My first obsession is designing women's dresses, with a close second being painting and sketching. I try to combine my appreciation for art, culture and fashion design in the pieces I create, taking inspiration from modern and historic artists. Working in Manhattan during the summertime is intense and beautiful, making this combination easy to flow. The city is buzzing with people from all over the world, the parks are in full bloom and the vibrant energy is either going to drain you or fill you with the same pulsing energy...
Magenta, Fuchsia, Lipstick Red, Petal Pink, Wine and Black Colorful Painterly Silk Chiffon Skirt
The Colorful Painterly Skirt was designed with an attempt to capture the pulsing energy of the city and the exhilaration that comes from feeling alive and free. The desire was to create a piece of pure joy- a skirt that you would wear on one of your best days. A day when you want to be noticed, a day when you feel like you're on your way to conquer the world, spinning like a ballerina on your way there...
The process of making the skirt started with creating a skirt pattern, then cutting a silk chiffon base and paper skirt map. Using colorful magenta, fuchsia, lipstick red, petal pink, wine and black silk chiffon 1.5 inch bias strips as a reference, I created the design, mapping it out with pencil on the paper map once I finalized the design and color placement.
Once the skirt map was completed, the edges of the silk skirt pieces were sewn onto the map to secure the silk, then the silk was painstakingly basted down to keep the silk from slipping around. Once the silk base was secure, I proceeded to sew the bias strips onto the base following the map. Sewing the bias strips was the most time consuming part of the process, since there were hundreds of strips that went into filling in the skirt. After the bias strips were sewn onto the base, the paper map needed to be gently pulled away from the silk. The resulting skirt base was then completed with a belt, zipper, lining and a hand finished hem.
The skirt took over a hundred hours to make, but it was a rewarding process that I was able to work on late at night once my mind was too numb to think about more demanding projects. Design for me is about expressing emotion and creating something new and original. We all express ourselves differently, some with words, actions, or creativity. Expressing myself through artistic means has always made the most sense, and I will never tire of the freedom to do so. XOXO, Kate Stoltz
Photographed in Emporio, Santorini, Greece
Photographer: Matt Licari
Hair and Makeup: Sissi Petropolou
The Kate Stoltz Swarovski Encrusted Silk Gown started with my favorite color: Black. Black is the only color that I always feel comfortable wearing- it's timeless, simple, elegant and flattering.
My personal closet is filled with mostly black pieces that I have designed, or picked up while shopping in New York City or while traveling. It's my favorite color to wear, so it automatically is my favorite color to design with.
Since I was planning to photograph the gown in Santorini, Greece, I added the Swarovski crystals to reflect the light, much like the water sparkles on a beautiful summer day while sailing the Aegean Sea.
After the photoshoot, I was reviewing the photographs with the photographer and makeup artist. We saw that one of the Swarovski crystals had caught the light from the setting sun, glistening like a sphere of light. Isn't nature beautiful?
Overlooking the Southern Aegean Sea in Santorini, Greece
The Kate Stoltz Fluted Gown in Emporio, Greece
The best light I have ever worked with was in the charming village of Emporio in Santorini, Greece. Photographer Matt Licari and Sissi Petropolou joined me in Santorini for the lifestyle/brand photoshoot. The afternoon light combined with the white walls and beautiful Greek architecture were worth the trip. In the process, we as a team created images that not only display the work that I do, but also the very mood and essence of the world that inspire me to continue designing.
The pieces from the Kate Stoltz collection that were used were created specifically for the trip to Santorini, Greece. However, my three weeks traveling to different areas in Greece gave me a solid understanding of what makes Greece so special. I can't wait to work on new pieces, and use photos from Santorini, Mykonos and Crete on my mood and color boards!
Kate Stoltz walking in the charming village of Emporio, Greece
The Abstract Fluted Gown by Kate Stoltz was created by hand sewing bias strips onto the bodice, which is complete with a bustier. The light silk skirt offsets the detailed bodice, giving body and freedom to the flow of the dress.
Kate Stoltz Fluted Gown
To order a made to measure piece for yourself, visit www.katestoltz.com. Select your size, then include your current bust, waist, hip and height measurements in the comment form. Since this garment is made to order, please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. XOXO, Kate Stoltz
Photographer: Matt Licari
Makeup Artist: Sissi Petropolou
Designer, Stylist and Model: Kate Stoltz
Kate Stoltz NYC Black Lace Appliqué Chiffon Blouse
Kate Stoltz Black Lace Appliqué Blouse with the embroidered wool skirt
The Kate Stoltz NYC black lace appliqué chiffon blouse photographed in Santorini, Greece. The black chiffon blouse has hand sewn black rose flower and petal appliqués on the front and back of the blouse, and at the cuff of the 3/4 sleeve. The neck and sleeves are also finished by hand, with the inside seams finished with a small French seam.
The lace applique blouse was paired with the Kate Stoltz NYC Embroidered Wool Pencil Skirt. The skirt's belt is embroidered by hand with thick black embroidery thread. The skirt gently sloped up at the hem in the front, and down in the back of the hem.
Both the hand embroidered wool skirt and black lace applique blouse can be ordered on www.katestoltz.com. Because of the delicate fabrics used for the blouse, it is recommended that you include your measurements, or your correct size. When in doubt, purchase a size larger (not smaller) so that you are comfortable wearing the piece.
I am beyond grateful for my small but fantastic team for traveling all the way to Santorini, Greece for the photoshoot. Matt Licari, a photographer from New York City, did a great job as always scouting the locations. Sissi Petropoulou, the makeup artist, is a rare gem that traveled from Athens, Greece and gave me an unforgettable facial massage that relaxed my facial muscles and prepared my skin for the photoshoot, then proceeded to make me look younger and healthier by applying minimal makeup...
I had the pleasure of attending a friend's wedding in New Jersey at an old mansion that looked like a castle. The gardens on the estate were the highlight of the place, featuring a beautiful lily pond with colorful koi swimming about. The wedding was beautiful, both because of the beautiful setting and the occasion that brought everyone there.
To meet the fairy tale theme of the wedding, I wore my favorite Kate Stoltz NYC gown. The gown has hundreds of bias strips hand sewn onto the bodice in an abstract design. The bias strips were applied in a painterly fashion, starting at the front of the bodice and branching out, eventually covering the entire bodice.
The gown is available for purchase at www.katestoltz.com . Contact Kate Stoltz with questions about the process.
The hem, neckline and seams are all hand finished on the Kate Stoltz Hand Sewn Shimmery Blouse. The gold and black braid trim adorning the center front of the blouse is hand sewn, with each stitch going precisely into the ends of the braid. The blouse was made in New York City, using imported materials.
Packaged in white paper to avoid excessive wrinkling during shipment, the shimmery blouse is then put into a sturdy Kate Stoltz NYC cardboard box.
When the blouse arrives, it is ready to wear and style however you please. I wore mine to the Hamptons on the weekend, since the colors went well with the beach, as you can see below.
The metallic pencil skirt
is made of metallic blush and black jacquard. Fully lined with black 100% silk, and hand finished at the hem, the skirt closes in the back with an invisible zipper, and a hook and eye at the waist belt.
Available in sizes 0 to 24, the metallic pencil skirt
is custom made to each client's measurements if they are entered at the time of purchase.
Photographed in Central Park, Manhattan New York in the Spring.
Central Park is very green in May, creating picturesque reflections in the ponds and streams. The naturally highly saturated green foliage is a welcome sight after months of dreary skies and brown trees. A run in the park is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend, so I decided to take my work there. The image below is only one of the many beautiful spots- you really have to go out and experience it first hand to fully appreciate it...
I shaved one side of my head in the summer of 2014 to experiment with different looks, and the resulting different reactions to those looks in everyday encounters. The bold hairstyle was done in a way that could be hidden, simply by combing my hair over the shaved side. Part of the reason why I wanted to try the hairstyle was because I wanted something new. Part of it was rebellion, and the rest was from simply not caring what other people thought about how I wore my hair.
The way people responded to me when the shaved side was exposed was a fascinating social experiment. People were more casual, less respectful and assumed I was less responsible than when I covered the shaved side. It proved once again that the way you present yourself on the outside is incredibly important to first impressions, and how people assume you are on the inside. While I am 99.999 percent certain that I will never do that to my hair again, I love the edgy photos that New York City fashion photographer Dorian Clive captured as a result.
Be bold, fearless, and don't be afraid to experiment! (as long as you stay safe). You're only young once.
Kate Stoltz in Manhattan, New York City. Editorial series photographed by NYC fashion photographer Dorian Clive.
Kate Stoltz featured in New York City fashion designer Victor Luna's campaign. Editorial photography by Brij.
Living in New York City with limited closet space has taught me the importance of quality versus quantity, and purchasing clothing that I will actually wear and like. In addition, an increased awareness of the impact that changing fashion trends has on the earth has instilled a desire in me to decrease my own clothing waste. As a result, the clothing that does make it into my closet is there because it's a necessity, or because I have respect for the craftsmanship that went into making the garment.
Decreasing the amount of clothing that I go through has changed the way I think while designing ready to wear clothing for Kate Stoltz NYC, or create custom Kate Stoltz pieces for clients. As a fashion designer living in Manhattan, I am in one of the world's fashion hubs. I do love keeping up with fashion trends. However, what I wear is much more personal than following the wide variety of trends that disappear before you can adequately wear out a high quality garment. My personal experiences with clothing greatly influences the choices I make while choosing textiles and producing clothing for clients that order custom pieces, along with the ready to wear collections on my website.
I recently created a custom dress with a removable black lace collar, embellished with Swarovski crystals, for a client. The dress can be worn with or without the black lace collar. The removable collar can be worn with the dress it came with, or with any of her other pieces that are already in her closet. The collar edge was finished with a tiny baby hem. It was then attached to a carefully pleated satin ribbon, sculpted to fit the natural curve around the neck. I then attached the crystals by hand, finishing the collar with a crystal on each ribbon end. The collar itself can be purchased here: Kate Stoltz Black Lace Collar .
Creating individual pieces for clients allows me to work with my hands, and allows me to control the quality and quantity that I produce. My goal is not to design and create large quantities of products, but rather, carefully crafted pieces that individual clients can enjoy.
XO, Kate Stoltz