When I saw Kate Taylor on Oscar night, she was wearing a fabulous sweater dress, one of her Western-style jackets, and a knit shawl wrapped over that. Her below-the-knee-length knit sweater dress was stunning, timeless, and elegant. Kate shared the story: It turns out Noava Knight, manager of the Chicken Alley Thrift Shop in Vineyard Haven, bought the dress originally when it came into the thrift shop and gave it to documentary filmmaker Liz Witham, Kate’s daughter, for her birthday last November. Liz was thrilled, and thought the dress was knit by her grandmother Trudy Taylor. After a couple of months, Liz decided to pass the dress on to her mother Kate.
Kate explained that her mother Trudy had knit other long sweater dresses in a similar pattern and colors maybe 40 years ago. In fact, Trudy sold a few dresses at Julie Artisans’ Gallery in New York City (no longer a Madison Avenue staple of wearable art, having closed in 2013). Trudy had been a knitter since childhood, taking her knitting along even to the movies. She learned how to spin wool from Sophie Block of Music Street, and was an early member of the Island Fiber Arts Guild. Later in life, Trudy pursued her passion, making trips to the Shetland and Aran islands to learn more about spinning, wools, and knitting.
Kate Taylor would love to confirm that the dress she is wearing in the photo is in fact made by her mother. If anyone recognizes the dress as Trudy’s handwork, or that of anyone else, or even as belonging to a label, please contact Kate Taylor at Kate@KateTaylor.com.