MW DIARIES

GUEST EDITOR

Batsheva

Hay

Meet the Queens raised, Upper West Side dwelling, calico-loving designer who’s making vintage inspired pioneer-meets-prairie dresses what every cool girl wants to wear — with baseball caps and sneaks — through her eponymous line: BATSHEVA.

How has your background/upbringing influenced your designs and overall style?

 

My mother was an artist and a bit of a hippie and raised me with a real love of textiles and vintage, special clothing. My brother and I were also experiencing grunge and punk in the 90’s so we spent a lot of time in the local Salvation Army’s, which used to be amazing. But I have always been an old soul, and I gravitated towards those special elaborate pieces.

What made you want to launch a line?

 

I was not finding what I wanted to buy. I wasn’t excited anymore when I went shopping. I just decided to make one dress. I found a patternmaker, made a sample, and it was the best dress I owned. I was hooked. And then my daughter wanted a matching one, so I obviously had to make a mini-me version.

necklace made by Batsheva’s grandmother

When do you feel at your most “creative”?

Whenever I find a treasure trove of fabrics or vinatage clothes, I get so excited and inspired. I start dreaming about all the things I can create and replicate. It feels special to find things in secret places.

What is your workspace like?

 

I just work out of my apartment on the Upper West Side, on my couch. I have a few racks of clothing in various places in the apartment. I have two kids, so our home is quite crowded. I make frequent trips to midtown for fittings, to buy buttons, etc.

“Do what you love, don’t be afraid of rejection: turns out all of these things are true.”

 

“Keep it simple and stick to your vision, even if it takes a little longer.”

What are you most excited to make?

Just more dresses. Better ones, ones that women want to wear all the time, and that I want to wear all the time.

GOOD ADVICE

What’s the last thing you googled?

“Vintage calico corduroy fabric”

Historical figure you’d love to see wearing a Batsheva dress?  

Janis Joplin

What’s something you just can’t stand?

Subway delays

What’s something you can’t live without?

Coffee, my kids

 

 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gilda Radnor, Albert Einstein, Miles Davis—you know, just a chill group, we can order Chinese takeout

Dream dinner party guests?

Style Icon?  

Vivienne Westwood

 

What’s a trend you’d never try?  

Not sure there is one

 

How has your style evolved over the years?  

I don’t wear heels very often. I wear bolder prints.

Favorite “styling” tip?  

 

Don’t overthink it too much. Don’t worry that your look is too attention-getting. People don’t notice you as much as you think, so take a risk and see what reactions you get.

 

What do you look for when shopping for vintage?  

Something that feels one-of-a-kind and special. Either a brilliant print or a cut that I’ve never seen before. Something may turn me on for no discernable reason too, and I just go with it.

What are some essentials on your packing list?  

Aquaphor, clip-on earrings, cheap fabrics that pack well (polyester, rayon) in fun prints

 

What’s the ratio of vintage to “new” in your wardrobe?  

At this point, with the exception of shoes and bags, I only wear stuff I design or vintage—probably 50/50.

necklace made by Batsheva’s grandmother

 

What’s currently on your “wish list”  

Vintage Chloe, Cacharel, Chanel dresses in floral prints.

 

Favorite movie?  

Wuthering Heights, with Laurence Olivier

“The Favorites”

Favorite meal?

Good cheese and bread

Favorite memory?  

My first childbirth, is that weird?

Favorite decade for clothing? 

The 60s

Favorite way to “Relax” or unwind?  

A long walk with good podcasts

 

Favorite artist(s)?  

Marlene Dumas, Alice Neel

Marlene Dumas. Naomi, 1995

Alice Neel. Nadja,1928

 

Favorite city to live in?  

New York

 

Favorite city for inspiration? 

New York

Favorite Indulgence? 

Potato Chips

Photography | Lorie Reilly

Batsheva Dresses via Batsheva.com