Recently I met a fashion designer through my favorite architect, Michael Glynn. Apparently he was shooting the breeze at Fresh Salt (a bar in Peck Slip under the Brooklyn Bridge) one night and discovered the bartender was a clothing designer by day.
Rebecca Tylor made her way from Nashville to New York ten years ago to study at FIT. Was this a childhood dream? No, actually she wanted to be a singer and studied voice at the Blair School of Music in Franklin, TN. She got so fed up with the ridiculous outfits they put them in for performances that she dropped that and turned to her sewing machine to make the outfits of her dreams. With lots of sewing experience under her belt (she’d been sewing with her mom and grandmother since age six), Rebecca proceeded to make her own creations including a completely original take on a prom dress that called for 21 yards of fabric.
Today, when asked what she does, Rebecca will tell you she does a lot of custom tailoring and design work and has some bar tending gigs at night. When pressed, you find that she makes the mock up designs for Ralph Lauren’s line reviews; works as the tailor on set for several TV shows; recently worked for six months tailoring Kate Spade’s line for the print campaign; designs her own collections; custom designs and creates clothes for a slew of private clients; and bar tends regularly at the following: Terminal 5, The Bowery Ballroom, Music Hall of Williamsburg, The Rock Shop, and Fresh Salt. When asked for some client names and clothing commissions, Tylor revealed that she had created the New Year’s Eve “outfit” for Mitch Mitchell, the guitarist for the band, Guided by Voices (he wanted a replica of Eddie Van Halen’s overalls). And then the orange chino pants he wore for his appearance on the David Letterman Show.
I asked Rebecca if I could tag along with her when she went fabric shopping. Here are some pictures from our trip. WARNING: I tried to go a bit undercover on this trip so I used my iPhone instead of lugging around my Nikon to document all that caught my eye — I’m sure it’s me, not the iPhone, but the pictures are not the best.