New York Fashion Week - Backstage With Rebecca Taylor

The fall/winter 2008 Fashion season officially got underway with the Mercedes-Benz IMG Fashion Week held recently in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. Armed with an invitation from Fashion Designer Rebecca Taylor to attend the pre-show backstage preparations I found myself in the hub of all things hot.

Hip slung flat front panel pinstripe pant, pictured in both panes, paired with flowing chiffon (R) and floral silk blouse (L).

Rebecca Taylor , the New Zealand born fashion designer, gracious with her time hosted the media backstage prior to the presentation of her fall/winter 2008 line. And I, Splash Magazines New York Journalist Janet Walker, was invited to have a one-on-one interview with the designer.

Janet Walker:  “Ms. Taylor, what’s your inspiration for the line?
Rebecca Taylor:  “Inspiration for the line was taken by looking at pictures.  I love the idea of when women are leaving a ball and they have on a beautiful ethereal dress and its cold outside so they put on their boyfriend's coat or jacket and it’s slightly oversized and the sleeves are pushed up. There is a great picture of Princess Diana, at a ball, one of her first outings to a ball as Lady Diana before anyone knew who she was and she was leaving by the front door and there was this lone photographer and he snapped her. She had on one of her old coats with a ball gown dress.  I really loved that look.”

Janet Walker:   “Are you more influenced by American designers or European?”
Rebecca Taylor:  “A little bit of both: Maybe European a bit more.”

Janet Walker:   “And why is that?”
Rebecca Taylor:  "I just think there is something wonderfully creative about the European designers. They exude artisticness and creative ability. American designers can sometimes be focused more on the commercial side because we have to make a living."

Janet Walker:   “What treads do you see or like to incorporate?”
Rebecca Taylor:  “A lot of boyfriend jackets, slouchy boyfriend coats, layers of prints and layers of chiffon. Just so they seem all very textured light and airy. It is a little tomboyish although when you see the line you'll say, ‘there is nothing tomboyish in that’. I see beautiful dresses, little shearling vests. Just layers and prettiness.”

And with those four questions my interview was complete. The PR people were working on an extremely tight schedule and there were still others waiting to interview Ms. Taylor. My camera crew was off filming beauty segments as the hair and make-up artists performed their magic on the models prior to the arrival of the dressers.  We moved from backstage to The Salon where the runway, for the presentation, was covered in gold shimmer.

The Slouchy boyfriend coat in grey over floral chiffon print and micro-dot white on black with faux fur coller.

The backstage interview gave a hint to the expectation of the line and in no way prepared any of those present for the dynamic presentation we would see. A mixture of deep tone fall colors utilizing a palette of reds, navy’s, and deep shaded floral against the black canvas fabric.

As with all fashion shows the house was buzzing as the lights went down and the guests quieted into an anticipation silence. The pulsating music hit the first beat and the lights went up. 

Rebecca Taylor , debuted a low waist/hip slung flat panel front, wide flare, pinstripe pant that was attractive and, for women larger than most models, offers a slimming look complimented by either the pinstripe and the flat panel front.

Short boyfriend jacket with white faux fur collar and tight cigarette pant.

My favorite piece of the collection was a plum mid-thigh sweater worn over a floral print mini. The versatility of the sweater dress and the length allow for a solid interchangeable garment that can be worn alone with tights and boots, as shown with the mini, with leggings, and even coupled with the flat panel pant. It is a stand alone or combination piece for those on a budget. The plum color is complimentary on practically anyone and creates a slimming silhouette.

Chiffon multi print short sleeve dress with black shearling vest and Plum mid-thigh cashmere sweater dress over micro floral mini.

The slouchy sleeve coat, that Ms. Taylor spoke of, with microdot white on black was attractive and will be marketed with the white faux fur color or without. The little shearling vests always a favorite to punctuate a look or create a statement were worn over a full length sleeve slip dress.

The garments were the canvas without the use of heavy trim or any attractive distracters for the creative foundation that Ms. Taylor wanted to convey. Her use of silks, chiffons and cashmere create the soft image with the heavy fabric of traditional wool reserved for the slouchy sleeve boyfriend jacket and double breasted coats.

Flowing chiffon knee length shirt dress and below the knee chiffon slip dress topped with double breasted grey wool coat with pushed up sleeves.

In addition to the backstage interview and the show, Rebecca Taylor has always been gracious with her time and showroom allowing selected media to return for a re-see. Fortunately for me, I am one of those media. Her showroom is a fun place. Not that is like Google as a working environment but it is a fun place with the relaxed feel of creativity. There is never pressure to know the right fashion terminology although I am now more fluent at garment language. 

Some of the garments in the showroom were not incorporated into the fall/winter 2008 presentation. A very attractive black linen shift dress with zip side pocket and a back black bow clasp at the neck leaving a circle cutout just below the shoulder blades, along with a bolero black linen jacket and two additional pieces make this quad combo a must have for early fall/late summer crisp autumn nights and warm fall days.

After walking through the line at the showroom I had a few moments to speak with Antonella, Rebecca Taylor’s PR director who explained some details about the movement of Rebecca Taylor fashion worldwide. In March, Ms. Taylor has a trip planned to visit the thirty-four boutiques throughout Asia. The fashions of Rebecca Taylor are dropped shipped approximately nine to ten times per year with about sixty pieces for the fall, summer and resort wear collection. Rebecca Taylor also has a winter and holiday line that caters mostly to occasion dresses.

For more information on Rebecca Taylor go to: http://www.rebeccataylor.com

Photos courtesy of IMG Mercedes Benz
Thanks to Rebecca Taylor’s PR team and Antonella for setting up the interview.
Special thanks to Director Anna Wilding for Backstage Film and Interview Footage.

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