WHO ARE YOU?
I’m Joy Taylor a vintage loving gal in my sixties. I adore everything 40’s and 50’s, the music, the furniture, the cars, the art, the architecture but most of all the clothing and accessories.
Having worked most of my life in the film and television industry and having owned a costume hire shop in Sydney I decided at 50 that I would do what I loved most and decided to start my own retro label, Hot Couture.
DESCRIBE YOUR FASHION STYLE
I would have to say eccentric and eclectic but based on a vintage vibe. I throw all sorts of pieces together now but when I was younger and had a great figure I pretty much dressed in fifties op shop stuff. I would look like a right eejit if I did that now.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE STYLE ICON & WHY?
Hands down Christian Dior, he is god. I visited his studio in Paris it was heaven.
The Power House Museum had an exhibition of all of his sketches, designs, toilles and patterns about 25 years ago.
I actually sobbed when I saw his garments and sketches. They are works of art and he is the most wonderful artist of all.
I have other faves but he is king in my books.
He was all about cinched in waists and making women look like women. I’m such a girly girl.
WHAT IS YOUR CLAIM TO FAME?
In my 30s I was in a lot of ads on television and in magazines, I did one once for Rothmans cigarettes ( I’ve never even smoked and in my defense we didn’t know then what we know now.
I was on billboards all over Australia and in every magazine you picked up, every corner store sign out front, it was hilarious, it drove my friends crazy.It was such bad photo of me to, all my friends would tell me “so you finally got to be famous and you look like shite". Haha I really do.
My friend Tony was up in the far north of Qld and he called me from a petrol station and said he was in the most remote part of Australia doing a doco on The Flying Doctors and there was my ugly dial on a billboard. We laughed so hard.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE 5 ESSENTIAL FASHION PIECES?
I think everyone should own at least one classic expensive handbag.
Better that than to but have loads of cheap knock offs.
I hate the ones with logos and hardware all over them, I call them wanna be bags.
I LOVE bangles, I have them in every colour and I love matching them with earrings. I love bakelite but I find a lot of cheap wooden ones in op shops and I love them too. Love mixing bamboo earrings and bangles with wooden and plastic ones.
Some people will only buy bakelite I find that a bit silly because there are a lot of beautiful bangles out there and as long as they look good. Know what I’m saying.
A beautiful black swing coat and a beautiful raincoat with matching umbrella and gloves.
A beautiful coat. I’m coat crazy I have a ridiculous amount of leopard coats all lengths and I wear them all.
You need a beautiful hat at least one in leopard with a bow and of course a pillbox.
I have about 30 pair of leather gloves, they are in a box with my glasses.
Do you have a special prized fashion piece in your wardrobe?
My special pieces were my Vivienne Westwood handbags that I bought from Worlds End in London but I have given them both to my daughters, I don’t use them much anymore and I thought the girls would love them.
I do have a 1940’s cowgirl dress that is to die for and a 1940s green coat I saw in a vintage parade and went to great lengths to acquire.
I bought a wonderful lucite Elsa Schiaparelli handbag in NYC a few years ago.
It’s divine but the piece that is the most incredible I can’t use it because of what it is is.
Is the leopard bag that is an actual face of a leopard, whiskers and all. It belonged to my friends grandmother, she went to Africa to live in the 1920’s on a ship ( the mirror from the ship is still in the bag )
Anyhoo my friend was throwing it away if I didn’t want it, so I kinda saved the poor kitty.
I know it’s so wrong but so purdy.
WHAT IS SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOU?
When I was a kid every time my parents went shopping I would crawl under dads bed and get out all his Playboys and draw all the girls in the cartoons, I just loved them.
I wanted to be just like them with huge breasts and tiny waist, I was 10.
I thought I was so clever I had a book covered in Bambi wrapping paper and inside were all these drawings I had copied, I’m sure I didn’t get any of the jokes. I still have that book.
I loved Varga and when we lived in San Francisco I bought one of his paintings, he’s my favourite.
Do you have a favourite sewing pattern? What is it?
I have over 400 original patterns from the 1930s to 1963, so that’s a hard one.
My all time favourite pattern is of a sarong with a bolero. I unpicked an Alfred Shaheen sarong to get that pattern, it is divine. If ever you want to know how to sew properly unpick an old garment and sew it back together. Seriously does your head in.
I have made the Shaheen up in some of my most beautiful vintage fabrics, another passion of mine. I always find them hard to sell though.