Jackie Taylor should be considered the 'High Priestess of Headgear'.
The Galway native credits her impressive pieces - such as beaded Cleopatra crowns and feathered, mirrored masks - with a formative stint in Berlin.
After getting a taste for art and design while studying at the Kensington and Chelsea Arts Academy in London, Taylor moved to the German city to pursue her BA in Fashion.
One look at Taylor’s social media and online portfolio shows that her designs are shaped by her global outlook. She explained that her process starts with inspiration from a variety of places: be it traditional Balinese art, ancient Egyptian crafts, or dance culture at Rio de Janeiro's infamous Carnivale.
“Traveling and discovering different cultures, textures, and textiles has definitely had a major influence on my style,” she said. “I think people are drawn to my pieces for festivals because that’s where they feel they can be completely free in expressing themselves.”
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🌴🌵JACKIE TAYLOR POP UP🌴🌵 this Thursday (tommorow ) at the Mondrian hotel Hollywood 8pm -12 I’ve been switching in the kitchen creating some new pieces especially for this come through and have a dance with me 🖤🏹👩🏼🍳✂️👘🎨✂️ golden horn headpiece made to order DM for details #jackietaylor #popup #wearableart #embellished #headpieces #masks #kirakira
“Since leaving fashion school, I have worked all over for events and festivals and I was always dressed in my own eccentric costumes - so I started to be known for that. From then on, I started to collaborate extensively from my studio space with many artists, musicians, performers, and a host of characters and clients who wanted to amplify their individual style through my conceptual and expressive tailoring,” she continued.
However, despite her popularity amongst the colourful birds of paradise who head off to events like Burning Man and New York’s iconic Mermaid Parade on the regular, Taylor doesn’t want to be known as just a ‘festival fashion designer’.
“I don’t want to pigeon hole myself as something so specific,” she agreed. “My pieces are very versatile and can be worn for so many types of occasions.”
Her career has come a long way since her earlier years spent working in Berlin, where she found herself hand-sewing extravagant headpieces and hats at a theatre.
“My mantra is to learn from your mistakes and never stop striving to be a better version of yourself,” she said. “I’ve had some ups and downs and from the hard times you really do learn to grow and become a better version of yourself.”
“I’ve learned from my mistakes and they have made me who I am today. The Dalai Lama once said, ‘When you lose, don’t lose the lesson’ - which I think is really good advice,” she added.
Among her career highlights are winning a ‘Best Costume’ nod at the Life Ball in Vienna and being hired to host a week-long Jackie Taylor installation to mark the tenth anniversary of the Calvi on the Rocks Music Festival in Corsica, France.
Two years after relocating to the US, Taylor is now proving she has what it takes to make it in the so-called City of Angels. She credits the rise of social media as a major boost to her brand.
“Instagram has been a great way for people to discover my work,” she said. “I do a lot of pop-ups in LA, the Bay Area, and I also sell in New York. My work will soon be sold in a new boutique in Melrose, LA, too.”
Living in the dynamic melting pot that is LA has also had an impact on her creations.
“LA has one of my favourite garment districts in the world,” she noted. “It's packed full of amazing next-level fabrics, trims, fringe, and appliqués. It's a source of endless inspiration for me. My work has improved majorly as I feel more inspired here and the sunshine every day has a big part to play in that too.”
“My pieces scream vibrance and colour and Los Angeles is brimming with both throughout the city. That’s something that really speaks to me and I love making that connection through my work.”
While the blissful Southern California weather certainly does make her happy, ultimately she is at her most content when she sees a client ‘transformed’ by one of her creations.
“The moment someone puts on a finished piece I made for them and I see them looking so ecstatic - this is what my brand is all about: this is what it feels like to get ‘Jackie Taylored’!”