Recently, we chatted with London-based Irish designer Alan Taylor. After working with big names such as Simone Rocha and Alexander McQueen, Alan is making a name for himself in the fashion industry. Alan creates garments that build on classic looks that both push boundaries and challenge fashion standards.
Why do you create?
Because I could never imagine doing anything else.
How would you describe your personal style?
How do you challenge yourself in your work?
I push ideas that scare the shit out of me.
How did your time working with designer Simone Rocha influence your independent label?
Seeing how a business was run from the inside are things you don’t get taught in university: sales meetings, costings, and how the business is run internally is just something you can’t learn unless you are exposed to it directly.
Do you have a favourite piece/outfit that you've created? What is the story behind it?
AW13 mirrored jacket– this was a piece that was part of my first collection that was highly conceptual but still rooted in the principle elements of design. I was influenced by the theory of the fourth dimension: the idea that if we could see in four dimensions, for instance looking at a cube, you would theoretically see every side at once. It was the idea of seeing all facets of the garment at one time, on a continuous loop, that influenced the garments’ unique development.
Has living and working in London had an impact on your work?
Absolutely. I believe that the best designers in the world are living and working in London at the moment. All designers in the fashion capitols, including the well-established fashion houses, always look to London for inspiration, and to poach designers. People always say it is a melting pot of talent and inspiration: that’s because it’s true.
If your designs had one united voice, what would they say?
As a united voice they say “we are an amalgamation of indie music, art and culture, that obsessively occupy Alan Taylor’s mind.”
You've said that if your designs were a band they would be Sigor Ros and I can totally see that. Has music (or any other artistic discipline) influenced your work directly or indirectly in any way?
Yes, absolutely. My AW14 collection was inspired by Talking Heads’ live music film ‘Stop Making Sense’. In my work I am constantly inspired by art, music and culture, rather than just fashion itself. I look to a lot of minimalist sculptors and artists from the sixties, such as Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and even more expressive painters, such as Jackson Pollock and Francis Bacon. I look to these artists’ work for the emotions and ideas they evoke within me, rather than just direct reference to their colour, shapes and forms.
Watch: Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense – 1984 – Live
What questions are you answering with your work?
My clothes aren’t critiquing what anyone else is doing in the industry right now; its more focussed on what I feel is missing.
What is one accomplishment that you are specifically proud of and why?
Actually starting a label. That is one thing that everybody talks about but never does, as it is the hardest thing to do–to put yourself out there for criticism and commendation alike.
Where do you see yourself going from here? What do you want to accomplish? How is your style evolving?
I see my brand growing steadily and continuously: I don’t want to be an overnight success that fades away into nothing after a few seasons, which has happened to many designers, especially in London. I want to create relationships with my customer, the stores, and everyone in the industry: I want to create a company that will outlive me.
To see more of Alan’s work, check out his website here.
All images: AW 13 “Special Relativity“
Outfits+Creative Director // Alan Taylor
Styling // Harry Lambert
Photography // James White
Hair // Josh Knight
Model // Almantas @ Elite)