Kate glams up her favorite ripped vintage jeans with a laser-cut T-shirt by Yasmin Kianfar and red Opening Ceremony pumps.
When it comes to fail-safe boutiques—the ones we can pop into any time of year and find JUST what we're hankering for—
is our own mini Mecca. Owners Carol and Humberto have an eye for not only the most influential (and frenzy-worthy!) designers of the moment but also the select pieces that literally make a collection. As a result, OC scouts the best buyers in the biz, one of them being Kate Foley, whose keen eye definitely extends to her own uncommon dress-code. We popped in recently to visit with this British expat's beautifully tricked-out digs in Williamsburg (which she's currently subletting), and got schooled in, among other things, pink DIY hair-color, the next really BIG designer, and the best fake tan in the world. Oh, and her kitty Weenie is pretty extraordinary, too.
Kate's covetable shoe collection. "The rug came from Patrick Demarchelier's studio—it was used as a prop for a shoot and was going to be thrown away so I salvaged it!"
Tell us a little bit about your job and what you love about it:
"I work in such a great environment, with inspiring, creative, and talented people. It makes going into work everyday enjoyable and exciting, which I think is so incredibly important. It's a great pleasure to work closely with all the designers and their teams. To be able to watch young designers grow in confidence and strength is fantastic. And to be able to support that process and see such talent is so fulfilling."
In the livingroom, Kate wears a cream lace dress from Opening Ceremony. "I love this dress so much. It's so beautiful!" Her shoes were a score from a random High Street store in London. The framed flag belongs to the owner of the space.
What are the three pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
1. "I'm always wearing platforms and wedges, the higher the better, nearly always with socks."
2. "White ankle socks. I'm forever bleaching mine and buying new pairs to keep them pristine."
3. "White and cream nighties and lace dresses. I grew up wearing white cotton nighties made by my grandmother. I think it stuck with me. I'm hugely attracted to natural fabrics such as cotton and linen. This style of dresses are just so easy and feminine."
In the bedroom (with her cat Weenie), Kate wears a floral chiffon dress from Zara.
We're obsessed with your hair color—can you tell us how you get that subtle fade of pink?
"I bulk-buy this semi-permanent dye, La Riche, which I think is made in England. It has a huge range of colors, which is great. I guess Manic Panic would be the most similar in the U.S., you just have to mix it with conditioner. I nearly always mix mine to get a softer color."
Kate's mini Bearbrick collection sits on the bookshelf. The figurines are from the Bearbrick Blindbox Series ("each is designed by different artists and companies and you don't know which one you're going to get until you open it.")
Where do you draw your decorating inspiration from?
"I'm inspired by a mix of things: art, history, color, and texture, mainly natural materials such as fabrics and wood."
Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Kate looks down from the second floor.
Kate wears a vintage sailor top on the balcony.
What are your favorite hair products?
"I'm obsessed with Michael Van Clarke's 3 More Inches Collection, which is at Space NK. The products make your hair really strong and thick. The pre-wash treatment is so amazing!"
An old photo of Kate and her sister on the bureau.
What do you miss most about London?
"My amazing friends and family."
What would you miss most if you left New York?
"Brooklyn! I love all the amazing laid-back bars and cafes near my house. And I guess I would miss my work, too!"
Kate wears an old Gap T-shirt, vintage overalls from Stella Dallas, and MAC's Russian Red lipstick.
Best cheap score of late?
"Denim overalls, which I wear dressed up and down, I found at Stella Dallas in Brooklyn. They were really cheap and are so comfy. I wear them all the time!"
A Red Heart Bearbrick Kate gave to her boyfriend, Indigo. She scored the silver pot from a thrift store on Long Island.
Any favorite spots in the city for home goods and bric-a-brac?
"My favorite thing to do is go to junk stores and markets. It's so nice to have more used and loved pieces, rather than something off-the-rack that's mass-produced. I think it's good to have to really search for pieces yourself and use your own creativity. The Brooklyn Flea is great for that. I've also picked up a few great pieces off the street. I found a huge old clothing rail once that I was very happy with."
Kate wears old wedding bands, a gold snake ring, and a Delfina Delettrez skull ring from Opening Ceremony—both gifts from her boyfriend. Her nails are Calgels from Primp and Polish in Willamsburg.
What's the story behind your tattoos?
"I like that my tattoos don't really have a specific story or meaning. It's more of an art thing for me. I'm really fascinated by skulls. The one on my hand was partly inspired by Renaissance paintings, which often include a skull positioned somewhere within the painting (always depicted without a jaw) as a symbol to represent human mortality, so it reminds me to live life to the fullest, I guess..."
A copy of Vogue, replete with a compliments card from Anna Wintour herself.
At left, spring blossoms on the table. At right, Kate in a laser cut T-shirt by Yasmin Kianfar from Opening Ceremony.
Favorite makeup goodies...what do you love to wear?
"By Terry is my absolute favorite beauty brand! I use their Tinted Moisturizer, Bronze Expert Gel Pen, the amazing Gelee De Rose Moisturizer, and all their lipstick colors (black, red, purple, coral). I use mascara from MAC and Nars. Nars does amazing lip pencils that are super thick and can be worn as lipstick, but are really chalky. I hate too much gloss! The best fake tan in the world is by Rodial, it's so natural and dries really quickly. I swear by it and can't be without it!"
From on high, Kate in a vintage sailor T-shirt, a vintage nightgown she reworked into a skirt, and Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony platform boots.
You see a lot of rising stars in your work—are there any new designers you're really excited about at the moment?
"Yasmin Kianfar from London is my absolute favorite designer of the moment. She's so talented! She graduated from Central Saint Martins last year and already has two collections bought by Opening Ceremony and Browns in London."
"The chalk board wall in my kitchen is covered in drawings by friends from a recent dinner party."
What about a secret store you love that you're willing to let our readers in on?
"Stella Dallas's vintage fabric store on North 6th & Havemeyer Street."
Kate poses next to her clothing rack (salvaged from the street) wearing an old white T-shirt from the Gap, vintage Dungarees from Stella Dallas, and her signature socks and wedge combo.
What would you never be caught dead wearing?
"I wouldn't say there's anything I would never wear. I've surprised myself many times!"
"The KAWS dissected Bearbricks are my boyfriend's, I'm desperate for the Levi's x Clot 1000% Bearbricks but can't find them anywhere."
You have a lot of Bearbricks and Toy figurines! How long have you been collecting those little guys?
"I love the whole toy culture. It's something my boyfriend introduced me to. He found most of our collection, but I get all the little 'mystery' Bearbricks where you buy a box and don't know what you're going to get. I like how bright and plasticky they are, and I love displaying and contrasting them with old objects such as wood, metal, and marble works."
Kate in an Opening Ceremony lace dress.
In the dining room, Kate wears a gray T-shirt from the Gap, vintage scalloped shorts, black platforms from London, and white socks she found at a pharmacy.
Favorite fashion trend of the moment?
"Big, billowing silk print pants. I find them hard to wear, personally, but they look so beautiful and can be worn in so many ways."
"My boyfriend's bedside table featuring some of his figurines, including Ronald McDonald by Ron English."
We're humongous cat lovers. Tell us about your cute kitty! Where did you get him?
"He's called Weenie. I actually have two. The second cat (Gobbelino) spent the whole shoot hiding in my laundry room! I adopted them from a rescue center called Kensington Kitties when they were really tiny. I hadn't actually secured staying in NYC at the time, so it was a little crazy, but they were so sweet I couldn't not adopt them!"
The rug was salvaged from Patrick Demarchelier's studio.
What's the most treasured piece of clothing in your closet?
"I have a vintage Thierry Mugler-shaped cream denim dress, which I don't wear a huge amount. It takes something special to pull it out."
Weenie stares down our photographer.
What's in your closet that you've never worn?
"A Hussein Chalayan dress from the 'Car Crash' Spring '09 collection. It's beautiful as an art piece, but I never ever wear it."
Red hots! Kate's metal-toed Opening Ceremony pumps.
Beauty secrets revealed!
Kate's keychain boasts lots Opening Ceremony tchotchkes.
At left: Kate's boyfriend Indigo's desk. At right: Kate wears a Gap T-shirt and vintage shorts.
Weenie loves the spotlight.
"This ring was designed by my friend Theodora Warre for Warre Jewels. I've had it for years and it's now pretty battered but I love that."
A Pinocchio figurine by KAWS, one of Kate's favorite toys.