Written by Katherine Swallow
Katharine Story is a luxury boho clothing brand that was created in 2000. Since then, it has garnered worldwide, celebrity attention due to its glamorous yet effortless aesthetic: vibrant, hand-dyed colors and sequins combined with timeless, flowy shapes. This brand is inspired by travel, but also by the bohemian nature of Katharine’s native Laguna Beach, giving the clothing a sense of whimsy yet also a sense of place. By incorporating vintage materials such as recycled lace, sequins, and silk chiffon into her designs, Katharine showcases the allure of sustainability as a crucial pillar of fashion, not just as a trend.
BASIC: What 3 words would you use to describe your design aesthetic?
KATHARINE: Effortless, timeless, sustainable.
BASIC: What do you draw inspiration from when you are creating?
KATHARINE: I draw a lot of inspiration from traveling. I usually design pieces that I would want to wear myself. This is a process of recreating myself ‒ who is the girl I am channeling at this moment?
BASIC: If you had a chance to dress anyone in the world who would that be and why?
KATHARINE: I would love to do a traveling wardrobe for an up-and-coming musician with multiple pieces, from loungewear to performance outfits, for a band like Måneskin. I tend to lean towards people who aren’t affected by the media’s opinions about them, and who are secure enough in themselves to express their changing personalities.
BASIC: What songs put you in a good mood?
KATHARINE: Ibiza Global Radio and Steely Dan
BASIC: What special techniques do you use in your designs?
KATHARINE: I use lots of hand stitching and ensembling, whip stitching and hand dyeing.
BASIC: What would be your advice to anyone who wants to become a fashion designer?
KATHARINE: I think the most important thing is to stay true to yourself. I deal with this question daily—it’s easy to get sidetracked while being creative.
BASIC: If you weren’t a designer, what career would you want to do instead?
BASIC: Do you consider any celebrity a “style icon”? Who?
KATHARINE: Talitha Getty and Elizabeth Taylor. In terms of living icons, I do love Rihanna and Anna Dello Russo. And Madonna. Madonna has been a style icon for her entire career. She is a perfect example of someone whose recent style isn’t hitting the mark for me, but who is unapologetically herself! I love that.
BASIC: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
KATHARINE: My clients! They are the most amazing people I have met and they inspire me so much. I also love a long, meditative, and undisturbed day in the studio.
You can shop Katharine Story’s collections at her Flagship boutique in Laguna Beach or online here.