Tanya Taylor and Mosha Lundström Halbert Email About Travel, Fashion and Inspiration

Fashion designer Tanya Taylor’s colourful dresses, with hand-painted prints and sizes ranging from 0 to 22, have been seen on Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga and Aidy Bryant, to name a few. Fellow Canadian Mosha Lundström Halbert, a Miami-based fashion journalist and entrepreneur, contributes to Vogue and CBC’s q, and channels her Nordic roots in her outerwear company Therma Kōta. Years ago, the two were set up on a blind friendship date in New York; they’ve been corresponding and gallivanting ever since.

September 3, 2019
A woman modelling a Therma Kōta jacket and pant set

From: Mosha Lundström Halbert
To: Tanya Taylor

Hey TT,
    Miss you, hope we’ll be able to coordinate a rendezvous soon. Was so lovely seeing you down in Miami. That dinner we had at Le Sirenuse was next level. Thank you for being the rare type of fashion person who always orders the pasta.
    I’m curious: Did you find lots of inspiration here? Can’t wait to see how it factors into your next collection. Speaking of what’s next, we need to figure out another excuse to travel together (and call it work) again soon. Where to? Japan? India?
Mosha x

An illustration of a dining room
A black and white photo of Mosha dressed in a fur coat
   Photo: Evening Standard (Getty Images)

From: Tanya Taylor
To: Mosha Lundström Halbert

Dear Miss Mosha,
    Miami is a melting pot of identities and I am so happy you are exploring your next chapter there. Thank you for showing me your version of the city, thus making me love it more. Who else gets to live on an island with Ragnar the bulldog? A dream.
    I found so much inspiration in my 72 hours there – I met with Barbara Hulanicki who founded Biba, the iconic fashion house beloved by Twiggy. I was amazed with her spunk. She has lived in Miami for over 20 years but brings this British rock ’n’ roll esthetic to a gritty beach society. Think Notting Hill swinging sixties meets Collins Avenue; plaid suiting minidresses meets neon netted jumpsuits. She is a true icon and I asked her everything about her creative process. She’s the inspiration for our spring collection: It’s acidic, surprising and FUN, just like her.
    Japan and India are musts – shall we say Tokyo in the fall?
X
T

Rainbow colours of an art deco building in Miami
A basket of dim sum in the shape of miniature pigs

From: Mosha Lundström Halbert
To: Tanya Taylor

My dear TT,
    Travel really does get those creative juices flowing. I find my eye is delighted by all the colours and moods of Miami. The art-deco pastels and Bauhaus buildings are influencing some upcoming styles for Therma Kōta, albeit with a Nordic spin.
    How similar (or different?) was your creative process to Barbara’s?
    Yes to Tokyo in the fall. I think all the experimental fashion and subcultures there will blow your mind. I’ve only been once for a few days for a Chanel show and have been dreaming of returning. I was recently in Hong Kong, another fascinating place with the most insane shopping (my favourite discovery was an eco-grocer and home-goods store called Slowood) and DIM SUM WITH FACES (did you see my videos from Yum Cha on IG?).
    I love that you have such a distinctive, maximalist packing style – and that you bring extra outfits for your friends, like that time we wore matching swishy floral skirts with thigh-high slits to the lucha libre wrestling show in Mexico City. That night was a hoot. What are your packing tips and tricks?
M xo

A woman dressed in a traditional kimono takes the Japanese subway
   Photo: Ryan Tang (unsplash)

From: Tanya Taylor
To: Mosha Lundström Halbert

Dear Mosh,
    Barbara exemplifies a freedom I crave – she lives life to the beat of her own drum and translates her creativity and art into wallpaper, hotel design and clothing. She has never felt boundaries as to what she can achieve or create. As you know, in some ways, fashion today isn’t what it was – there are more limits and expectations around who people want you to be. I want to channel Barbara until I am 80 with a long grey braid teaching classes in the art institute I hope to eventually build in Toronto. Barbara only wears black and I am a human rainbow, so we are spinning in different directions on our colour wheels.
    For Tokyo, I will absolutely pack a Mary Poppins suitcase of crazy colours and we can play dress-up and explore. My tip is to pack and dress differently than if you were at home – break out of your comfort zone and inject some fantasy and fun. I’m off to Puglia on Wednesday and plan to spend the days in palm tree-embroidered sundresses, and the nights eating cacio e pepe, dancing until the sun comes up.
    Where are you off to next?
Kisses to Aidan,
X
T

An ocean view with rock formations
   
Pink and yellow is splashed across the walls around a wooden door
   
    Photo: Jessica Sample (Gallery Stock)

From: Mosha Lundström Halbert
To: Tanya Taylor

Senorita Taylor,
    Your trip sounds heavenly. We’re actually going to Puglia, too, for a few days in July, after spending time on Ischia, on the Med side of Italy. We’ll have to share discoveries. My Italian friends rave about the beaches and say it’s where Italians themselves go to holiday. Naturally, that makes it even more enticing. I love getting to experience how the locals live. I think I’m actually more comfortable in this role than when I am the local, back in Toronto. Though the thought of attending your art school for a painting or pottery class could certainly lure me back for a bit. Where do you find yourself most creatively inspired?
    Speaking of home away from home, after a brief pit stop in Dubrovnik (Aidan wants to re-enact some favourite scenes from Game of Thrones, naturally), I’m picking up my sister in Dublin and we’re heading back to my beloved Iceland to shoot a new fall-collection campaign. It helps that even in the summertime it’s parka weather up there, plus 21 hours of magical daylight. I can’t wait to show you our latest shearling coats. There is a new style, the Olavia, that I could totally see you in – it has wild Mongolian-lamb cuffs and a Viking-princess vibe. Would be brilliant paired with some TT razzle-dazzle. You know I love when you do a sequin dress or anything metallic – my version of neutral.
    You always have a million things on the go and I’m so motivated by all that you juggle, while still making time for your friends and family. What’s your prioritization and productivity secret? Please share!
M xo

An orange vespa on the streets of Italy
Mexican lucha libre fighters
   Photo: Kirstin Mckee (Stocksy)

From: Tanya Taylor
To: Mosha Lundström Halbert

Miss Mosh,
    Puglia was a quick trip for a wedding – we are en route back to New York via Munich as I type. You must go to Le Palme Beach Club – very relaxed with faded striped sun beds and palm tree-imprinted tiles galore. The wedding was at a family home and the bridesmaids all wore our sunset-pink Ariela dresses and danced the night away in a piazza under string lights.
    Inspiration for me comes from the energy of people and new experiences. I find women electric – my latest resort-collection muse was author Zadie Smith. I like to know how everyone uses fashion to communicate and how I can give them tools to express themselves. Would you agree that you and I are the same in this way? I feel we thrive off the thrill of being challenged by new people and are fearless in experiencing life. Case in point: lucha libre in Mexico City, hehe.
    Re: balance – oh, I don’t know. I try to focus on the big picture and not get caught up in the small blunders of life. I’m constantly appreciating the strength that I’m forced to harness as a mother and business owner. I choose to be happy and to love my life, and I simply repeat that to myself if I’m having a day. Also, the app Happy Not Perfect helps me navigate my feelings these days.
    Cannot wait for a diva Therma Kōta shearling and, more importantly, some time with you soon.
X
Tanya

Two glasses of Aperol spritz
   Photo: directphoto.bz / Alamy Stock Photo

From: Mosha Lundström Halbert
To: Tanya Taylor

TT,
    Whirlwind indeed. Could not agree more with your sentiments. Thank you for filling up my motivation tank with your TT premium fuel. Would have been best discussed over an Aperol spritz, but there is something lovely, and, dare I say it, slightly old-fashioned about a good old e-mail exchange. I feel like we are 11 again and pen pals.
    Cheers to many more misadventures (and matching outfits) ahead. I totally anticipate us still twinning in our twilight years.
M x

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