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Kate Hudson on Little Black Dresses and LA's Hidden Treasures

Images via Ann Taylor
Images via Ann Taylor

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As the saying goes, every woman needs a little black dress. But let's be honest: since all occasions are certainly not created equal, we realistically need more like five. So, where the heck can we find five different LBDs that are as cool and timeless as they are affordable? Enter Kate Hudson, who has just whipped up a collection of styles for Ann Taylor. The LA-based top starlet, fitness fiend and mother of two once again teamed up with the retailer's creative director Lisa Axelson to produce an affordable ($149-$198) range that's set to hit stores and online tomorrow, April 10.

We sat down with Hudson at the Chateau Marmont to learn more about her LBDs, her enviable fashion past, and where she loves to shop and grub locally.

What is your earliest fashion memory?
"When I was around six or seven, I went to designer Bob Mackie's studio because my mom [legendary actress Goldie Hawn] used to do a lot of stuff with him. I was just this little girl in awe of his dresses—they were so couture, so out there, so gorgeous. I remember going in with my mom when he was creating all the clothes for Overboard and seeing him do a fitting with her. He surprised me with all these little sequins bows in every color of the rainbow. I pinned them onto my hair, but he also showed me how to pin them onto my clothes. It was amazing!"

Incredible. What motivated you to design a line of little black dresses?
"When a woman puts on something that they feel good in, it allows them to be their authentic self, and everyone woman's idea of that is different. For me, I just wanted to make things that women could afford and could feel confident in. My first Ann Taylor collection featured a lot of white, so it seemed fitting to do black; it's the yin and the yang. Plus, black always makes the best silhouette."

How involved were you in the design process?
"For my first collection, I didn't have the opportunity to be very hands-on due to my schedule, so for this one I really wanted to take the time with Lisa to push certain things. I wanted to open some things up and make the backs a little bit lower. I know the Ann Taylor girl isn't afraid to show a little skin, so I wanted to do that with this collection."

Do have any favorite styles from the collection?
"I love them all, really. The London Love (above, far left) is great to wear to work or lunch with flats, boots or heels; the Camera Ready (second from left) is one I wear when I'm feeling tight and fit because it pulls everything in; the Late Nighter (third from left) is a frisky party dress with a sexy open back; the Romantic (far right) is very feminine and flirty; the Best Actress is the one I'm wearing today and it's great for special occasions. The best thing about this collection is that the total price of all five dresses still costs less than one high-end piece."

We like that very much! Now, let's talk shopping. Do you have any local hidden treasures?
"Actually, there's a vintage shop in Topanga Canyon that's literally called Hidden Treasures. I've been going there for years—it has a really great hippie vibe. I also love Just One Eye, everything is just beyond gorgeous. And of course, Planet Blue because it's the quintessential California store."

Favorite LA neighborhood?
"I'm a Westside girl, I've always been. I had a moment were I was dabbling on the Eastside as a teenager and in my early '20s, but I've really always been Westside. I like the beach, I like Venice, I like Malibu."

Where do you like to eat?
"For Sunday brunch, we like Patrick's Roadhouse because it's fun and the kids love it there. There's also this place in the Palisades called Cafe Vida. Then there's the classics, like Casa Del Mar and Shutters on the Beach. And we can't forget The Omelette Factory! I love cooking at home, too."

What's brunch like at the Hudson home?
"I go crazy! I try to make everything gluten-free and healthy. My favorite thing to do is a poached egg on top of a piece of gluten-free toast. I like to add some kind of cheese and sauté spinach and mushrooms or pancetta, and maybe add some Brussels sprouts. Cooking poached eggs is a science. I know you could cheat by buying a poached egg cooker, but I like to go old school and put it into a pot. The secret is the amount of vinegar you put in. I also love making waffles—we do all kinds and the kids love it. Bill Granger's recipe for ricotta pancakes is great, too."

Last but not least, what is your tried-and-true beauty secret?
"Drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy diet—that's it!"
· Ann Taylor [Official Site]
· Where Kate Hudson Practices Pilates in Brentwood [Racked]
· Here's a Sneak Peek at Kate Hudson's New Ann Taylor Ads [Racked]
· Kate Hudson Wore Rings by LA's Jennifer Meyer to the Globes [Racked]

Planet Blue

409 N Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210-4601 310-385-0557 Visit Website

Hidden Treasures

154 S Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Topanga, CA 90290 310-455-2998

Just One Eye

7000 Romaine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038 Visit Website

Chateau Marmont

8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046