Stylist Karla Welch Reveals Her Favorite Looks of 2017 (Including One That Was 'Like Heaven')
Karla Welch went above and beyond styling superstar clients this year — among them, Olivia Wilde, Elisabeth Moss, Tracee Ellis Ross — by launching her own line of white tees named xKarla in partnership with Hanes this fall. Justin Bieber, Joan Smalls and Model of the Moment Kaia Gerber starred in the debut campaign, which marked a true new chapter in the stylist’s career: Not only can she dress stars, she can design for them (and regular people), too.
“It’s been a lot,” Welch tells PEOPLE when we catch up with her to reflect on her accomplishments over the past year. However, that was just the beginning, she hinted. “Next year is bringing three major design projects that I’m super excited about,” she says. “So, stay tuned!”
Could it be another xKarla launch? A design of her own on the red carpet? An accessory line? Who knows! But while we wait to hear the exciting news, we asked Welch to look back on the most memorable red carpet moments that she created for her clients in 2017. Scroll down to read her thoughts on the best dresses of the year.
Olivia Wilde in Custom Michael Kors
When Welch helped fit Olivia Wilde in this custom red-hot Michael Kors Collection design with a plunging neckline for the Tonys in June, she described the look simply as, “dead.”
Tracee Ellis Ross in Comme des Garçons
While Welch says she likes “every single look we’ve done [together] this year,” this Comme des Garçons the Black-ish star wore to the Met Gala in May — which actually honored the designer — was her favorite.
Ruth Negga in Valentino Couture
For Ruth Negga, Welch says the Valentino Couture at the Oscars in February (above) and Louis Vuitton at the Golden Globes in January stand out most. “Both of these dresses just sum it up our awards season run — modern and romance,” explains Welch. Plus, they were both custom designed just for Negga. “What a treat to have two major designers and talents make us these works of art.”
Sarah Paulson in RVDK
Welch picked this RVDK design by Ronald van der Kemp for Paulson’s appearance at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in February. “Ronald is one of my favorite designers ever,” says the stylist. “His clothes are ethical couture and all made by hand. Every time my girls wear his looks, it just feels like heaven.”
Elisabeth Moss in Oscar de la Renta
“This look combines our most favorite things — ballet and rock ’n’ roll!” Welch says of this Oscar de la Renta ballgown and moto jacket pairing the star wore to The Square premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. “Only at Cannes!”
Busy Philipps in Jeffrey Dodd
“I loved the unexpected color and combination of the camouflage pattern,” Welch says of why this Jeffrey Dodd gown the actress wore to the SAG Awards in January stood out most. “Busy always bring clothes to life.”
Amber Heard in Versace
Welch is working with Amber Heard for her Justice League press tour and chose this sexy Versace look to kick off their collaboration together. “This was our first look together and I think we nailed it,” says the stylist. “I cannot wait for our upcoming press tour — glamour.”
Karlie Kloss in Naeem Khan
“Supermodel glamour” was the reason Welch chose this look that the model wore to the Vanity Fair Oscar party in February as her favorite.
Michelle Monaghan in Brandon Maxwell
When Welch fit Monaghan in this Brandon Maxwell design for the Vanity Fair Oscar party in February, she said the “fitting took a total of three minutes — look at those abs!”
If this is a hint of what’s to come in 2018, we can’t wait.