Whitley Kros is ready to rock

Times Staff Writer

Lauren CONRAD and the Pussycat Dolls may be generating buzz this Fashion Week, but there’s only one celebrity-backed brand that’s sure to transcend the breathless E! channel coverage.

Whitley Kros, a collection geared toward fashion-forward femmes, is co-designed by former actress Marissa Ribisi (Giovanni’s sis, who also happens to be married to Beck) and Sophia Coloma, a former partner in the influential L.A. boutique Satine. But it’s also one of the best new brands to come out of L.A. in ages. The designers, who will show for the second season under the Smashbox tents tonight, specialize in luxe casual wear -- think silk and cashmere, but with a slouchy fit -- featuring original, eye-popping prints and drawings by Ribisi, Japanese artist Yuko and, sometimes, Beck.

The designers came up with the idea for the label two years ago by creating a muse, Whitley Kros -- an effortlessly stylish and worldly gal who represents “this person that every woman our age would want to be,” Ribisi said.


With each new collection, the designers ask themselves what their mythical girl would have stowed in her steamer trunk, and what’s playing on her iPod. This time around, Kros is headed to a rock concert in Berlin while listening to Nirvana, Coloma said. “Then she’s catching a train to Paris for a business meeting and watching ‘Working Girl’ on her laptop.”

No, we won’t be seeing NFL shoulder pads or holey T-shirts. Grunge-era plaid is used on a military-inspired jacket; ‘80s power-dressing is re-imagined in a strapless dress with a ruffle at the waist. Prices for the collection, which is sold at Satine and on, range from $100 to $600.

Beck will be programming the runway soundtrack again, though Ribisi is mum about what songs he’ll be blasting. “I think there will be some Sheena Easton in there,” she said. “It will definitely be more weird than last time.”