Playful & powerful, Swarovski joins designer Tanya Taylor at her studio in NYC for an intimate talk

There’s a life to Tanya Taylor’s collections which go beyond her love of pattern and métier – amidst strong silhouettes, there is a curiosity and a joy which translates into collections at once wearable and celebratory.

Her well-lit, cheerful space in Soho is a reflection of the designer’s point of view – a bustling team, smiling, chatty and engaged, greet us inside. A veritable garden of embroidered Swarovski crystallized flowers pepper looks from jackets to skirts surrounding the studio, playing against oversized plaids and bouquet imagery which dominated Taylor’s AW16 collection’s lighter take on autumnal fashion.

At home in her element, the studio slash fashion-lab, Tanya sits down with us to talk her style point of view, process, and a favorite ingredient – Swarovski Crystal.

How would you define your personal style?
Feminine, fun, and absolutely playful.

What is your earliest fashion memory?
I would always dress myself. I would experiment, and luckily that was encouraged.

Who do you design for / who’s your muse?
The woman who thinks fashion is joyful, fun, playful, and not too serious. I think a woman should be comfortable in whatever she’s wearing – to feel like she can be herself. Every season is a chance to reinvent, to tell a new story, and I love that – but for me, it has to be wearable.

Swarovski definitely amplifies my designs because it adds a dimension of print and drama to the collection.

How do the crystal elements communicate your overall vision? Is there meaning in the patterns and shapes?
Creatively, I wanted nature to invade the collection and crystals to look like the leaves, flowers and shapes growing on each piece. I used crystal to add depth to my concept and make each piece look alive and overgrown. There is meaning in every pattern and shape I create. I believe in communicating with our customer through print and color, so crystal strengthens my story. I design to express optimism and make our woman feel emotional. Crystals can be thoughtful, bold, glamorous, tactile—they add a depth and mood to every design unlike any other material. Our woman likes an element of surprise and crystals help pique her curiosity.

Absolutely love your painting shots on Instagram, and so cool to see an easel in the back.
I paint constantly – it’s how I create the patterns for my collections. We digitize them afterwards.

What’s your unlikeliest source of inspiration?
Business was always a big love of mine, it still is, and I think it really grounds me. I went to McGill for finance and studied the LSATs. It’s so important to support each other in this industry; to have a group of truly close friends and a team you can rely on. Other designers inspire me, I’m inspired by artists who continue to innovate and create. It pushes me forward.

The Forward ring, Foam earrings and Slake ear jacket.

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