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We LIKE It First – Heather Taylor, Houseware Designer

get-attachment-2Heather Taylor is an incredible housewares designer who specializes in creating the kind of hand-made table linens that make us swoon.  Based out of Los Angeles, Heather Taylor Home is a line of textiles and linens inspired by Heather’s love of travel and by the traditional textiles she has discovered on the way. She is also the creative force behind the beautifully curated Los Angeles lifestyle blog L.A. in Bloom. With her impeccable taste and love of entertaining, we asked Heather for the lowdown on her secrets to great entertaining.
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Heather Taylor On Entertaining

 

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WWL: What elements make a perfect dinner party?

HT: Best friends, low lights, flowers everywhere, a good cocktail, a perpetually full wine glass and interesting, delicious food. And most importantly a mellow, chilled-out host.

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WWL: What do you like to serve when you have friends over? What’s your signature drink?

HT: I love having a special cocktail to greet people with. Recently I’m loving an Aperol Spritz but my all time favorite has to be a margarita. I’ll grab citrus from my backyard and make something really refreshing. Once everyone has settled in, we’ll transition to wine or champagne. For food, I like to make something homey yet exciting. Butternut Squash lasagne in the fall or maybe tacos or pizza in the summer.

get-attachment-20WWL: What is your current playlist for home entertaining?

HT:My sister is my music guru and she makes me the best playlists. The one I’m currently loving includes Beach Boys, Coldplay, Bjork, Feist, Drake, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Common, Kate Bush, Paul Simon, Radiohead and The Postal Service. It’s perfect for a cozy Sunday night. When in doubt I go for the Django Reinhardt Pandora station.

get-attachment-19WWL: You create gorgeous linens. What’s your process for setting the table?

HT: I’m usually inspired by whatever flowers are in my garden or if I have a big bowl of citrus in the middle of the table. I like to build from the center out.

get-attachment-12WWL: What was the inspiration behind you starting your line?

 HT: I’ve been knitting and weaving for years and have always appreciated a beautiful textile. I also love entertaining and setting a beautiful table but I couldn’t find linens I loved without traveling to some far flung locale. I decided that I would start my own line, using inspiration from traditional textiles I have collected on my travels.

get-attachment-17WWL: What do you always have on your dining table?

 HT: Lots of fresh flowers and one of my embroidered table runners.

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 WWL: Are you one of those people that have gorgeous linen hand towels in your bathroom? (We always find that wildly impressive.)

 HT: I like to have turkish hand towels in the bathroom. It feels just elegant enough.

get-attachment-15WWL: Do you collect anything?

 HT: I do! I collect textiles, ceramic vases and books. All items that add depth and layers of meaning to any room. I guess I also collect yarn (hard for me to resist) and beautiful bottles of tequila (for all those margaritas).

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 WWL: Who would be your perfect dinner party guests from now or any period in time?

 HT: My best friends and family. I can’t imagine a cozier group!

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Heather Taylor Home.  Available online and at some of our favorite New York stores,  The Primary Essentials and Claire Vivier New York.
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We LIKE It First – Alyson Eastman

DSC_8779We first met Alyson Eastman at Warm, one of our favorite New York boutiques.  She fits in perfectly there, not only because she has an impeccable sense of style, but because her laid back attitude makes her instantly recognizable as one of those super cool Downtown girls.  This fall Alyson debuts her very own line, Alyson Eastman (which will be sold at Warm) and we sat down with her to discuss.

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WWL:  Where did you grow up?

AE: I grew up in Portland, Oregon on a farm.  It was amazing, my mom was a huge animal lover so I was surrounded by animals.  I had a pet goat, a dog and spent a lot of time riding my horse and best of all, playing with Jeff my pet Llama.  I live in Gramercy now, a neighborhood I love, but I’m always so happy when I go back to Portland to the farm to visit my parents.

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WWL: How did you go from Portland to launching your own line in New York?

AE: I went to college in Los Angeles where I studied fashion design at LA Design School.  While studying in LA I took a design study trip to Paris and literally fell in love with the city.  As soon as I graduated school, I picked up and moved to Paris where I studied design and French for the next two years.

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WWL: What would you say the major influences for your line are?

AE:  Without a doubt Paris was on my mind when I designed the line.   There’s just something about Paris that put the finishing touches on my design style.  I feel like my collection has the urban laid back nature of Los Angeles but with style sensibilities picked up from my years in Paris.

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cafecoleurWWL: What music did you listen to when you were designing the line?

AE: Serge Gainsbourg!  I listened to his album Couleur Cafe. I discovered it when I lived in Paris and listening to it always transports me back.

WWL:  What do you love the most about your first collection?

AE: I’m very proud that everything is made right here in NYC as that was very important to me.  I also love that I was able to use a print that I designed from a doodle.  I was sitting on the train from Paris to London and sketched a design that I really loved, I had that turned in to my very own unique print.

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WWL: Where do you like to hang out in NYC?

AE: Living and working Downtown, I love the Upper East Side. I like going to The Met, Central Park and hanging out at Cafe Sabarsky on 5th Avenue.

AlysonEastman.com

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WE LIKE IT FIRST – Meghan Farrell, Jewelry Designer

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In our new series WE LIKE IT FIRST, we seek out new and exciting designers, artists and anything else fabulous we’ve discovered in New York.  We’re excited to share our first interview in the series with amazing New York jewelry designer Meghan Farrell (above).
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WWL: Tell us about MF Jewelry and what inspired your latest collection?

MF: MF is a collection of jewelry that fuses the medical sciences with love stories. The collection features everything from delicate EKG Heartbeats with heart-shaped stones to more sculptural, bulky pieces that resemble kisses or the brain.  Every piece I create has a little story behind it. I guess it was kind of inevitable that I would design pieces inspired by medicine–my dad is a surgeon and my mom is a nurse! As for the love references, I was trained in theatre at Sarah Lawrence, and have always been a lover of love stories in literature and throughout history.  I’m fascinated by the romantic heroine, my favorites being Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, Viola from Twelfth Night, and Juliet Capulet from Romeo and Juliet. The latest FW14 collection is inspired by the mouth– particularly a kiss. It features rings that take on the quality of braces, individual outlines of lips fused together at the corners to look like a chain (“locked lips”), sculptural hearts that look like they are shooting stars, and geometric shark profiles with open mouths. It’s one of my favorite collections to date!

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WWL: You seem to have a passion for music. Do you listen to it when you design?

MF:  I do! I used to be a DJ at a few places in the East Village, spinning a mixture of everything, but I mainly liked to spin 50′s/60′s garage rock and R&B. I would throw in newer bands like Beck and The Black Keys, so it was a pretty fun mix.

WWL: What’s your go-to playlist this winter?

MF: Music is nearly always on when I am designing. I also love discovering and listening to new music. A year ago, I made a compilation which complimented the collection- a super fun project. I listened to this playlist on repeat over and over and over again this winter:

The Wire – Haim
Don’t Save Me – Haim
Love Club – Lorde
Bravado – Lorde
Team – Lorde
Buzzcut Season – Lorde
Run The World – Beyonce
Seasons (Waiting On You) – Future Islands
We Prefer It In The Dark – Bat and Ball
Pretty Boy – Young Galaxy
Don’t Come around Here No More – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Secret Garden – Bruce Springsteen
Fistful of Love – Antony and the Johnsons
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WWL: What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood to hang out in on the weekends? Any favorite spots?

MF: During my first eight years in NYC, I lived in TriBeca, which I absolutely loved.  However I recently moved to the East Village, as I tended to spend the majority of my time there with friends. As for my favorite spots, I love Lavagna for Italian food, Motorino for pizza, BLK MKT for burgers and cocktails, Dream Baby for cocktails.  The Smith is becoming a neighborhood go-to as well.  As for TriBeca, I do venture back down there every now and then. I love the West Side Highway, walking down Staple Street with that magical overpass, and Max’s pizzas and meatballs. TriBeca will always hold a huge spot in my heart.
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WWL: Do you collect anything?

MF: Yes! I have a huge love for shoes (Prada and Miu Miu being my absolute favorite), and get one pair a season! I have quite a collection. I also have started to collect vinyl , and my collection is slowly growing.

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WWL: If you could only wear 3 pieces of jewelry, what would they be?

MF: My mom’s Italian 14K Yellow gold basket-weave filigree ring with an amethyst, my EKG Skip Beat Ring in 14K yellow gold set with a garnet, and my Fused Flat Line Necklace in 14K Yellow Gold. I don’t count my little gold cross that my dad gave me when I was seven; I never take it off!

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What are your styling tips for wearing jewelry?

Stick with one bold piece, or lots of delicate pieces.  I think it’s super cool to wear just a statement necklace or ring- I have a Delfina Delettrez Eye Ring that is perfect on its own with a little white dress. I love it when an outfit is centered around a bold accessory. But I am known for wearing lots of my smaller gold rings on multiple fingers, a cute pair of earrings, and one of my gold necklaces. That’s more my style!

Meghan Farrell Jewelry Available in New York at:
Opening Ceremony. 35 Howard Street, Soho, New York, 10013 and Opening Ceremony at The Ace Hotel. 1190-1192 Broadway at 29th Street. New York, 10001

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Photo Credits: Underwater Series and Meghan Farrell images by Abby Wright