February 17, 2017—Celebrity stylist Karla Welch has been everywhere this year. As in literally all around the world. When I reached her for this interview she was in Japan. Next thing you know she is in Nashville, New York and then back at her home base in Los Angeles. Somehow, she also manages to attend every anti-Trump rally and stay up to speed on all the political news that she admirably and effortlessly intermingles with the glam on her social media. I read about Michael Flynn’s resignation on her Instagram Monday night when I glanced at my phone after a dinner. Her post came in before I received the alert from The New York Times! But I digress…
Karla makes her special brand of over-the-top sparkle look as individual and effortless as can be for a long list of clients that includes Ruth Negga, Sarah Paulson, Amy Poehler and Karlie Kloss not to mention Justin Bieber among many others. The veteran stylist who fell in love with fashion while she was growing up in Canada creating window displays for her father’s store, graciously carved out time to answer all my questions about the jewelry she has used in her winning Awards Seasons.
Your styling has such individuality and spunk. There is often sparkle in the clothes and you are fearless about adding jewelry on top of it. For example, I love the vintage gold from Beladora Amy Poehler wore with her green gown for the 2016 Emmys. How do you describe your style?
I like a lot of strength in a look, a bit of an edge, something different. There is a little bit of magic to the process. For Amy, she is funky and we often pile on the jewelry. Her look with the green Pamela Roland dress and the vintage from Beladora had a little Peggy Guggenheim flair.
I love all the jewels you have been using from the Gemfields x Muse collection for Ruth Negga. What do you like about these jewels for her?
I love unusual jewelry. Plus, Ruth is not a girl who is going to put on a diamond ring. She loves an emerald and a ruby. We have put five rings on one hand. We have never done simple and pretty. The custom Louis Vuitton dress she wore at the Golden Globes didn’t need jewelry at all. It was fashion armor. Yet the Fred Leighton had a big ruby set on it that just added the right detail. It is not too much. It is always the right amount of jewelry.
For most of Awards Season you have been focusing on rings and bracelets for Ruth’s jewelry. Does she have pierced ears?
She doesn’t have pierced ears but we have had a few custom clip-on styles made specially for her to wear during the end of the season. She wore Sarah Hendler’s earrings at The Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Sarah Paulson has been another one of your red carpet super stars this Awards Season. I love all the earrings she has worn particularly the Wilfredo Rosado pair at Golden Globes. Tell me about them.
I seek out people like Wilfredo. I think it is important to support independent designers. I love artists and I am grateful to be a conduit for their work. When we had that Prada dress for Sarah for the Globes, I thought we needed an amazingly huge earring. I contacted Wilfredo and he said, “I have got something in mind.” He made them. When the jewelry showed up, it made everything just better. It’s like what a good music video can do for a song.
What do you look for when it comes to choosing jewelry?
Making strong women strong. I mix metal and mix stones. The rules are about breaking the rules. Most of all, I don’t want the jewelry to be nothing. It should be something.