It is fascinating to see this generation’s interpretation of Azzedine Alaia’s strong vision of a female in Taylor, whose full-length zebra dress has a full-on female warrior effect. Greatly influenced by the iconic Tunisian-born couturier, Taylor says of her own designs, “I envision this very strong warrior type in essence…powerful, and not someone who is focused on pretty, pretty but a little bit rough around the edges… much in the same way that African women put themselves together.” Taylor grew up with an independent-minded mother who believed that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Her strength is embodied in the love that she and her daughter share for Alaia’s body-conscious, distinctly resilient and never frou-frou garments.
For Taylor, powerful means someone with a strong point of view that is not easily dictated to. The visual manifestation of that person appears in one of her primitive couture pieces, like her handmade geo-indigenous leather top. The shrunken lamb cape is inspired by Mad Max and tribal culture and, like most of her garments, was what she describes as a happy accident. “With making clothes, there’s definitely a structure that works and that doesn’t. It is a technical thing, so you have to have some know-how about it. But that’s where I kind of feel like the happy accident comes in.” It was Mr. Alaia who said, “Fashion is dead. Designers nowadays do not create anything, they only make clothes so people and the press would talk about them. The real money for designers lie within perfumes and handbags.” A sensitive renegade, Taylor’s furry cape was created with the apocalypse in mind, or maybe it’s meant for the one she’s heralding by making authentic clothes that don’t cater to the barely there cocktail dress mentality.