New York Fashion Week: 5 Questions with Rebecca Taylor

New Zealand-born Rebecca Taylor has amassed a loyal following for her brand’s flirty dresses and chic separates. She talks with TIME about designing, dating and trying to have it all

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If you could describe the girl who’s wearing your spring collection in just a few words, what would you say about her?
She’s modern, she’s feminine, and she’s urban.

You’re known for designs that have a very romantic, girly vibe. What’s been the most memorable date you’ve ever had?
I have to say with my husband, right? I think it was when I was in New Zealand the first time with my husband. It was very simple. We sat on the beach in Auckland, had a bottle of white wine and fried oysters. It was just one of those perfect moments.

If a woman could only have three essential items in her wardrobe, what do you think they should be?
A great pair of red shoes—pointed red pumps. Only three things? I think definitely, it’s such a cliché, but a little black dress. Your best pair of jeans that make you look skinny. And four, you need three white t-shirts or silk tops.

What will you do to celebrate after your show is over?
I’ve been joking to everyone that I’m taking them to the Olive Garden. It’d be great – as much salad and breadsticks as you want! No, we’re just going to a bar around here – really chill, relaxed. It was actually just my birthday – and I never have a birthday, because it’s right in the middle of Fashion Week. So theoretically, I’m still 21. (Laughs.) But my kids want to have a cake for me when we go home. So we’re going to have birthday cake.

How do you balance the demands of your job with being a mother?
It’s incredibly difficult. I know a lot of mothers say to me, ‘You have it all.’ And I’m always at pains to say, you never really have it all, but you have a little bit of everything. And you do the best you can.