On the hit television series, The Vampire Diaries, Geneva-born and LA-raised, actress, Kat Graham, plays the heroic and powerful teenage witch Bonnie Bennett; but unbeknown to some, she is also an aspiring singer and dancer who formerly toured with The Black Eyed Peas. As Kat Graham continues to explore her creative talents, her obsession for fashion grows. We caught up with Kat in Cannes where she shared with us that when it comes to her closet, no one makes the decisions but her.
Kat, what a stunning suit (Kat is wearing head-to-toe Armani). You have a little mouch’arabieh thing going on here. And the jewelry—subliminally punk. I like your geometric studs.
Thank you! Well, you should know that I don’t have a stylist.
Oh really? You are a rare breed amongst the LA actresses who are known to have their stylists on their speed dial.
I want to be involved in my own fashion! I have yet to meet a stylist that knows about the collections more than I do.
I love Style.com. I am constantly on the site If I can’t make it to a show… we shoot The Vampire Diaries through most of the Fashion Weeks, except for New York…it just breaks my heart. Literally, we shoot ten months out of the year… so I am on Style.com the minute the shows are online.
Style.com certainly is renowned for its coverage of fashion weeks. But, back to styling, do you believe that celebrities should start dressing themselves, like they used to?
I believe that artists and designers should be collaborators. They should be connected to each other. For me, and the kind of artist that I am, I think that it’s really important to collaborate.
If you don’t have a fashion obsession and you aren’t on Style.com every day—constantly—I mean on a daily basis, looking at everything from The School of Fashion in London…learning about David Koma… if you aren’t that kind of obsessed, then I would say, “Yeah, get a stylist.” But don’t come to me and tell me to wear something when I know better.
You’ve been in the business since you were a little girl. Your father is a music exec and the Godfather of two of Quincy Jones’ children. You grew up in the industry. Are you telling me that you never used a stylist?
OK. Until recently I did let a stylist dress me, it’s also a confidence issue. I might find someone I would like to collaborate with, but right now, I’m feeling pretty good about myself.
What’s your process?
The second that a collection comes out, I begin to really study it. What I’ve started to do is find vintage pieces from the old archives. Like, I have vintage Gaultier and vintage Versace, and I try and to mix that in with the new collections—which has been really cool.
This year’s Cannes Film Festival was your first visit to the Côte d’Azur, what did you make of the red carpet styling?
At Cannes, a lot of the dresses are a little boring. I want to find something that stands out.
Coming here, I brought a couple of short Balmain dresses but here it’s all ballgowns.
Tell us more about your day to day. Is life one big red carpet for you?
I’m a really hard worker and I enjoy being a hard worker. I wake up at 6am. If I’m not shooting, I take my meetings. Look, I came from nothing… I used to make my own clothes… it forced me to be creative and to appreciate the creative.