First Look: A Designer to Watch- Tanya Taylor NYC

There we were, in an old House of Lesage atelier on rue Saint Honoré, surrounded by the iconic luxury of Paris.  Tanya Taylor had flown to Paris to show her first collection, and how fitting that would turn out to be.  Between the perfectly balanced color palette, which mixed delicate nudes with tough black and some amazing prints, the textiles she chose, and her unique inspirations, it was love at first sight.

Tanya, having been trained at the hands of Elizabeth and James, Central Saint Martins, and Parsons, presented her first creations to some of the most scrutinizing eyes in the industry.  Having literally gone from 0-60 in about 6 months, Tanya breezed through her Paris debut like someone with years of experience.

The Fall Winter 2012 collection was lighthearted and ironic, and when she told me that this season was inspired by a woodpecker, and that the prints she made were to look like the bird’s pecks, I think she almost expected me to laugh. But trust me, I’ve heard stranger things, and if anyone can translate woodpeckers into effortless chic style, she can.

Her personal sophistication and youthful energy was beautifully rendered into her collection, which was also influenced by the style of Parisian women.

“In general I am very attracted to the effortlessness of Parisian women and love that their style is built on the classic principle of understated elegance. Each season I start by writing about or imagining the character behind the collection and always find it interesting to combine the personality of French and American women. The sense of independence and confidence Parisian women have mixed with the modern and fearless attitude of NY women is always a great source of inspiration in developing who the “girl” is each season.”

Amidst looking through her gorgeous pieces, we took a moment to stop and admire the space where we were. There will always be something about a room dripping with history that will never cease to impress me.

Tanya explained to me a bit more about how she fell into this space, just a few doors down from Colette, to debut her collection.

“It used to be the couture embroidery studio of House of Lesage and each wall was covered in the most amazing silk wallpaper some with a map of the world embroidered in gold thread, other with little antique flowers. The space was filled with original curtains, chairs and trinkets left over from Lesage and now ironically transforms itself into the chicest hair salon/massage studio outside of fashion week.”

“Something about showing a first collection in a space that had so many stories appealed to me from the beginning. I loved all the hidden doorways and unconventionality of the space and felt my collection suited the apartment’s personality.”

Luckily, Paris spoke to her.  Next season Tanya plans to, “experiment with embroidery and return to Paris in September for another season.”


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