Sustainability, inclusivity, accessibility, animal welfare — Hillary Taymour’s Collina Strada is a lodestar for the next generation of New York fashion.
Titled “Please Don’t Eat My Friends,” her fall collection was a feel-good antidote to the growling trophy head hullabaloo at the recent Schiaparelli couture show.
Taymour’s models (including Tommy Dorfman, making her catwalk debut) became animals in prosthetic snouts, whiskers and beaks courtesy of British makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench. Thy moved like them, too, some on all fours, while wearing subtle satin shoulder horns and organza bunny tails, “fur,” reptile scale and dolphin print mesh pieces.
“The first thing we talk about is how to not look like you’re wearing a dead animal,” said Taymour, who went to the Met Gala as a horse, of her process for honoring her animal friends. “How do you make a shrimp look alive? It can’t be a cooked shrimp, it has to look happy, sparkly,” she said during a preview, showing off the tiny, sparkly shrimp accessories made for the runway.
As usual, Taymour used sustainable and deadstock materials, turning out the kind of colorful satin pop star dresses and shirred tops, floral organza layers, and velvet cargo pants that Gen Z dreams are made of.
Soft satin suiting with floral cutout details and tear-drop collar shirts, plaid crushed velvet pieces, deadstock plaid pants and coats, and patchworked flannels added grown-up sophistication. And twice upcycled jersey tops and dresses with an almost couture-like draped and pleated hand marked a new level of craft.
She introduced a collaboration with Italian manufacturer Vitelli on recycled yarn knits, flap hats and animal tails, and with Vans on slip-on sneakers.
“A lot of it is bulls–t, but if we can get any big corporation to try, that’s the point,” Taymour said of the strides being made toward sustainability in the fashion industry. “I don’t care if this uses less water, it’s about numbers. If you make 1 million pairs of jeans per year, how many go in the trash or don’t get sold? I hate when people expect growth, growth, growth and can’t just be happy with a successful business. We’re not just making garbage to hit a number that doesn’t exist.”