Scandal's Katie Lowes Opens Up About Fashion, Music and Her Celebrity Crushes

With four successful seasons to date, ABC's hit drama Scandal returns for a fifth run this Thursday. Ahead of the highly anticipated premiere, InStyle's West Coast Bureau Chief Glynis Costin (below, left) caught up with Katie Lowes, the brunette beauty who portrays Quinn Perkins on the megawatt TV show. Over full glasses of champagne and pinot noir paired with a cheese plate and charcuterie board inside L.A's Chateau Marmont, Costin asked Lowes to complete the following sentences, in which she dishes on her fashion, travel, and, of course, all things Scandal.

Katie Lowes - Lead
Photo: Jessica Sample

If I weren’t acting, my dream job would be…"a therapist. I think part of why I love being an actor so much is because I love human stories and connecting to them. I feel that therapists need to use that skill set as well."

I would describe my personal style as…"Drew Barrymore meets Sienna Miller. Or maybe that's just what I wish for it to be!"

I have a fashion weakness for…"hats! I am a sucker for hats. All hats. Baseball hats, big floppy hats, fedoras. I can’t drive by Rag & Bone without stopping and buying another felt fedora. It’s a problem."

My favorite designers are…"Rosie Assoulin, Vionnet, and Oscar de la Renta, of course! And Dorothee Schumacher, a German designer. I went to her fashion show in Berlin and was blown away! Also there's Steven Alan, Tibi, and Calypso, which feeds my inner hippie. I like to look good but I also really like to be comfortable. I don’t ever like to feel like my clothes can’t move, like a tight dress where you can only take little Jessica Rabbit steps."

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Courtesy Photo

Right now in my makeup bag you would find…"Tarte's Hope. It's a matte natural lip color ($24; that spruces me up when I'm on the go."

My signature fragrance is…"Keiko Mecheri. My mom bought it for me in Paris 15 years ago. I love it. It makes me think of her and Paris and I always get tons of compliments on it. I have to order it online every time I run out. Plus, I don’t know anyone else who wears it.

Lately I’ve been listening to…"The Weeknd. It blows my mind how much he sounds like Michael Jackson."

But my favorite bands of all time are…"Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Prince, and Fleetwood Mac! I love dancing, so anything I can dance to. I’m such an ’80s kid. Guillermo [Díaz] and I sing a lot of Madonna on set."

My biggest yearly extravagance is…"a vacation! Definitely traveling somewhere I've never been. Last year it was Ireland with the whole family. This year it's Reykjavik, Iceland for New Year’s Eve and I am pumped! And I'm really hoping to fit in a visit to Japan this year, too."

My biggest guilty pleasure when it comes to food is…"Oreos! Original and all the new flavors—there's a bunch of them. Whenever one comes out, I rush to the store to find ‘em and try one."

My go-to karaoke song is…"'I'll Make Love To You' by Boyz II Men. I love to sing. But I also think it can be extremely vulnerable and scary so having a little liquid courage before a karaoke night is the way to go."

On My TiVO is…"Shark Tankor Million Dollar Listing. Now that Bachelor in Paradise is over my TiVo is pretty bleak. But I can always count on those two to wind down my day and chill out."

The movie I am most excited to see right now is…"Steve Jobs! My husband, Adam Shapiro, is in it and I can't wait to see it!"

My first celebrity crush was…"Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Lots of feelings for that guy and that was one of my favorite all time movies. Then it was New Kids on the Block and Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall. Remember the long hair? Whoa. Hot. And always Johnny Depp. Always."

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was…"probably at least one thing a day from Kerry Washington. The list is endless. She's a mentor and a true inspiration."

My idea of a romantic evening is…"having a cocktail on our front deck with my husband, Adam, then walking somewhere to dinner and coming back home to watch SNL. OK, maybe that's not the most romantic evening but definitely my favorite. Romance and laughter are usually hand in hand for Adam and I."

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What’s your favorite Quinn Scandal scene so far?
"I loved the face-licking scene with Huck! I mean, come on, it was so weird and awesome and when the hell else would I ever get to play a scene like that?"

If you could steal one piece of clothing from Quinn’s closet, what would it be and why?
"You'll see this season. Quinn has a black Vivienne Westwood tux jacket that is sick! And a red leather Isabel Marant jacket that is gorgeous."

How would you describe Quinn's taste in men?
"She likes the bad boys."

How are you the most and least like Quinn?
We are both fiercely loyal. And wake up with the glass half full. And we are hard workers. But I'm not into torturing or killing people, so I'd say that makes us pretty different."

Name three people you would love to cast as guest stars?
"Michael K. Williams. I mean, c’mon, he was brilliant on The Wire and Boardwalk Empire. Cat Deeley because who doesn't want her around all the time? And Lena Dunham again—yes, please!"

If you wrote an episode what would it be called?
“'Quinn Perkins Wears Flats and Gets a 60 Minutes Massage'”

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