Designer Tanya Taylor Talks Florals, Optimism and Michelle Obama

Canadian-born, New York-based designer Tanya Taylor returns to Toronto this week to host a trunk show as part of the FashionCan Pop-Up space at Yorkdale Mall. Taylor, who has become a red carpet favourite will be taking pre-orders on her SS17 collection, as well as selling inventory from previous seasons. We took this opportunity to ask the designer about her latest collection and one of her biggest fans, Michelle Obama.

Your spring collection is so colorful. In fact, Spring in general is very colorful. Do you think we can maintain this sunny vibe?

I think we have no choice but to! Now more than ever it’s important to maintain an optimistic outlook.

How did the crocheted florals come about? How is that done?

Florals are a large part of our collection so it felt natural to bring them to knitwear. We made them here in New York. Each flower was made individually then sewn together by hand.

I think it’s interesting that the one piece of black in this collection is a skin baring off the shoulder leatheresque top. Such a contrast?

It’s a nod to a more sultry attitude. Plus we style it with a colorful skirt so it’s not such a departure!

You’ve established yourself as a go-to for women who love feminine shapes with spectacular prints. Have you ever considered expanding into home furnishings?

It’s definitely on my mind. For the Spring 17 presentation we created custom fringed pillows in the prints, which were a hit.

I know you worked with artisans in India on the Swarovski bomber jacket. Did you collaborate this season?

Yes we did! We created a capsule with Swarovski that includes four pieces of hand beaded embroidery. The Alana dress, a black cocktail dress, comes to life with 3D floral motifs. Olivia Munn wore it to the CFDA awards.

Michelle Obama will be leaving the White House soon. What was it like to have the FLOTUS stamp of approval?

Working with Michelle Obama has been an absolute dream. To have someone I admire so much wear my designs is an enormous honor. I hope to continue to work with her after she leaves the White House!

17 Looks from Tanya Taylor’s Spring Summer 2017 Collection