Fashion / Style

Houston’s Fashion Wunderkind Goes His Separate Ways at Fashion Week

And a Top Model Helps Him Make His Mark

BY // 03.09.19
photography Amir Taghi

NEW  YORK — Even though he’s in the midst of classes at Parsons School of Design, Amir Taghi wasn’t about to ignore New York Fashion Week. The Houston-born designer rented space at the chic Bowery Hotel to show retailers and the fashion press his fall collection, which he found time to create amid his hectic schedule.

It’s a more refined collection, with a number of highly sellable pieces, reflecting the 23-year-old fashion wunderkind’s progression as a designer. Seven years ago, Taghi unveiled his first collection at his parents’ Tanglewood home when he was a high school freshman and has continued to create collections each season even while continuing his fashion studies.

His bread-and-butter business has been made-to-measure special occasion gowns for affluent woman. The wedding gown he created for Chanel Dror’s marriage ceremony in France attracted a write-up in Vogue magazine and he is the gala gown-go-to-designer for several Houston socialites.

But he discovered that wearable daytime separates like shift dresses, pleated skirts, blouses with Elizabethan sleeves, and mix-and-match jackets and pants have become more popular with his clientele.

“It’s not about gowns anymore. Our No. 1 seller was this pant right here,” Taghi says, pointing to a pair of tailored trousers, “so we wanted to incorporate separates and more things that match with the pants. I really wanted to make everything more cohesive.

“It’s so playful, but it’s more wearable. I can see a variety of different women wearing the collection, whether they’re in their 30s or if they’re in their 60s.”

Among his new creations are a tuxedo pant with a cummerbund and super-wide leg and a modern take on a blazer in menswear fabric with delicate needlepoint smocking, conjuring up memories of his uncle’s menswear store, A. Taghi, in the Galleria area.

“I took a lot of inspiration from that when I was young, go I wanted to bring that kind of vibe back,” he says.

Taghi also examined his family’s Iranian background to pick the collection’s colors, which include deep burgundy, rust, teal and green shades.

“I looked at a Persian rug that’s at my parents’ (Houston) home and I literally zoomed into it and these were the colors that spoke to me. And I thought they really went well together,” he says. “And we also took some (embroidery) motifs (from the rug) in the blazer and we did it in chiffon and charmeuse.

“So it’s a lot of Persian-esque colors.”

Taghi enlisted Moda Operandi style director Caitlin Burke to create a dramatic lookbook of the collection featuring in-demand Irish model Lorna Foranea.

“She’s  walked (in shows) for Jean Paul Gautier Couture, Schiaparelli,  and Marc Jacobs,” Taghi says. “She was an amazing model to work with so we’re really lucky to have her.”

The collection also includes corsets, which Taghi created for the first time. “This is something we wanted to add,” he says. “You can wear it under a blazer or with a pant or with a skirt. But we really wanted to be playful so we matched it with a (sheer) dress, with some high-waisted underwear underneath.

“It’s so different from what I was doing in Houston and it’s so different from what I was doing last season. There are still elements from last season, like the playful embroidery and the mix of fabrics, but I feel like it’s a more developed and mature collection.”

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