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Keeping up with Kate

We spend a moment with Kate Young, the red carpet stylist on the verge of her busiest year yet

It’s hard to believe celebrity stylist Kate Young doesn’t take fashion too seriously, especially when she’s the woman behind the scenes pulling red-carpet looks for A-list actresses like Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman. But between sketching designs for Jason Wu, meeting with her muses and penning her first coffee table book about evening attire (Dressing in the Dark, due in the fall), Young somehow found time to host the launch and preview of 424 Fifth, Lord & Taylor’s own private women’s wear label at the department store’s flagship location on April 10.

 Marie Holman Rao, Liz Rodbell, Kate Young

Lord & Taylor Creative Chief Officer Marie Holman Rao, Lord & Taylor President Liz Rodbell, Kate Young

Before the presentation, we caught up with the Brooklyn-based mother of two to talk spring trends, her red-carpet essentials and strong distaste for “shants?”

What spring/summer trend do you love right now?

From the new 424 Fifth collection

I’m really into white, so that’s the thing I’m most excited about. I bought white clothes all winter anticipating spring, which still isn’t here (laughs). I’ve been wanting to wear white poplin, white jeans, white cotton shirts with… black sandals! I love all white. It can really make old things like prints and something you would generally wear with a khaki look fresh.

Is there a fashion trend you can’t stand?

My number one thing I can’t stand is that every woman in the airport wears are what I call “shants,” which are not shorts and not pants—they’re in between. They’re cargo pants cropped mid-calf. I don’t know why people wear those. I guess they’re comfortable? They’re not flattering; it just makes you look like SpongeBob, it’s horrible.

What style lessons, if any, would you pass on to your two young boys Stellan and Leif?

I dress a lot like my kids. We all wear Vans, skinny jeans, striped T-shirts and hoodies on the weekend, so I think I’ll probably convince them to dress like me forever, or try to.

What are your favorite hangout spots?

Roman’s for really good farm-to-table. I love Bellocq in Greenpoint. It’s a beautiful tea place. I can’t say what my favorite flavor is; that’ll be too hard. And Mast Brothers Chocolate

What’s a red carpet essential?

Long-Line Cosabella bras and high-waist thongs by Victoria’s Secret called the Embracer.

What’s your favorite red carpet moment of all time?

Martha Plimpton and River Phoenix at the (1989) Oscars. She had her hair slicked back, almost no makeup, just a little bit of a matte dark lip and this amazing champagne-colored satin bodice gown. River Phoenix had his hair slicked back just like hers with a big puffy bow tie. The two of them were as cool as could possibly be. When I was a teenager I just wanted to look like them and the dress still stands. It’s so modern. I love that dress.

More looks from the 424 Fifth collection, available now, below:



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