Taylor Uchytil, 19, has never been one to tone down her own choices in clothing.
“I’ve always worn the weirdest stuff,” she says. “I guess that was the one thing I wanted control over when I was little. I loved to be able to wear Halloween tights in the middle of the summer.”
On an afternoon forecasted to be rainy and cloudy, Uchytil wears bright red lipstick, a floor-length coat and leopard-print heels. Her hair is the color of brick and amber, and there’s a sheer piece of printed fabric tied into a headband to accentuate the rest of her outfit. Despite working for a construction company, she looks exactly the kind of person to be attending 2019’s New York Fashion Week — not just as a guest either, but as a designer.
Uchytil was discovered earlier this year by a model who saw her recent spring collection and immediately invited the designer to New York Fashion Week. For the event, Uchytil will be creating 15 new looks for a spring line by February. She also hopes to include at least one male model in the runway for her collection, since her current collection features only female models.
Despite her obvious flare for aesthetics, however, Uchytil has only been designing since late March of 2018, and finished her spring collection around the beginning of June.
“My line wasn’t necessarily inspired by colors and spring exactly,” she says. “It was more of a collection for just women, young women. All these dresses to me have their own character, they’re all completely different people … it’s not super cohesive.”
Her spring collection has since been featured in the Reno Fashion Show, and will be making more appearances in RAW Artist’s “Ovation” runway in Orange County, Take 2’s “Idol’s & Icons” runway in Reno, and On Common Ground’s fashion show in Reno.
Uchytil has been inspired by a variety of fashionable people, like DJs and foreign women on Instagram, but says her main inspiration comes from the luxury fashion brand, Gucci. As a result, she’s taken to “revolutionary” styles of clothing and is drawn toward designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also break the mold.
“Right now I just love coming up with concepts and obscure reasonings for my designs,” she says. “And I kind of like that [my collection] is not the most wearable … it is very runway.”
She’s not being cocky when she says “runway” either. Outfits by Gucci and other high-end brands are typically unwearable in everyday situations, because of their strange and peculiar designs. Many of Uchytil’s own designs are also unwearable for one reason or another off the runway. Yet, this isn’t a problem for the young designer. To her, her spring collection includes reflections of “characters” with their own fully realized personas. Some, like “Ferrari” and “Norma Jean” (both pictured above) have also been inspired by various factors of Uchytil’s life, like her history as a go-kart racer and her late aunt.
“[‘Norma Jean’] was one of the first ones I completed while [my aunt] was in the hospital,” says Uchytil. “So I would be working on it and then I would go visit her, and I just wish I didn’t wait that long to get close to her … She was just the most poised, elegant, strong woman, and it just felt right. It felt like it was for her.”
Yet perhaps the most difficult design in the collection to execute was a green, purple, pink and blue tulle dress that’s entirely see-through. Although it took nearly 20 hours to create, Uchytil regards it as the most “high-fashion” creation because it makes people uncomfortable and forces them to think.
“It’s see-through but not scandalous at all,” she says. “When it came out on the runway I just wanted people to be confused … it’s see-through but there’s no sex appeal to it.”
In terms of upcoming plans for Uchytil, she hopes to return to college in the spring — if her contribution to NYFW doesn’t open up any immediate doors — and study some sort of natural science. Her next fashion show, “Ovation”, will be taking place Wednesday, Oct. 10, and has tickets available for $22 at http://www.rawartists.org/tayloruchytil. Her next two shows in Reno will be taking place on Sunday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 10.