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Skaist Taylor: Bad girls lookin' good

At the Skaist-Taylor Spring 2013 presentation at Mercedes-Benz

At the Skaist-Taylor Spring 2013 presentation at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, see-through lace dresses with long fringe, the macramé mini, the over-the-top furs and ferocious, far-out hair ruled the runway. (Sept. 9, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

For the design duo behind Skaist Taylor, it starts with the music. These ‘70s-sprung SoCal gals — Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash Taylor, who previously founded the Juicy Couture label — seem to have melodies pulsing through their veins as much as fashion sense. So it’s no surprise that their free-spirited collection started with a musical moment:  The Troubadour club, 1972, a post-hippy pre-disco hot spot in L.A. for singer-songwriters like James Taylor, Carole King and more, where “they got to play and be themselves,” says Nash-Taylor.

Jonesing on that “hot, smokin’ L.A. moment,” as she puts it, they dreamed up an untamed, unfettered line of prairie skirts, lace tops, crop jackets and slinky dresses, rich with a retro vibe. Yet, feeling contemporary. And just plain sexy.

There were some restrained offerings — a tweedy salt ‘n’ pepper shorts suit, an antiquey eyelet shirtdress — but their naughty is especially nice. Hence the see-through lace dresses with long fringe, the macramé mini, the over-the-top furs and ferocious, far-out hair. Jewelry ran the gamut from harness chokers to bold native beads. And those boots — tall, slit open down the front and laced back up.

Taylor’s husband (Duran Duran’s John Taylor) produced the soundtrack, an amalgam of hits from the period, like Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good,” the Eagles’ “Witchy Woman,” and on and on.  Fun, infectious tunes.

“You hear that music and you’re just so…happy,” says Nash-Taylor after the show.  “Didn’t it take you back?”

The setting was perfect for this “California eccentric” brand — a sunny, breezy day on the rooftop of the McKittrick Hotel, the decadent faux hotel where, by night, audiences follow actors around in the immersive theatrical event known as “Sleep No More.”  By day, the slightly dilapidated venue had a Wild West feel, with old wooden tables decked out with bottles of tequila and sliced limes.

The fashion set in attendance was a little too poised to start doing shots (it was still earlyish on a Sunday), though the designers would’ve loved it if we had.  This line, after all, is about “wild, feminine power.”  And for these chicks, that’s not just a catchphrase. They live it.

Tags: Skaist Taylor , Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week , Pamela Skaist-Levy , Gela Nash-Taylor , Juicy Couture , The Troubadour , James Taylor , Carole King , Los Angeles , Southern California , Duran Duran , John Taylor , Linda Ronstadt , “You're No Good , ” The Eagles , “Witchy Woman , ” McKittrick Hotel , “Sleep No More"

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