STYLE SIREN: ATLANTA DE CADENET TAYLOR
photographed by MICK ROCK. styled by KIM JOHNSON. written & interviewed by COLLEEN NIKA. makeup ALEX ALMEIDA. hair DANA BOYER. photographer assistant’s CODY SMYTH & DEAN HOLTERMANN. casting & venue Coordination LIZ VAP/FERALCAT PRODUCTIONS. location MAISON O. special thanks to MAYA KHALIL
ROOMEUR top. HOUGHTON pants.
Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor is the blessed scion of an Eighties pop icon, John Taylor of Duran Duran, and an emblem of Nineties British glamor, photographer/TV host Amanda de Cadenet. Naturally, life was never going to be boring in this household. But 21-year-old de Cadenet Taylor is unphased by the flames of fame. “People are people,” she says with a refreshing shrug. She’s only truly starstruck by rappers (or Real Housewives, she admits), and considers meeting Snoop Dogg one of the highlights of her life. Right now, she’s garnering her own buzz, landing a modeling contract with NEXT and striking a pose in sophisticated editorials in Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, The New York Times, W, and more.
“It feels natural, because I grew up around the camera,” she explains. “My mother was obsessed with taking photos of me as a kid. She says that’s why she became a photographer.” However, the recent New York City transplant is too curious about the world to be content to just be a pretty face; she dreams of curating fashion, taking her DJing to new levels, and maybe even acting — she recently had a short role in her friend Gia Coppola’s debut film, Palo Alto. We caught up with the British-blooded Angelino-turned-New Yorker at the dark and swanky Bowery Hotel for a freshly legal cocktail and musings on music, glamor, fear, and fantasy.
MARA HOFFMAN dress.
DID YOU FEEL A STRONG BRITISH INFLUENCE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
Definitely! I wish I had a British accent. I say certain words the British way, though, and my friends tease me. “Mah-scar-a.” [Laughs.]
I DID EXPECT THE ACCENT, HONESTLY. HAVE YOU LIVED IN LONDON?
I lived in London for like a year – when I was really young. I usually would just go for Christmas vacation; my dad has a house in the country. I used to be upset it wasn’t in London! I wanted to go out, and they didn’t really have a drinking age. Now that I’m older, I like how mellow it is. I just like to go on walks, or go to the pub, or go horseback riding.
OSKLEN dress. ANNDRA NEEN ring. ZANA BAYNE white leather harness.
WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO NYC?
January. I grew up between Los Angeles and New York; I went to high school all over the place, and it felt like I was there forever. So, when I was done with school, I was DONE. No college for me. I decided to work in retail instead, then move to NYC. And here I am!
HOW DO YOU FIND THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE CITIES?
L.A. is so isolated from the rest of the world, and it’s a bit sleepy. I love it, but the distance to get anywhere else, especially Europe, is a bit much. At least in NYC, traveling may be a challenge, but it’s doable. In L.A., everything entails at least a 12 hour flight. Also, I’m 150% more self-sufficient now. I’m learning how to survive, pay bills on my own, how to light an apartment with no windows. How to figure my shit out. When you take away the comfort of knowing your parents live a few miles away, it really changes things.
OSKLEN sweatshirt. PIA PAURO skirt. MARISSA WEBB heels. stylist’s own charm bracelet.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE HOW FAMOUS YOUR DAD WAS?
Only recently, I think. But I went on tour with him when I was 12. We were in Rome, and he just got mobbed!
WELL, THOSE DURAN DURAN FANS ARE LIFERS.
They really are! He also played a hairdresser convention in Vegas — he’d kill me for mentioning this! — and I realized how intense those fans are. Life-long fans, like you say. But there’s also young girls who follow me on Twitter who are into Duran Duran and Eighties’ stuff, so I think they always have new fans.
WHAT WAS YOUR OWN FIRST MUSICAL LOVE?
I had a major punk phase, which is also when I committed the most fashion faux pas. My dad teased me because I had these checkered black pants with a slit down the side, and I put a million safety pins in them. I was really into the Ramones and the Clash around the time Joe Strummer died, and though I was like 10, I was so sad. It was the first music I connected to.
CHARLOTTE RONSON shirt & pants. SERGIO ROSSI shoes.
DID THAT MAKE YOU WANT TO DO MUSIC OF YOUR OWN?
Well, my dad taught me some stuff. When I was 13, I was in an all-girl band – until I decided I liked boys too much to be in an all-girl band. [Laughs.] But now I think the idea is really sexy, and I kind of want to take guitar lessons. I play bass and drums, but I thought it could be fun to play guitar.
WELL, IF YOU LEARNT BASS AS A KID, YOU ACTUALLY SHOULD BE ABLE TO LEARN GUITAR FAIRLY EASILY.
Yeah, and I noticed I was able to pick up DJing pretty easily, like second nature. My dad was really happy. I listen to so many types of music, I kind of understand what goes with what. But because I was constantly exposed to music as a kid - there was never NOT music in my house - that I actually really value silence now. I like things quiet.
WHEN DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR DJ SKILLS?
Well, it wasn’t something I really messed around with publicly until recently. I think my first gig was a Topshop party in London. I was so nervous! I just love music so much, and I used to feel too self-conscious to share “my” songs; for someone to not like the songs I played seemed so upsetting. But I toughened up, surprised myself, and I realized it was fun! My friend Harley Newton told me just to play good music and no one would care about the rest.
OSKLEN dress. KAREN WALKER sunglasses. PENDU X ZANA BAYNE bracelet.
SELECTION IS 99% OF DJING.
And I can handle that. I like to play rap, some rock, funny Seventies music, one-off Carly Simon songs. But I REALLY like to play rap, and I get more into that than anything else. Once people are in the groove, you drop some TLC, Busta Rhymes, some Missy. People love it!
DO YOU GO OUT A LOT OR ARE YOU A HOMEBODY?
A bit of both. I’m going through a bit of a going-out phase, but I barely went out at all the first four months I lived here – I was working too much. My friends would be like, “do you even live here?!” Now I have the summer bug.
HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR LOCAL HAUNTS?
I have been spending a lot of time at Black Market and Cabin (Down Below) – Cabin is perfect because it’s so close to me, and also because one of the owners is my stepdad’s best friend. I never really have to pay for a drink. Now that I’m 21, they have to deal with me! But come September, I’ll be back in work mode.
MISSGUIDED top. SCREAMING MIMI'S vintage skirt & bracelet. LOEFFLER RANDALL shoes.
HAVE YOU MASTERED THE ART OF BALANCING WORK AND PLAY?
For me drinking and working don’t go together, it will take me three days to recover if I party! If I don’t have to look nice, I am less careful. But I kind of started early, and got it out of my system early – not to say I didn’t get into my fair share of trouble going through it. But I’d rather turn in an essay late than not to show up to work. Recently, I have managed to create a strong work ethic for myself – I don’t know where it came from, since I wasn’t great in school. [Laughs.]
SO, WHAT ARE YOU ACTUALLY WORKING ON NOW, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO DO?
Right now, it’s been a lot of modeling. I got my first cover, Tatler with Katie Grand, and I’m also doing Love. I also shot the Forever 21 campaign coming out, as well as a Roger Vivier lookbook. What I’d really like to do is a clothing line collaboration, but I told myself I’d give myself this year to see what happens with modeling, and put out feelers for the next phase. It’s all happened really fast and each new milestone feels like a huge accomplishment. It means a lot to have someone trust you enough to take a chance on you to sell their brand. I’m very proud it’s come this far. I used to never really try anything new, now I am open to everything. I feel way more comfortable with myself as a human being; I used to hate every photo someone would take of me. Now, as I’m getting older, I’ve gotten more realistic and learned to accept myself. Growing up!
YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE AN INNATE INTEREST IN FASHION…
It’s something that I’m always figuring out. I used to be all about excess: a million bracelets, eighty studs in the ear, glitter on my lids. I dyed my hair pink and my mom laughed at me because she did the same thing in the 80s. Then I had to do the opposite: dark hair, black clothes, basically this one outfit for a whole year. It was like a personality crisis, but not that serious, obviously. I just didn’t want to be the same as everyone else.
ORLA KIELY dress. SCREAMING MIMI'S vintage necklace & belt.
ARE YOU INTO PARTICULAR DESIGNERS?
I love Dolce & Gabbana, but I can’t really afford it. I love Acne, Miu Miu, Stella McCartney. Christopher Kane’s rainbow collection stole my soul away. But in general, I really can’t justify spending hundreds when I know I can buy the same look somewhere else for $25. I’m actually really mainly into vintage, always have been. Especially L.A. vintage, where it’s cheap.
WHAT WILL YOUR FUTURE DREAM CLOTHING COLLABORATION LOOK LIKE?
I’m keeping it under wraps. I have a rack of inspirational clothes that I never wear out in public that I am saving for a special project some day. A lot of them are my mother’s clothes. A lot of those dresses are very short!
This story was produced for and published in SHK Magazine's Fall 2015 Issue.