Behind the Prints at Tucker by Gaby Basora

By
North Shore Girl (spring 2009). Photo: Courtesy of Tucker by Gaby Basora

Enigmatic womenswear designer Gaby Basora sells her Tucker by Gaby Basora line of boldly patterned blouses and dresses at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, and Bloomingdale's. But for an internationally distributed brand, her just-opened 250-square-foot shop on the Lower East Side is surprisingly intimate. As her first stand-alone retail space, the vibrant boutique is meant to foster one-on-one interactions with the designer, who packs the racks with one-off designs, limited-edition prints, and collaboration pieces (most recently, sash belts by Alyssa Norton and funky leather bags by Sophia Wood lined with Tucker fabrics). Basora creates around a dozen new prints each season, bestowing each with an imaginative name that recalls the person, far-flung place, book, film, or work of art that inspires it. Every print has a story behind it, from the highbrow (T.S. Eliot's "Sweeney Agonistes"; Nobel Prize–winning physicist Niels Bohr) to the personal ("This one is named after my friend's uncle, an artist whose lover was part of an East Indian dance troupe ... "). We asked Basora to reveal the inspiration behind some of the splashy fabrics in her new spring collection.