Every year, I celebrate Valentine's Day by doing something for myself and for a couple of friends. It doesn't have to be commercial- I usually just text or call a friend. That evening, I spend a little extra time taking care of myself and take a warm bath with my favorite oils and bath salts. Life is always busy and it feels good to slow down a little.
Valentine's Day is coming up fast. While most people think of it as a romantic holiday, I think it is a great day to celebrate friends as well. Have a single friend that always dreads the holiday because it makes her feel alone? Or want to show the friend that has been there for you through thick and thin how much you appreciate her? Remind her by sending her some flowers, chocolates, or something longer lasting, like a silk scarf that will remind her of you whenever she wear it!
Kate Stoltz is partnering with female Maya artisans through a 501c3 nonprofit organization that ensures the artisans are paid fair, living wages. Maya artisans living in Guatemala are world renowned for their beautiful backstap weaving- a technique that has been passed down for generations.
While the Guatemalan Maya artisans are known for their beautiful work, they have often been exploited and underpaid for their work. This makes it hard for the women to get and/or provide education and proper nutrition for themselves and their families. When Kate Stoltz visited Guatemala City on a Developing Faces mission, she witnessed first hand the dire need that some of these women face. While she immediately wanted to bring some of the products to the United States, she first wanted to make sure that the artisans themselves were paid fair wages.
Kate Stoltz was featured in Style Verify, an online media platform. The New York based fashion designer talked about her favorite beauty products, travel destinations, and cocktails.
The Kate Stoltz 2018 Spring/Summer Collection
was designed for urban women living in an environment where square space is as coveted as privacy. Black quickly became the primary color for the collection. Every piece was designed to be easy to style, but with precisely placed details that carried out the inspiration and ideas that tied the pieces together.
While the images that inspired the collection came from a recent trip to Greece, the current events in the world also impacted the decisions made in textiles, style lines, silhouettes and color. Political tensions in the United States and the sobering reality that 'Me too' was more common among women than I had ever imagined prompted a more somber approach. The 'Me Too' movement prompted me to think about women's clothing differently and focus on strength rather than sexuality. A tailored wool dress with a pick stitch, tailored merino wool flare dress pants were designed to celebrate the women stepping forward and taking over industries and defying boundaries in their careers and personal lives. Darker colors, long sleeves, midi skirts and suiting was influenced by the typical well dressed male wardrobe that focuses on presentation and tailoring rather than sexual attraction.
The Abstract Heart Blouse
was created with a desire of seeing some love and understanding in the midst of the chaos stemming from the political circumstances. The bright red, an expression of wanting to break away from the heaviness I felt in the midst of an angry protest, or when seeing two sides resort to name calling to defend their point instead of having productive conversations. It's a request for people to see other people's opinions and traditions with an open heart, willing to listen to why they feel the way they do, then making decisions based on facts and the good of humanity. To work together and focus on love instead of hatred.
Maggie Duckworth, a stylist in New York City reached out to me with a request to borrow a couple pieces from the collection for an editorial project with NYC fashion photographer Emmanuel Faure. Together with her style team, Maggie paired the Abstract Heart Blouse
with the Feathery Pillar Skirt
, a red beret and red shoes. The large team worked together to produce an image that gave the pieces life. It's projects like these that assure me that humans can work together to create something beautiful if we have the patience to openly listen to each other's ideas.
Saray Franco Lvi
Make-up Artist: Gil Aldrin
Model: Stephanie Santiago
Photographer's Assistant: Max McGerry
Pieces used in the editorial:
To see the entire Spring/ Summer 2018 Kate Stoltz collection, visit:
XOXO, Kate Stoltz
Going to art shows and galleries is one of my favorite weekend activities. Living in New York City means being close to the pulse of the current art scene, along with a seemingly endless display of iconic pieces in museums. I try to make the most of that. As a fashion designer that is always searching for new ideas, I like to know about new techniques and ideas in art. The techniques and ideas often spark ideas of something new that I can try in the upcoming Kate Stoltz collection. Scope Art Show
is always worth the trip... I wore a dress from the Kate Stoltz Spring/Summer 2018 Collection. You can see it here: Kate Stoltz Dress
Where do you go to get inspired?
XOXO, Kate Stoltz
Samantha, the writer of style blog 'The New York Blond' wore a Kate Stoltz Blush Silk Skirt while on a staycation in Downtown Manhattan at the Four Seasons Hotel. The pastel blush silk skirt with contrast black fine lace and seam trim was paired with a luxe long sleeved velvet blouse and embellished heels.
Kate Stoltz Skirt: Kate Stoltz Blush Silk Crete Skirt
The New York Blond: New York Blond Website
Kate Stoltz clients, select press and close friends were invited to preview the new Spring/ Summer 2018 collection before a week long Fashion Week Popup in Soho, New York. The fashion designer debuted twenty five new Kate Stoltz pieces during the February showing, which opened to the public the following day.
The Fashion Week popup was done instead of a traditional runway show, giving visitors the opportunity to see and touch the pieces in person. Guests were welcome to pre-order custom fit pieces from the designer, with an assistant on site to take their individual measurements. Attendees sipped champagne and nibbled on chocolates as they shopped, and were given a Kate Stoltz scarf before they ambled on to other fashion week events.
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