Kate Schelter brings Classic Style to Cape Cod

Is it possible to never go out of style? Kate Schelter is a fashion expert and illustrator and says YES! In her new book, Classic Style she outlines simple pieces that will remain timeless: clothing, accessories, beauty products, and everyday objects. Kate has traveled around the world, but calls Cape Cod her summer home. She’s worked on art and styling projects with Harper’s Bazaar, Victoria Secret, Chateau Marmont, and Toms. Now she’s put together her first book, Classic Style, to share her secrets.

Here’s a quick Q&A Kate Schelter:

How does the Cape inspire your work?

The Cape inspires my whole life! There’s a whole chapter in my new book about the influence of my summers spent at my Granny’s Cape house. I paint what I love and some of that comes from memories instilled in me as a child: an Old Bay seasoning canister rusted in the back of my Granny’s spice rack, the 80s radio stations, wafts of mildew that came from the orange life preservers we wore while learning to sail, fisherman sweaters, wood buoys, L.L. Bean bags—the little, simple, authentic details. I remember it, I curate it, I paint it.

How did the book come about?

I wanted to create a home for all my personal stories and how they relate to the objects that I love to paint—after 15 years in the fast-paced fashion industry, I switched gears and became an illustrator for fashion brands. The main artery of my career is fashion and this book is a wonderful way to tie in all the loose ends: personal anecdotes, style tips, memories, design philosophy, funny stories.

Did you have any inspirations for the book? I love the way you can pick it up and read a bit. I also really like the way it’s broken up with so many visuals.

I didn’t have a plan when I started. I spent 5 months in my studio: painting and writing, in no particular order, and I’d work as hard as I could, as far as I could see, and then I’d send chunks to my brilliant editor who helped shape the structure which was crucial. Eventually it developed a nice rhythm of words and images and we slowly built on that. I was still making changes after the second pass. I kept having more ideas until it all felt just right! It was designed so you could pick it up for a quick skim, but also so that you’d immediately want to cuddle up in bed with it to engage deeply. The layout is closer to a novel than a coffee table book.

You’ve done some amazing projects with big clients. How is that incorporated into the book?

I am lucky to have collaborated with so many wonderful people and brands. I love my work! This book is like an illustrated memoir—it ties my entire life’s work and family into a bow. It’s deeply meaningful to me. The process has been thorough, an account of all the things I love. I really enjoy my annual exhibit with my friends at Design Works Cape Cod  (June 24 – September 5 this summer, with original artwork from Classic Style)!

I know you’re doing a signing here this summer, what do you most look forward to on the Cape?

I’m excited for my signing on the Cape. [July 21 6-8pm at Design Works Cape Cod on 6A in YarmouthPort] Mostly I just look forward to peace and quiet on the dock and swimming with my family. I love the simple easy traditions.

You seem to find inspiration for watercolors in everyday objects; do you bring watercolors with you everywhere?

I used to paint in my sketchbook every day. Now, I prefer to paint in my studio. I take little visual notes when inspiration hits. I do love to paint on location. I once erected a mini studio in the weeds behind the club tennis courts to capture all the Queen Anne’s Lace which I adore.

My “Cape Cod Style” is stripes, boat shoes and beach hair…and a sun burnt nose sadly. What are your 5 top tips to achieve Classic “Cape Cod” Style?

Don’t try to be stylish—just wear what you love and works for you. Saltwater, sunscreen, sunglasses, stripes, Sperry’s, sailing – follow these and you will find your own Classic Style.

Classic Style by Kate Schelter is out now. You can see her artwork on display at Design Works Cape Cod. She’ll also be doing a signing there 6-8pm on July 21st.

By Rebecca Romo, Lifestyle Reporter CapeCod.com

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.

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