Rebecca Taylor found her Fall '14 inspiration during a trip to Paris last autumn. "I love this French graffiti artist, Philippe Baudelocque, and when I was in town I had the good fortune of coming across one of his pieces," said the designer backstage. Baudelocque's works—giant black-and-white drawings of animals that fuse a myriad of textures and prints—are done entirely in chalk, and it was their impermanence that really got Taylor thinking. "When it rains, they just wash away, which is quite a lot like fashion," she mused. "We do these shows, but you can't get too caught up in it all, because you've got to move on to the next one."
Still, Taylor needn't forget about her airy Fall outing too quickly, as it was filled with strong, feminine staples that will remain in wardrobes for seasons to come. "Slouchy, modern, cool," was what Taylor promised, and she delivered. Trousers were baggy (though, in some instances, she should have made them a bit more relaxed). Sweaters were fuzzy and boxy (an icy blue turtleneck worn over a double-layer white chiffon top stood out), and a hooded wool popover, shown with an unremarkable chiffon shift, boasted a sporty luxury that felt right on trend.
Outerwear, however, was what really shined here. Vests with buckled shearling turtlenecks, leather trim, and zip details were super-slick, but the wool cocoon coats were Taylor's pride and joy. A short version in storm gray—paired with a baby blue chain-embellished sweater and crackled leather skinnies—was cut with a lovely bubble-shaped back. Meanwhile, a violet mid-length iteration was shown atop an extra-long, asymmetrical black sweater and barely visible mesh skirt. The trio of lengths was styling perfection.
Less alluring were Taylor's flouncy dresses: They didn't quite stand up against her knockout coats and separates. Nineties goth-style mesh was used to varying degrees of effectiveness (peeks of it were fun, but whole tops or bodices made of the stuff looked overzealous), and a black-and-pink kaleidoscope print seemed a touch drab. Even so, this collection was packed with wearable, enduring options for the tough-edged but still ladylike Rebecca Taylor woman.