'Classic Style' Q&A

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's no secret that I am a fan of Kate Schelter (pictured below).....  I've written numerous previous posts (herehere, & here) of her seemingly endless range of style-setting expertise matched by her artistic endeavors. Part 'It Girl', part 'Girl Next Door', with a warm & witty smile making fast friends with everyone, Kate's refined eye appreciates both tailored taste and accessible ease with a dash of humor mixed in. It's within this mindset that Kate extends to her successful and broad scope of work for commercial clients & private commissions. Already enjoying a chock full roster, Kate now adds author to her résumé, having recently published her premier hardcover book exploring the fine & familiar, Classic Style: Hand It Down, Dress It Up, Wear It Out.

I knew Kate's illustrations included in the book would be wonderful -- imagery of defining details from the 70s/80s East Coast traditions (think LL Bean's blue & white fisherman sweater, Tretorns that you never laced & weathered boarding school Ts, among a trove of others).....  But, it's Kate's text that has really exceeded my expectations. For anyone carving out a life as a 'creative', arguably, it's the harder road, but with the unknown outcome comes tremendous excitement and interesting twists & turns around every corner. Kate's own trailblazing journey is an inspiring must read for anyone needing the reminder, or perhaps validation, to trust your gut and keep going!

"Tap into your passions, your motivations, and your biggest fears. The jitters are love in disguise, reminding you that you're getting closer to what you want. Face it. Go toward it. Do it."

*I reached out to Kate for a little deeper insight into her process for writing Classic Style.....  read our Q&A below.....

Classic Style: Hand It Down, Dress It Up, Wear It Out brings together two great facets of your career — Fashion and Artistic Illustration..… Could you expand on moving beyond your client commissions that have already enjoyed blending these 2 passions, into why you made the decision to create a custom book of your personal inspiration?

My new book Classic Style is an illustrated memoir—very personal connection to all the writing and artwork, and I hope that people recognize their own memories in the illustrations, since they are classic and universal. I use the same muscle as a stylist that I do as a painter: my gut. I simply paint what I love.

'Hand It Down, Dress It Up, Wear It Out'..…  How did this phrase/concept develop for you?  Is it a principal that you have always incorporated in your life & closet?

As I was writing the book these were three different chapter headings and my editor and I noticed how they played nicely together and were directional: down, up, out. It was a happy accident and it’s also absolutely true to my own experience with style! I wanted the subtitle to communicate something personal, imperfect, and well-loved.

What was your process for selecting the content of the book and where is your inspiration rooted?

I would write and write until I didn’t know where to go, and then I’d paint and paint until I didn’t know where to go. Back and forth, I just created for 5 months, periodically sending everything to my editor, who’s acute insight helped shape the structure for the book. Certain artwork had a clear placement in the book and other pieces were moved around until the final draft. I wanted everything to be just right. So I painted and wrote simultaneously, taking turns and moving back and forth as inspiration and improvisation hit me.

Who are your icons that epitomize Classic Style and why?

Classic Style is a love letter to my family, whom is my largest icon, because it’s personal and has a pure imprint on my life and my style. I also love Grace Kelly, Ali McGraw (in Lovestory), Jane Berkin. Gilda Radner had great style too.

Will you be visiting cities on a book tour?

Yes: New York, Los Angeles, Newport, Cape Cod, Matha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, The Hamptons and Montauk. I’d love to come to Charleston. There’s Classic Style all across the USA!

*Image Patrick Cline

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