Reading with Kate Sylvester

By Zoe Walker

Kate Sylvester's range of spectacles are named after her favourite book characters and authors - pictured here is the 'Sylvia', after Sylvia Plath. Picture / Karen Inderbitzen-Waller
Kate Sylvester's range of spectacles are named after her favourite book characters and authors - pictured here is the 'Sylvia', after Sylvia Plath. Picture / Karen Inderbitzen-Waller

Fashion designer Kate Sylvester is a keen reader: several of her past collections have had literary inspirations - from Jane Eyre to Love in a Cold Climate to Brighton Rock - and the spectacles in her range are named after favourite book characters. Her next collection was inspired in part by Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries. The appreciation is mutual: Catton was wearing a Kate Sylvester dress when she accepted her Man Booker Prize last year.

Tell us about your book collection.
I own a lot of books. I even have my favourites from childhood. I purge junk every now and again, but I hoard anything decent as I really enjoy re-reading books.

How do you organise your books?
Great tilting, wobbly towers everywhere you look. I ran out of shelf space years ago.

Fashion designer Kate Sylvester. Picture / Supplied
Fashion designer Kate Sylvester. Picture / Supplied


How do you discover your books?
Book fairs, second-hand bookstores and the lovely ladies at Dear Reader in West Lynn.

The last book you recommended to a friend?
I'm recommending The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton to everyone I meet at the moment. I loved it so much I've designed a collection around it for summer '14 - it is called West Coast.

Next on your reading list?
I'm about to re-read Little Friend by Donna Tartt, to complete my Tartt odyssey.

- VIVA

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 31 Aug 2014 19:27:41 Processing Time: 545ms