Interview: Fashion Designer Tara Skelly

 There is such a wide array of artistic talent in Memphis but as a lady in the fashion industry here in the city, it is very rare...

 There is such a wide array of artistic talent in Memphis but as a lady in the fashion industry here in the city, it is very rare to find the arts utilized in the fashion segment. We have a lot of great musicians, artists, writers, and with the emergence of incredibly talented fashion designers and our very own fashion week in the past few years, Memphis is experiencing a southern fashion uprising. One lady introducing fashion to Memphis is designer, Tara Skelley. I got the honor of interviewing this beautifully talented woman and I am blown away by her determination, perseverance, and support of the Memphis fashion scene.

 (Tara's inspiration and design walls)

ME: How did you get into the fashion industry?
Tara: It was not on purpose. I was working in accounting and finance for several years but did creative things as a hobby. I began to focus on learning about fashion and design. Memphis Fashion Week hosted the Emerging Memphis Designer Project, 2013, EMDP, and I decided to showcase my first three pieces. I won the showcase and everything flourished from there.

ME: What is the inspiration behind your designs and the signature for your brand?
Tara: I like to make every collection a little bit different with each having it’s own set of inspirations. The signature style to my brand would be easy to wear, very feminine pieces. I am drawn to interesting prints and quality fabrics. I also release at least one original custom print, that I draw, every season. I like things that stand out. Almost everything is done in silk.

Spring/Summer Collection: Inspired by the south American culture. There is a huge spectrum of bold colors and whimsical details. I did a hand drawn tassel print with a lot of tassel detailing. Great mix and match pieces, dresses and separates all in silk. A wonder-lust, effortless sense of style.


ME: How did you come up with your name?
Tara: Dilettante Collection - It means someone who dabbles in the arts for entertainment or amusement. That is how I started fashion design. I would attempt several different artistic hobbies as a creative outlet until I came upon and fell in love with design.

ME: How did you learn to sew?
Tara: I would draw my designs, take them to seamstresses, and observe and learn as they made my designs come to life. After a few months and a few classes, I was able to create my own designs. It all came very intuitive to me. You Tube, Google, and trial and error helped a lot.
ME: Where do you see yourself taking the line in the future? 

Tara: I am selling direct to consumer right now via trunk shows and selling directly on the website. I would like to get a jump start on wholesale so that I can expand the reach of my brand into boutique outlets. I enjoy collaborations and would love to work with different creatives and artists to do some different brand offerings in the future. 

Thank you for reading!

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