Rebecca Taylor Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 New York

“A picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them,” Renoir once said, and Taylor took this to heart in all her designs, quoting this as the starting point for her Summer 2014. And pretty it was, from the flower quilted leather of a leather bomber, to the perforated mesh bootie, to the flirty, flippy dress she trotted out in several variations throughout the show.

The New Zealand born, New York based Taylor has tapped into the season’s already emerging relaxed, laid-back vibes, but as much as her tomboyish looks were infused with sporty utilitarian details, they were also Taylor-ed to perfection. On her runway was a charming mélange of dressed-up sportswear that is sure to appeal both to the downtown city-slicker looking to soften her tough image, as to the sweet feminine girl wanting to toughen herself up without jumping out of her comfort zone.

Sweet as she is, Taylor’s girl is an ace at stealing from her boyfriend’s closet and making it work, particularly when it came to blazers and jackets, but when taking more workwear inspired trousers in thick striped denim, they felt a little too “Osh Kosh” to truly work with the rest of her pieces. Elsewhere, sparkly crystal encrusted tops didn’t wow half as much as her Enchanted print.

Textures though, invited to come closer and feel the hand of a chunky knit, or have a moment of disbelief at the rich hand of an athletic looking mesh. Her play on proportion, a key element she admitted to particularly loving this season, gave a thoroughly clean silhouette. Taylor’s summer is imparted with a romantic vibe, true, but this is New York after all, so it came across as clean and modern, just like the promise of a beautiful summer ahead.

- Lily Templeton