Isolation Inspiration – Designer Batsheva Hay

So much has changed in light of Covid-19 – lost my job, temporarily relocated from Brooklyn to The Berkshires and impulsively bought multiple Aviator Nation loungewear sets (tie-dye is clearly the official color of quarantine) instead of saving for a “rainy day.” As if anyone really cares what I’m wearing during early morning jaunts to the local grocer?

Like many of us, I’ve had a bit of time to reflect about what truly matters in life. Clearly family comes first – my kids, husband and parents. That said, as shallow as it sounds, there are a few other things deemed essential for my daily existence: online shopping (no shocker there!), virtual fitness, Marou Tien Giang 80% dark chocolate and of course, Netflix.

As a Mother of 10 year-old boy/girl twins, most of my so called “free” time is spent cooking and cleaning up after these pint-sized humans. When I have a few moments alone (typically on the toilet), I get sucked into the black hole of Instagram. After that, I scan the latest New York Times headlines (all Covid all the time) which completely depresses me (doomscrolling yet again) and drives me right back to my favorite pastime: stress shopping my favorite sites – typically, Bandier, Farfetch, MatchesFashion, and Garmentory, fantasizing about what to wear despite this “new normal.”

What can I say… once a FashionJunkie, always a FashionJunkie. And yes, despite the global health crisis and my dwindling savings account, I still have a laundry list of at-home sartorial obsessions that somehow find their way into my crammed Brooklyn closet. Case in point: this puff-sleeved micro floral Batsheva prairie dress. I first discovered this masterpiece at for 50% off (insanity!) back in May and foolishly left it abandoned in my cart. When I visited the site again the next day, sadly the size 0 was no longer in stock. Fortunately I found a similar floral print at MatchesFashion though I’m still obsessing over the one that got away. Moral of the story: everything designed by Batsheva is best-in-class and sells out super fast regardless of price or Pandemic.

Hard to believe Hay had no formal design training and left her cushy full-time job as a lawyer shortly before launching her namesake line back in 2016. Her success pretty much happened overnight and couldn’t have happened to a better person. I had the pleasure of meeting Hay at her Manhattan showroom on several occasions (pre-Covid days) and can’t say enough good things about her and her undeniable talent. She’s the epitome of cool, treats her customers like royalty and is always beaming just like her signature, mood-enhancing masterpieces.

In my humble opinion, none of the Batsheva copycats (you know who you are!) even compare to the quality, meticulous fit and whimsy of Hay’s Victorian-inspired works of art. I’m obsessed with every flawless detail that goes into the designs of her timeless, unorthodox garments. Channel your inner Shira Haas (a.k.a. “Esty”) via ankle-length dresses with nipped-in waists, ruffle sleeves, high necks and vintage floral prints. Other must-haves include corset-style tops, holographic metallic dresses, modern Moire and 80’s-inspired zebra print blouses, dresses with over-sized bows and tiered crushed velvet, sparkly rhinestone buttons, classic leopard and my absolute fave, dramatic puffed sleeves in quirky prints like this green apple Lucy minidress that’s calling my name!

Dara's '80's inspired Zebra Print Batsheva Dress

Did I mention her adorable kids’ collection? What could be more fun or fashionable than matching Fashion Junkie and Fashion Junkie Junior silver lame dresses?

As a vertically challenged and petite powerhouse, I have a tough time buying anything off the rack (a huge shout out to Pablo at The Stanton Tailor). But with Batsheva dresses that’s simply not the case. Everything I’ve purchased from Hay in a size 0 (at least 20 items at last count) fits like a glove. The only exception being this gorgeous paisley print navy silk pant suit which I happily snagged in a size 2. Best to go up a size and get it altered by my trusty tailor rather than risk missing out entirely. Batsheva just posted this gem on her Instagram feed and the complete size run nearly sold out within a few hours. You snooze, you lose!

I’m equally as obsessed with Hay’s latest brand extensions including quilted duffle bags, floral face masks (I bought one for every day of the week so I can color coordinate them with my outfits), frilly aprons, stunning silk taffeta rosette hair clips and edgy housedresses made from recycled fabrics that are strikingly similar to what my late Bubby Eva wore circa 1970 but with a modern twist. Cool, comfortable, lightweight and perfect for lounging at home or in my case, strolling to the local grocery store. Much more functional and fashionable than all that sweat-inducing loungewear I splurged on. Ooops….. might be time to nix the sweatpants after all.

Dear reader: you’ll be hearing a lot more about my daily fashion musings in the weeks and months to come so be sure to visit often. As always, I love hearing from you so please post any questions and feedback in the comments below. Be safe and be well. xx

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