Days of our Lives fashionista Lauren Koslow (Kate Roberts) doesn’t just have a passion for fashion: She has a degree in it. The soap opera favorite even intended to spend her career hidden away in the wardrobe department — but a star always shines!
“I trained as a costume designer and intended to be a costume designer: Ended up as an actress,” Koslow says with a laugh. “I was pathologically shy in college, so the thought of going on stage… I much preferred being in the costume room, sewing away. And yet I must have been drawn to acting, which is why I was studying costume design.”
Fans can thank Virginia Tech’s Theater and Costume Design degree requirements for putting Koslow (back) on track.
“You had to take courses in either directing or acting, too,” she explains. “I thought about directing and I decided to do the acting, because when I was a little girl, I wanted to be an actress. I was a little more outgoing and in the school plays, back then. Adolescence was such a tough time for me that, ugh, I just went totally inward.”
Koslow’s first step back out of herself was enrolling in those acting courses and auditioning for productions, which was “excruciating” but also mandatory.
“I tried out for The Good Doctor, Neil Simon’s play, and I got cast in it,” she recalls. “I was a nervous, horrible wreck. I had to have a bucket at the side of the stage, because I thought I was going to throw up. I would get to the theater four hours early. I took that year and acted in all the productions and I really did enjoy it, but it caused me such anxiety to act that I stayed in costume design program.”
Committed to the serenity of the wardrobe room, Koslow took a costuming job at a summer repertory theater after graduating. Fate had other ideas.
“As often goes, they needed more actors, so I was also cast in a production,” she recounts. “I was doing costume design and acting in The Tempest. I then went on to audition again and just started acting.”
Since then, the soap vet has learned to deal with her shyness, but she’s still no extrovert.
“It took decades, and I still have moments,” Koslow admits. “Even now, if it’s too crowded or publicity crazy, I just [retreat]. Josh Taylor (Roman) explained to me that extroverted people draw energy from crowds: introverted people get their energy from being away from that. I enjoy it, but it exhausts me. It sucks it out of me.”
As with many introverts, Koslow has sometimes been mistaken for “bitchy” or “cold.” “That probably worked for the characters I’ve played,” she laughs. “They’re removed or aloof, but really what you are is introverted and shy!
“Often times people ask if I’m like Kate,” she continues. “To a degree, playing a character like that did help me. I had to suck it up as Kate and in the beginning, that part of Kate was difficult for me. Over time, it’s interesting how it does affect you. I remember the first time I was in a confrontation with someone and Kate’s strength came in. It was like, ‘Oh, this is easier than I thought it was!'”
As much as she’s learned from her fearless character, Koslow has also helped shape Kate; using her fashion sense to build the character, over the years, and keep her on point, today.
“Wardrobe is always part of my approach with character, along with everything else,” she maintains. “I definitely have an opinion about it — and not only my character, but others as well!
“I see clothing as your armor, to a degree. You might be going in light armor or with heavy artillery. Fashion is fun, creative and an expression of your personality. It certainly would be for Kate! Then I take it to a different level, depending on the scene: ‘Is this a Kate leather pants day? Yes! Can I get those AllSaints leather pants that I love?'”
As some fans have noticed, Kate does have a few fallbacks in her wardrobe. Unlike most soap divas, she doesn’t break out a brand new outfit for every costume change.
“I feel you should dress from your wardrobe, from your closet, just like real people,” she explains. “Usually, wardrobe will send some clothes off to consignment. Over the years, a lot of clothes have disappeared. I fought very hard to make sure Kate’s clothes didn’t. A lot of my stuff is still there, even from the ’90s. If it’s a great piece, you can even rework it. I believe in doing that and I think Kate would. It’s fun to re-wear things and mix it up.”
Needless to say, Koslow has fun with Days of Our Lives costume designer Richard Bloore when she gets to brainstorm with him.
“It’s a much tighter schedule and budget now, but back when we had more time, we’d have little meetings and he’d go out and shop along those lines,” she shares. “He still shops and after all these years, he definitely knows my taste for Kate.
“Kate doesn’t dress like me. I’ve influenced, though, the way she dresses. Back when we had the bigger budget, her wardrobe my fantasy dressing, for sure! We had great fun. He’d go to Dolce and Gabbana and bring back four gowns to try. And I love Karl Lagerfeld! We had some great clothes… and I still have them!”
FASHION TAKE: Koslow’s Rules
DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE: “I do have certain rules, like yoga pants. Exercise clothes should be for exercise, because they’re great for that. There are so many fabulous things to wear, but we get into our old favorites. I do it with jeans, like the skinny jeans. I wear them over and over again. They become like the yoga pants, so I’m not holding myself above the standard!”
JUST WEAR IT: “I also get new things and save them, like my mother used to save china. I want to get over that. What am I saving it for? My daughter is the opposite. She gets it and she wears it right away! I’m trying to work into that. Just wear it!”
CHECK IT: “You have to have a good three-way mirror and you’ve got to look in it before you leave the house. That’s a biggee. Don’t be obsessive about it, but you want to know what’s working and not working. We can all be hard on ourselves. Don’t be super hard: Just make sure everything fits right.”
BE FREE: “You have to have fun with your clothing and have a sense of humor about it. Don’t be a slave to fashion. If you’re going to be a slave, be a slave to your own style — but don’t be a slave, at all. Just find your style and have fun with it. If that means incorporating things that are in fashion, great. If it means not doing that, great too. But definitely explore it. If you have a hard time with that, go online, look at fashion blogs, get fashion magazines and check it out. Don’t be afraid.”
SPEND WISELY: “Classic things, buy expensive. You can keep them and introduce them back in. With trendy things, go cheaper. Forever 21 has great t-shirts!”
When is Days of Our Lives on TV? In Canada, Days of Our Lives airs weekdays at 1.00 et/pt on Global TV
Where can I watch Days of Our Lives online for free? GlobalTV.com/daysofourlives streams full episodes of Days of Our Lives online for free, or watch with the Global Go app on your iOS or Android mobile device. Episodes are typically posted the day after the initial on-air broadcast.