The seasons change, but Rebecca Taylor
's goal—to create "a fresh take on modern femininity"—remains constant. A recent cross-country tour of trunk shows (in Atlanta, Miami, Phoenix, and Houston, where business is reportedly up 800 percent) revealed that customers still can't get enough of the designer's signature floral pieces, so she gave them more to love for Pre-Fall. This season's graphic botanical pattern was hand-painted by a student in the graduating class at Parsons the New School for Design. Taylor splashed it on pretty pleated chiffon dresses and midi skirts, as well as the panels of printed matelessé found on a white leather biker jacket. She also reinterpreted the floral as velvet flocking on a pair of tapered, wide-leg trousers, which looked cool paired with a white tee and a cropped pink brocade vest featuring crisscross stitching (she explained that the detail was a subtle nod to Jean Paul Gaultier, whose exhibition she had recently seen at the Brooklyn Museum). Other highlights included chunky, open-weave knits; casual lace T-shirts and sweatshirts; and a hooded black anorak. Taylor achieved what she was after here, modern femininity, but she perhaps played things a bit too safe.