Tanya Taylor frequently cites visual artists as inspirations and references in her work. (Just last season, she collaborated with Ammon Rost on the backdrop of his New York Fashion Week presentation, which featured some of his paintings as well as miscellaneous from his studio dotted around Dumbo’s Smack Mellon Arts Center.) For Fall 2022, the once designer has once again set his collection debut against the work and space of one painter: Elaine de Kooning, the Abstract Expressionist and Figurative Expressionist painter married to Willem, whose house and the East Hampton studio now host artist residencies. But that wasn’t the only way she took on de Kooning’s influence.
“Her personality and the way she brought creative people together — she used that house as a hub for creativity and brought in young artists from New York to paint. And she felt inspired by them,” Taylor says. This spirit and desire to experience art in the community resonated with the designer, who has long been open about her creative process and encouraged her clients to participate as well.
“She had this quote where she was the ‘hot center’ of New York, which is such an amazing thing to say about yourself. Doesn’t everyone want to be that?” she continues. “Something about his way of wanting culture to enter his work inspired me.”
Taylor became fascinated with de Kooning and her legacy, and it set the tone for what might just be the best collection ever for her eponymous brand.
Instead of doubling down on her brand signatures, Tanya Taylor Fall 2022 almost subverts our expectations — on the one hand, prints take precedence over texture (think metallic brocades, liquid lurex, feather accents), which brings nuance and depth to looks.
“I’ve been really focused on fabric development this season and the richness of everything we create,” Taylor said. “Even when we layer things together, it’s still different fabrics, which was really fun, thinking of a satin skirt and a mohair sweater with a velvet glove.”
When there are prints, they are warm and graphic, versus sparkling and luminous. The color palette is equally rich: butter yellow, cognac red, chocolate brown, plus a range of blues. The emphasis is on separations – that’s what the client wants, and it just so happens to give Taylor the ability to play with unexpected crops, layers and shapes and ultimately surprise his buyer with something he may not have seen (or didn’t see). ‘t wait) from the designer before. Think: an off-the-shoulder ruched dress, a feather-coated fine-knit sweater dress, or a miniskirt with strands of rhinestones that fall to the floor.
“That’s where I was in the lead, feeling confident in knowing what we’re good at and allowing more room for experimentation and creating really new things,” Taylor said.
There is certainty in design and vision, certainty that only comes from truly understanding who is buying your clothes and building a relationship with them over time. Taylor knows them and knows when and how to push them – with new ideas, new silhouettes, new ways to feel sophisticated.
“This feels like the most personal and distinctive collection we’ve done,” says Taylor.
Check out the full Tanya Taylor Fall 2022 collection in the gallery below.
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