don’t want the same thing as everyone else and something slightly more unusual. It takes a confident person — we have some really interesting people that wear our stuff and that matters to me.
What one bag landed you on the fashion map?
I started my business many moons ago. I think some of the recent stuff has gotten quite a lot of noise, but when I look back at my first designs and going through my archives … the first bags we ever did looked like little candy packets, a Turkish delight or Jelly Babies. It’s the same thread all the way through — always some fun.
What do you enjoy most when you're in Los Angeles?
I love the city. I love downtown and the arts district. I really admire the architecture and some of the old movie theaters.