|Portrait by Hedi Slimane|
There is an undercurrent of young, Irish, design talent making waves both at home and abroad. Many are just beginning to make their mark in what is a notoriously difficult industry. The recession has done nothing to spurn Ireland's young talent says Alan Taylor, designer and one of the most notable of the bunch. Taylor, who graduated with a BA in fashion from the National College of Art and Design, interned with Alexander McQueen during his studies. An intense experience, Alan described as sink or swim-he flourished. After graduation, Simone Rocha approached Taylor to work as her assistant designer. The pair toiled between Dublin and London while Simone was in the industry incubator, Fashion East. Last October, Alan Taylor went solo with his capsule menswear collection. Alan's impeccable tailoring, attention to detail and knowledge of garment making has seen the fashion industry stop and stare. Yet, Taylor has no desire to explode onto the fashion scene. He remains patient. Like his debut collection, Alan Taylor doesn't want to force anything.
|Alan Taylor Design|
Describe your collection in one sentence.
"Honest and always forward thinking"
What garment are you most proud of from your debut collection?
"All the hooded t-shirts, these garments are incredibly simple in there design but can change the entire silhouette"
What inspires you?
"When designing I take from many different sources, Art, Music and Film being the main focus. Minimal and Post Modern sculpture from the 60’s is a constant inspiration throughout all my collections, especially the work of Dan Flavin".
What do you wear on a day to day basis?
"An outfit that I really consider when choosing and then forget about the second I put it on"
Would you say you dress quite classically or do you follow trends?
"Neither, I try to dress the way I design, always looking forward, never to replicate the past, rather develop it"
What piece of clothing should every man invest in?
"Any designer pieces, (especially young designers) they have the longevity that is completely undermined by the stuff on the high street"
Having designed for both men’s and women's wear, what do you like most about designing for both genders? What makes them different?
"Menswear has to be my favourite, men don’t have as many garments to wear so u have to be a lot more creative in order to push men’s fashion forward while still keeping it masculine."
What surprised you about the fashion industry?
"There are so many Irish designers"
The Irish fashion industry has really flourished in the last few years. What do you think is the driving force behind this?
"The recession. When forced into a situation with no money, creative people flourish. They realize that you don’t need large funding in order to be successful."
Do you have a muse?
"Every character in a Wes Anderson film, Sean Connery as James Bond and Odette Rocha"
Where do you shop?
"I spend all my money on my own collection, if I had the money I would shop at LN-CC, a contemporary concept store based in Dalston, London"
Where do you hang out?
"I really like hanging out with my mates in parks around Hackney and Dalston when its sunny, having a barbeque and drinking some cans"
Where do you like to go out?
"Anywhere I can dance to great DJs, Boiler Room, Shacklewell arms, Warehouse parties"
What music do you listen to?
"Bit of everything, at the moment a lot of Arctic Monkeys, Biggie Smalls and SKTRKT, I have always listened to a variety of genres"
Where do you like to go when you're back in Dublin?
"The Bernard Shaw, its an old school pub and DJ venue at the same time"
If you weren’t a fashion designer what would you be?
Which designers do you admire?
"Young designers who are designing, producing and selling globally like Simone Rocha, Agi & Sam and JW Anderson."
What are you hopes for the future?
"To be designing, producing and selling globally, and in 10 years still enjoying it as much as I do now".
Photographs of the collection shot on film by Irish Photographer Leonn Ward
Learn more about Alan Taylor here