1. HOW DID TAIANA DESIGN EVOLVE?
Taiana Design was initially thought up when I was taught the ancient techniques of felting from my family in Germany. Years later, when asked by Francisco Costa to create fabric for him to make some custom pieces for the runway in a week, I brought out those skills taught to me and applied at my own level and technique. After seeing the dresses and jackets on the Calvin Klein runway show, I had a business.
2. WHERE DO YOU DRAW MOST OF YOUR INSPIRATION?
My inspiration comes from my imagination. I am not so much inspired by fellow designers but more so from the role a human can play as a canvas outside of the human shape. I feel we limit ourselves by our shape, and within my art, I have always attempted to represent a concept that I can let go of my bones and go beyond my limits. Perhaps these things were ignited in me from my childhood. My parents have always been very creative, a home filled with modern art and sculpture, and decor always assembled with unusual objects brought into harmony. Another inspiration must have been from Doctor Seuss books or early Tim Burton films as well as going with my family to see all the Cirque Du Soleil shows where imagination goes beyond what you could believe was humanly possible.
3. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH FRANCISCO COSTA’S CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION?
First of all, Francisco is the sweetest person! You would never expect someone at that level to be as humble and kind hearted as he was. He and his team were immediately welcoming and accommodating. The moment I walked into that office they welcomed me like family. It was literally one week before runway when he commissioned me to make the first piece of fabric. So things were quite rushed and stressed. I was modeling at the time, so by day I had anywhere from 10-15 castings, then by night had to produce fabric (sleeping didn’t occur during this time). Every time I would bring a finished piece of fabric, he would say, “Great, I need 5 more by tomorrow morning”, so off I went again. I had no idea what type of garment he was planning to make, let alone if it would make it on the runway. I only knew I had to produce everything as fast as possible! As I nervously stood at the Calvin Klein show, waiting to see if it made it on the catwalk, I was relieved to see three beautiful pieces coming down the isle. At that moment my whole career changed. Afterwards, when I approached Francisco to thank him for the incredible opportunity and compliment his creations, he completely surprised me with his response. Being who he is, he eagerly thanked me and asked me if I thought everything looked alright and if I thought that the music and the lights were alright. He was so grateful for the work I did – what a strange role reversal!
4. WHAT AIDS IN YOUR DESIGN PROCESS?
The biggest aid is strength. The work I do is INCREDIBLY labor intensive, so my strength, both physically and emotionally, keeps me standing. Yoga is the biggest helper to create longevity in which I can work and keep myself standing. Because it’s such a creative process, I can only employ someone to help me with about 30% of the work. The rest is too personal to teach someone else to assist me, because a lot of it comes from impulse. So that really limits my time. I never EVER stop working!
5. WHAT SO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH YOUR DESIGNS – BOTH AESTHETICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY?
I hope to continue to create from my self and not by the demands in fashion for change, season and trend. I hope to continue to create something that I have never seen before or most people would never have imagined could be worn, not just hung as art.
6. HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE TAIANA DESIGN MANTRA?
“Let go of your bones.”
7. WHAT IS NEXT FOR TAIANA DESIGNS – THE WOMAN AND THE LABEL?
I am a mixed media artist, so next is taking this craft to another level and deciding if it stays on the border between art and fashion or steps further into one world, moving in and out. I am trying to stay fresh and creative without burning myself out, so patience is key in this process. Don’t out do yourself every season before you’ve mastered the last one.
QUICK RANDOM ONES:
FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME?
Evil question, SO MANY! But probably, Survive Style 5 and A underground a Japanese film.
MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
The ring my boyfriend Paris Kain of Abraxas Rex gave me. It’s a platinum silver base, with Meteorite carved in the center as a funnel with an upside down Black diamond at the bottom of the funnel shape. When you look at it,you feel like you’re looking into a black hole, creating this incredible illusion that it goes down forever into a dark vortex, and the shine from the diamond facets reflecting off the meteorite create a shine that feels like a laser pointing wherever I aim it. It keeps me safe!
WHAT ALBUM OR SONG IS DOING THE ROUNDS IN YOUR CAR/IPOD OR STEREO?
A mix of all my favorite dance music – an assortment of electronic tunes that make me feel like I’m on the moon, removing me from this planet.
I already have them! My very close family friends; Rick Owens and Michele Lamy. Such magical creatures.
FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN NEW YORK?
Unfortunately, I cannot limit this to one, for a few hold equal spots in my heart that must name.
BEST COFFEE WITHOUT A DOUBT?
Abraco on 7th street. Between 1st and 2nd Ave. Incredible snacks there, too. As for restaurants, a place called La Superior in Williamsburg. Incredible, fresh and creative hand made Mexican food. And Supercore, also another place in Williamsburg. This is a Japanese type restaurant, NOT SUSHI, that just has a very delicious and unusual menu full of slowly marinated goodies.