Designer Rebecca Taylor's name is synonymous with romantic dresses cut from delicate fabrics, ladylike tweed jackets in a range of sweet shades, and breezy number sprinkled with girly blooms. But after nearly two decades in the business, Taylor is starting from scratch—with the launch of a new casual, more affordable sister line: La Vie. And to understand her new collection means going back to the very beginning.
"When I first started Rebecca Taylor, I wanted it to reflect my personal style—I don't wear a lot of dresses, I'm very tomboy-ish, very down-to-earth, and I collect Victorian clothing and vintage Italian cargos from the flea markets in Paris," Taylor explains. "But as my collection evolved, it became more dressy, more polished, more event-focused, and I felt that it was time to go back to my roots and put out a collection that reflects me and how the Rebecca Taylor girl dresses today."
That meant designing high-quality everyday pieces that were both approachable and more importantly, clothing that Taylor would personally wear. She drew inspiration from the "French girl" (which reflects the name of the collection—La Vie, French for "the life") in the sense that classic, timeless basics comprise the core of the French girl's wardrobe, as opposed to fast fashion trends.
"You might think I was French, but I’m not. I just honestly, to put it simply, love Paris, I love France, I’m in love with the food, the language, the architecture, everything about it," she enthuses. "For me, when I’m in Paris, I feel like I’m at my best, so I wanted to reflect that in the name of the collection."
But let's get back to the clothes. There are beautiful eyelet little white dresses, elegant Victorian-inspired ruffled tops, classic striped tees, and phenomenal high-waist butt-flattering jeans—the prized piece of the collection. "I didn't want to ship until our high-waisted denim was absolutely, perfectly correct," Taylor says, calling out the Beatrice and Anais styles as her loves. "Every time I put them on, everyone is like, 'Have you lost weight?' I'm not kidding you."
The new range feels new, fresh, and different enough without completely abandoning the Rebecca Taylor brand aesthetic, like her use of ruffles, the pretty prints, and the soft color palette. And the fact that everything falls at a lower price point (between $95 for a jersey tee and $325 for a patchwork chambray jacket), compared with her core Rebecca Taylor line, is just icing on the cake. Better yet, everything is available today at rebeccataylor.com, shopbop.com, and nordstrom.com.
"I believe in it so much, and I think our customer will believe in it, too," she says. "Life is nuts. I'm raising three kids, I'm running this company. I want getting dressed in the morning to be easy—that's one thing I don't have to think about. Everyone just wants to wear great clothes and feel pretty, right?"
Scroll through to shop a few of our fave pieces from La Vie and head on over to rebeccataylor.com to shop the full collection.