For someone about to present the follow-up to her much buzzed about debut collection -- and in the middle of planning her wedding -- Tanya Taylor is freakishly chilled out. While most designers scramble to finish their samples, the newcomer, who originally studied finance before attending Parsons The New School for Design, has her spring line hanging on racks in her SoHo studio two weeks before showtime.

The relaxed vibe is fitting, considering her girl for spring is sipping a daiquiri somewhere on the islands.

"I had this idea of a very sophisticated, interesting lady going on vacation -- specifically, at Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados in 1962," explains the 26-year-old. "She's very particular about what she's wearing, and she likes to dress a little over the top."

Holding up an ivory column gown with bright, hand-painted flowers and sparkly embroidery, Taylor adds, "We picture her wearing this to the pool for cocktails. She's her own character."


Taylor's sense for whimsical women is what got the Toronto native noticed in the first place. After a stint at Elizabeth and James, she impressed editors with her debut line of ladylike separates and mismatched looks.

"I design for a girl -- probably late 20s, early 30s -- who's confident but not an extroverted leader or party girl," she says. "I picture her being a little bit more sophisticated and subtle with her choices and what she wears."

What she's choosing for spring is vibrant colors, cut-out dresses and knits with bold floral prints. They sound perfect for a romantic getaway or summer soiree like, say, a wedding. Taylor's will be held at Sandy Lane in April.

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