Hollywood’s Go-To Stylist Kate Young on Her New YouTube Show
Kate Young, the stylist for red carpet luminaries such as Sienna Miller, Margot Robbie, and Michelle Williams, grew up in a family of academics. She attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, then transferred to the University of Oxford, where she studied English and art history, before going on to work in magazines—first as Anna Wintour’s assistant at Vogue, and later, after several years in the Vogue fashion department, as fashion editor-at-large of Interview magazine. On her new YouTube show, Hello Fashion, created with The Slowdown, Young provides an inside peek, through her own distinct, high-low perspective, into the world of fashion.
In the weekly series, which premiered on Tuesday, Young highlights the quality, craftsmanship, and enduring value of clothing, objects, and accessories, and shows each piece in detail. Exploring everything from streetwear to haute couture, she invites various people from the fashion realm to pop in for quick yet illuminating conversations. On the debut episode, Young talks about how she and actor-singer Selena Gomez, a client of hers since 2014, created their latest project together: the photographic art for Gomez’s new album, Revelación. In addition to detailing the various looks—including a Valentino haute couture dress—Young FaceTimes with fashion icon Giambattista Valli, floral designer Laurel St. Romain, emerging British-American designer Harris Reed, and Gomez herself. Here, we speak with Young about the impetus for the show, and her hopes for Hello Fashion as a whole.
How did Hello Fashion come about? Why YouTube?
Well, YouTube because Derek [Blasberg, the fashion journalist] went to work there, and we’re old friends. And my friend [the makeup artist] Hung Vanngo started a channel, and he was also leaning on me. And Andrew [Zuckerman, co-founder of The Slowdown] and I spent so much time together—first on the [Time Sensitive] podcast, and then over the pandemic. Andrew and I both agreed there was a story to tell [about fashion].
Describe your vision for the show.
What I hope to do is show fashion in a more three-dimensional way—show a little more about the work that goes into some looks that people may recognize, and also detail what it takes to create and craft these clothes. I also just want it to be entertaining and fun. Fashion doesn’t always have to be about consumption and commercialism; it can be about beauty and art and a good time.
So much fashion coverage tends to be surface-level. In what ways will Hello Fashion go deeper?
What I’m trying to do is show what a stylist does, which is about defining a look and an identity. I think about what I do as branding, but for human beings. I’m creating a visual identity through clothes and hair and makeup. It’s useful to think about yourself that way. That’s a weird thing to say, I guess, but it’s what I’m trying to do.
Could you share some of the subjects you hope to explore?
There’s definitely going to be a retrospective quality, where I’m gonna show some of the dresses I’ve worked on, and explain why I picked them and how they were made. This one [Chanel] dress took eight hundred hours to make! I’m gonna give a little bit of: How do you become a stylist? What do I actually do? I’ll go into why a particular look matters and what’s interesting about it. And I want to do some viewer-driven episodes. I want to know what people want to know. In the first episode, I threw out all these fashion words, and when we were editing, I realized, We need these defined on the screen, because they’re common in my world, but not everybody else’s.
I love to watch The Great British Baking Show. I hate to bake. But I’m fascinated with making beautiful, complicated things. I want to show people how we make this crazy cake, and hopefully dazzle and amuse.
Who are some people you’re looking forward to having on?
Some of my clients, as well as the designers that I work with. It’s funny, with the pandemic, when we first started talking about doing the show, I thought, Should we FaceTime people? But now it seems like we might be able to have some conversations in person. Society swans and Instagram queens and a couple celebrities—sounds like a good party, right?
Could you describe your own personal filmic cues, and the look and feel of the show?
My entire color sensitivity is based on David Lynch films. It seriously is. I only realized this about myself as an adult. His movies were so important to me. [Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1972 film] The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant—that opening scene. It’s my favorite fashion movie of all time. The original version of The Women [from 1939, directed by George Cukor] is also really, really great.
In terms of how the series looks, I’m leaning on Andrew. I have trouble looking at myself, so I look at the edits with one eye open.