The origins of this iconic fringe mark the beginning of her fashion studies in London. “I did Fashion Folio at Saint Martins and tutor Patrick Yow always insists that all of his students need to be stylish.” Stylish meant a plethora of different things but to Kate, it meant colour.
“When I got my fringe done I thought I was very original about it, but later on someone showed me a Luella Bartley show from the early 2000s and all the models had clip on blue fringes. I was really obsessed with Luella when I was younger so it must have been subconscious.”
“SOMETIMES YOU GET AN OUTFIT TOGETHER AND IT DOESN’T WORK, EVERYTHING IS WEIRD AND YOU GO TO CLASS AND REALIZE ‘OH MAN, WHY DID I WEAR THIS?’
From a young age, colour has always been a big part of Kate’s fashion life. “There was a time when I only wore grey and navy, for almost a year. I think I was just trying to figure things out. But after that year I realized: nope, I definitely love colour.” This devotion to colour is not without obstacles. Often people who express themselves through (colorful) clothes are not taken seriously. But Kate takes this and turns it into an advantage. “When I was younger in Russia, our school would send student representatives for academic contests. I used to go for history, English and biology, randomly. And before you go in, people are all eyeing each other out. I used to wear these really big bows and was super girly so people kind of underestimated me, which gave me the chance to take them by surprise.”
Although not dressing for others, her clothes reflect how she wants to be presented to the outside world. “Dressing also gives you confidence. Sometimes you get an outfit together and it doesn’t work, everything is weird and you go to class and realize ‘oh man, why did I wear this?’
For Kate, dressing is intrinsically linked to the transitions and revelations in her life. From moving to London to her realizations of beauty, her fashion choices change in reaction to her growth. “I always had this weird relationship between attractiveness and beauty. Back in Russia I was always very prim. When I came here I think I came to terms with a lot of things. I’ve always found myself beautiful, but not attractive. Not in like a crying-boo-hoo kind of way. I was always very tall and I was never the girl that all the boys were massively in love with. I think I’m pretty but not really one of those traditional Russian beauties. I never really gave it much thought. When I moved here I realized ‘Hey, I’m actually quite cute, okay, I got it.’ I think that’s when I started dressing more risqué.”