“I’ve been so interested in how many brands are taking a more realistic perspective in making clothes for real people,” said Tanya Taylor on a walk-through of her fall collection. That approach is something that’s always appealed to her, and does so even more now that she has her own boutique and can track what people are reacting to. “I can’t put crazy clothes in my store,” she said. “I have real women with amazing jobs and low amounts of time walking in, and I have to sell them three to four pieces that make people unbelievably gorgeous, but not necessarily for an event.” Pretty printed party dresses were this brand’s first claim to fame. Taylor really has made strides broadening her offering in the hopes of creating a non-uniform uniform for busy and style-conscious women like herself.
Moodboards and fantastical narratives aren’t part of Taylor’s approach to design, rather everything relates back to her own life and her take on styling. One of the designer’s aims this season was to reframe charcoal gray, a color she associates with her old school uniform and which is prominent in Wall Street-like menswear. She upended convention by pairing nicely tailored smoky pants with a pouf of a polka-dot jacquard top. That motif and shape (which was also used on short dresses) carries the fragrance of the ’80s, a popular touch point this season. Taylor’s main reference was her own work, however. Fall 2023’s fringed skirt was back as a dress (with a matching fringed purse), in part because customers asked for the former, as are a best-selling pair of stone washed jeans from six years ago that are still requested. The sequin-skirts (a different take on polka-dots) and jeweled obi-like treatments of pre-fall were also reimagined. “I feel like I’ve taken this Bandaid off of [the idea that] everything has to be new,” she said. That’s a realization many designers are coming to, and it’s a wise one. Here, it gave the collection a bit of a “piecey” vibe, though it did create a throughline of cohesion with the designer’s larger body of work.
Taylor’s take on the ski-sweater, made in angora using multicolored space dyed yarns, was pretty and novel. Working with suede for the first time, she cut it into light forever coats. “To me, this felt like a love letter,” said Taylor of a dress and coat with a hand-embroidered floral that seemed to form a continuous picture. “I kept thinking, ‘where does novelty live?”’ The answer is in unexpected and unfussy details like these.