show and tell

Kelly Bensimon Understands the Power of Being Ridiculous

Kelly Bensimon keeps telling reporters that her jewelry line is all about “taking Pocahontas out of the kayak and putting her into the disco.” Revealing possibly a new side of herself in the Haute Look lounge in the Bryant Park Hotel penthouse yesterday, where she showed said Pocahantes-in-the-disco-inspired line, she seemed to understand how ridiculous this sounds. “The reason that I said I took Pocahantes out of the kayak and put her in the disco is because I knew it would attract a lot of attention to the line,” she told us. “She was bored! She was in that little canoe and she was bored. She had to kick it! When you’re in a recession, you want to have a little fun. Not be bored.” So it’s like Pocahantes on Planet Kelly? “I love Planet Kelly!” Kelly said. “Listen, if everyone could live on Planet Kelly, believe me, they’d be happy. Um, it’s like it’s green, everyone’s nice, there’s kids there, people drive pickup trucks, everyone’s laughing and smiling and eating well and swimming and running, and its awesome.”

Back to planet Earth: This is not Kelly’s first jewelry line — she started making jewelry on the pier on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, when she was just 16 years old. “I basically would make fishing swivels and put beads on them and make them as friendship bracelets,” she said. Ten years ago, she did her first adult jewelry line for Barneys. “I put pearls on fishing swivels and made them into necklaces, and I put medallions on them,” she explained. Her designs really began evolving two years ago, with her owl collection, “which didn’t have any drama associated with it — that was just a press thing,” Kelly explained. “I’m sorry that happened to my poor owl.” Indeed, “Page Six” gossip doesn’t get to her. “I always tell them, ‘Don’t ever ask me for a quote, because your stories are so much more exciting!’” she continued. “Come on, — I like it! I think it’s fun. I’m like, ‘I did that. Oh, yeah!’”

The current collection is available in 28 Intermix stores and just got picked up by Kitson in L.A. Kelly said that it sold out in New York and East Hampton and that the line is about to expand to thousands of pieces. Mouawad makes the collection (they also do Nicole Richie’s and Heidi Klum’s jewelry lines), but Kelly says she’s very involved in the design process. “I like to be in the trenches, I like to be a part of it — I’m not just going to throw my name on something and say it’s mine, because that’s not how I operate.” But at the same time, “I’m not going to say I’m sitting here, you know, with my like little pliers, but I can! I can make you anything you want if you have a second!” On a tight schedule, we passed. But would Kelly expand to clothing design? “A lot of people have approached me to do a lot of different things. I mean, I have a very specific sense of style, so you know if that’s something that someone wants to do with me, then I would love to work with them.” Hear that, QVC?

Kelly describes her style as “very playful but sophisticated and, like, well-traveled.” She shops at H&M, Topshop, and Forever 21 all the time but also can’t wait to wear all the new thigh-high boots she’s bought for fall. On Wednesday night, she wore her Pradas, which she described as “hot.” She also has the thigh-high boots by Chloé and Stella McCartney. But how do normal girls wear affordable versions of the style without looking like they work at a strip club? “I think that the key to wearing the thigh-high boot is to kind of channel that European woman from the eighties and, you know, if you want to be slutty, go for it. I don’t really think that’s the look,” she said. We confessed we envied her new fall shoes, especially the Stella McCartneys. “They are beyond. So hot. You could wear those!” she told us, kindly. We explained to her that, sadly, bloggers don’t make enough to buy those at retail. But we bet on Planet Kelly, every blogger runs around in those all the time.

Kelly Bensimon Understands the Power of Being Ridiculous