Style Story / Kate Butler

4 years ago by


Garance Doré

I met Kate at a party one night in LA and immediately got the same feeling I used to get when I would see women in the streets of Paris or New York and decide to follow them with my camera.

When I was doing street style photography, I remember being asked in interviews: “How do you choose the women you want to photograph?” and I always answered: “It’s not so much the clothes, but the allure!” That’s how I learned that style comes from the inside. And that’s what I liked so much about Kate. The more I got to know her, the more I realized how much she exudes amazing presence. So I wasn’t surprised when she told me she was an actress. Oh yeah, because just like when I used to run after people in the street, she and I quickly became friends.

Maybe one of the secrets in life is to run to people we are drawn to?

OK, enough nonsense. Here’s our style story and interview with Kate…

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

Describe your style in 3 words
Hepburn, Hemingway, Fitzgerald. And that’s both Hepburn’s. I always try to have a little bit of their essence in everything I wear.

How did your time living in New York shape your approach to style?
New Yorkers never seem like they’re trying too hard. There’s a confidence that they exude. They are their true selves, the artists, fashion people, finance people, the socialites, intellectuals. All these unique and crazy individuals that make a city interesting. My true style really developed when I moved to NY. I like things to be a bit understated. I want to stand out in the room but also blend in at the same time. People watching, especially as an actor, is something I love to do.

Did you find your style changed when you moved to Los Angeles?
Shoes are the big change for me. I love a heel but it’s just not practical in NY. In Los Angeles you are mostly in your car so it’s easy to wear heels and then bring a pair of flats if your feet give out on you.

Style Story / Kate Butler

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

Does your career as an actress have any affect on your wardrobe? If so, can you describe it.
I suppose so. I have things in my closet that I hardly ever wear but I keep them for that off chance that I’ll need it for an audition, which drives my minimalist side crazy, but I’ve made a lot of mistakes getting rid of amazing pieces because I needed to declutter. I think in terms of being an actress dressing the part is important. It’s always best to walk into the room looking like the character. It’s such a bloody difficult profession anything that gives you a leg up is good.

Can you tell us about your beautiful house?
It’s a family house. My parents bought it 20 years ago. My mother and I are both real estate junkies and they were having an open house that we wandered into. It’s one of those properties where from the street it doesn’t look like much but when you walk through the gate you are blown away by the views from the ocean to downtown LA. It’s mid-century, built in the late 50s, we aren’t sure who the architect was. Supposedly it was owned by William Boyd the actor who played Hopalong Cassidy. My favorite part of the house is the big Torrey Pine tree that sits in the middle of the property. It’s one of those special trees that looks like it belongs in Northern California along the coast.

Does your interior taste draw any parallels to your personal style?
Absolutely. I grew up with interesting eclectic styles around me. I have been a collector my whole life: design, art, clothes. So I like a lot of different periods and styles put together…similar to my fashion style.

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

When it comes to style, what’s most important: comfort, beauty, or innovation? I guess a combination of comfort and beauty. The saying, “if you feel good you look good” works for me. The innovation part I never really worry about too much.

When you travel, what are three things you always pack?
Sneakers, a sweater, and a cashmere scarf for the plane to hide under.

Most valued thing in your closet?
I would say it’s my Hermes navy blue pin stripe suit. It makes me feel super sexy when I wear it. It’s masculine and feminine at the same time.

Item you’re most coveting?
A Max Mara camel hair coat.

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

fashion style store kate butler atelier dore photo

Black Dress, Martin Margiela ; Shoes, Manolo Blahnik / Jeans, Vintage Levi’s ; Sweater, Jenni Kayne ; Clogs, Swedish Hasbeen ; Wooden Cuff, Vibe ; Sunglasses, Ray Ban / White dress, Ulla Johnson / Blue Dress, Daniela Gregis ; Sandals, Kyma ; Bracelets, Unknown


Add yours
  • I LOVE that blue dress by Daniela Gregis! Never heard of her. Why can’t I find it to shop though? Frustrating.

  • Hi Helena,

    Kate’s blue dress is most certainly a looker. There is a link to shop at the bottom of the post in the credits, but for convenience – Here is the link!

    Have fun and thank you for your comment :)

    Tori x

  • Thanks Tori, but the actual dress from the photo isn’t shoppable.

  • Ah, yes :/ Apologies, she may have gotten the dress during an earlier season.

    Tori x

  • Simplicite, elegance, j’aime beaucoup les robes noire et bleu-marine. Ce n’est pas le style en Floride ou tout est bariole, avec des strass et des motifs “palmiers” ! :-(

  • Amazing… such a beauty, the lady, the house, pictures … and the clothes.. oh the shoes. All of it. Perfection.

  • This is a beautifully photographed feature and shows something truly fresh in your work Garance. I liked the shot of the LA Times with the eyeglasses in particular revealing substance and gravitas in the midst of a shoot. The comments on costume and character were also enlightening. Bravo!

  • Another arresting post that speaks to me . As a costume designer I was moved when Kate spoke to “Dress The Part” . The name of my blog and my philosophy on design. We choose are parts in life, and then proceed to costume ourselves.I often think what if we dressed first and then cast our selves . Oops I’m getting loopy. Thanks Garance for your great post!
    Dress The Part

  • celeste iuul September, 5 2017, 8:32 / Reply

    What a classic beauty! Love the correlation between interior and personal style.. journalists rarely ask this question but of course they would play off each other, just as Ms. Butler’s certainly do. She seems a woman of clean yet well-designed lines. Must have an influence when choosing scripts as well!
    Thank you Garance, I can see a great friendship here.
    xx Celeste

  • Love this! I love Kate’s effortless style and elegant attitude. I think her insight to dressing the part is spot on too! My wardrobe has seen vast changes over the course of my life depending on what life situations I find myself in. I now wake up everyday and dictate to the world the experiences I want to attract to me. And Garance, I do think style comes from within too.

    Thanks for an inspiring piece

  • The clothes are nice, but as you say, it’s the allure. Her presence comes through even in photos. No wonder she’s an actress!

  • Love her look and the house! Quintessential LA !

  • I wish there were more photos of her beautiful house! I LOVE it!!

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