Tara Babylon loves two things: dizzy prints and wacky textures, both of which were highlighted in her debut NYFW presentation in Chelsea.
In a room filled with pastel stained glass windows, the sunset lit up her equally bright designs. Babylon is a British-Iraqi designer based in NYC after studying at Central Saint Martins and Parsons. Her designs heavily emphasize craftsmanship and gender expression.
“I’m obsessed with craft, textile, different textures, and color — it’s my signature,” Babylon says. She cites Vivienne Westwood as a huge inspiration to her craft, as well as early Gaultier, Galliano, and old-school Club Montana as other influences.
The designer found her momentum when she began experimenting on her graduate collection at Parsons, where she would find the cheapest materials possible to create her designs. “From there, I upscaled the techniques," she says. "I have custom Tara Babylon safety pins and I get my elastics specially made." She is now known for her patented elastic-weaving technique and her use of recycled car tires.
Her debut collection is filled with pastel woven dresses, floral patterns, and sculptural headpieces. The designer jokes that when creating this collection her Instagram feed had been overtaken by “the ugly cake trend" and that her designs represent the outrageous cake-toppers to these creations. "I was playing with these concepts on the body and its styling and just developing, developing, developing," she says.
One of the standout pieces was a party dress made from entirely elastic weave paired with a face mask and sculptural heart on the model’s head. Babylon's blended textiles brought delicate lace together with a sharper woven structure, bringing a light-hearted energy to the room. “As a creative textile artist, of course I love these ideas," she says.
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