Personal Style Files: The LA-based designer who counts Frida Kahlo as her fashion crush
Jackie Taylor’s personal style is equal parts fun and fearless
The Galway native divides her time between San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, having found her home away from home in sunny California.
As a headdress designer and a purveyor of quirky vintage clothes, Taylor is a true Renaissance woman who seeks inspiration from the art and pop culture world. Here, she tells IMAGE about her all-time style crushes; why Spandex is her fail-safe uniform and the divisive footwear style she can’t wrap her head around.
What makes you excited about getting dressed in the morning?
I love dressing for my mood. Each day is an opportunity to express myself through visual language. I believe what you wear has an effect on how you feel and how you are treated.
What’s you fail-safe, go-to look for a day when you’re lacking inspiration?
I would have to say Spandex; you just cannot go wrong with it. I love how I feel in it. I’ll dress up a catsuit by adding a belt, and it’s always stylish but super comfy.
Last piece you bought?
A vintage 90s belt on Poshmark — I love that app!
What’s a typical ‘off duty’ look for you?
On the rare occasion that I want to look ‘invisible’ (maybe if I’m feeling sick or want to go under the radar because of a super early flight) I will wear all black: high-waisted leggings and a bodysuit underneath it. Comfortable but still with a little sex appeal. When I’m at home, I love to be comfortable so I wear vintage tracksuit bottoms a lot. I also love wearing my Moroccan babouches.
First piece you saved all your pocket money for?
When I was 19, I lived in London and I remember finding this Zandra Rhodes dress that was super expensive to me at the time. I still have it!
Where do you shop usually?
Well I’m a shopaholic, so everywhere and all the time! I’m buying and selling a lot too. I love thrifting in California and in each city, I have my go-to thrift stores. I love Sunday’s Best in Echo Park in LA. In Sacramento, there’s a spot called Upscale Thrift. My favourite thrift stores in San Francisco have closed down, but I do love Decades of Fashion. In terms of apps and websites, I love Poshmark and eBay.
If you have something big coming up, where do you look for a killer outfit?
Mostly for special occasions, I get inspired with a million ideas and I get in my studio and create my look. Currently I’m making a huge oversize jacket with giant patches of silver on it for my husband’s birthday which is coming up.
What do you do with your fashion purchases when you no longer need them?
I sell online or on my Instagram Stories. I tend to pack away clothes I no longer need but may want to go back to some day, as I change up my style a lot and revisit pieces from the past but wear them in different ways.
Last outfit you’d wear on earth?
Wow, this is a hard question. I mean… so many looks! But if pushed, any of Carmen Miranda’s movie costumes. The high-waisted skirts, the huge puff shoulder crop tops, the turbans and the shoes — it’s just pure perfection to me. Going to the Carmen Miranda museum in Rio de Janeiro was so inspiring.
Best ever bargain purchase?
I’m always on the hunt for a bargain, but my most recent treasure is a vintage baby blue leather skirt with a matching bolero jacket with a snap button by Michael Hoban. My size and a bargain price.
Favourite fashion memory?
Making costumes for the Rio de Janeiro Carnival with my amazing friend, the artist Rubbish Fairy.
Designer you’d wear all the time if you won the Lotto?
Vintage 90s Chanel and Mugler. Also the current Schiaparelli stuff.
Where do you seek style inspiration?
I’m forever inspired by style icons, like Carmen Miranda, Frida Kahlo, Grace Jones and Iris Apfel. I follow so many artists and designers that blow my mind with their work.
Trend you’d never be caught dead in?
CROCS! To me, they basically say, “I’ve given up on style”. I know they tried to make them trendy but I just can’t. Just because Balenciaga did a wedge version does not make them ok.
Trend you’d wear ‘til the cows come home?
One thing that’s been on your wishlist forever?
One thing?! I’m a maximalist: I got a million wish lists! A selection of vintage belts from the 90s, because good belts are hard to find. And I have a wish list full of vintage hats, as I believe hats and shoes really can make an outfit.
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