Fine Fabrics, Classic Tailoring Combine in Fresh Fashion Line
“Dress has always been my strongest suit!” proclaims an Elton John song in the Broadway hit Aida. One local fashionista knows that feeling well.
Cavanagh Baker, a 27-year-old Nashville-based luxury women’s wear designer, dresses celebrities for red carpets, musicians who entertain, businesswomen who know what clothing they like and females whose work is motherhood—all with flair, bold tastes and standout styles. Her designs have been featured on The Bachelor, in Elle, The New York Times and other publications. All Cavanagh Baker garments are sourced from the finest textiles originating in France, Italy and Spain to provide longevity and supreme quality.
Since starting her business in 2016, Cavanagh quickly attracted performers and celebrities seeking memorable looks, such as Maren Morris, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Heidi Klum, Lucy Hale, Camila Mendes, Michelle Rodriguez and Angela Bassett.
Cavanagh’s breakthrough came three years ago when she met a stylist who was working on Kelsea Ballerini’s Peter Pan music video, and she was asked to make a charming but edgy outfit for the singer. The video of Kelsea wearing Cavanagh’s customized rompers with flowing trains has been viewed more than 52.4 million times on YouTube. Kelsea says they used a parachute and the song’s lyrics as inspiration.
“Being in a relationship with someone that is never going to grow up can make someone feel tied down, so the straps used in the designs are to signify that feeling, but the flow of the skirts are symbols of freedom as she is finding out that this isn’t a healthy relationship and walks away.”
From her Music City brainchild setting, Cavanagh, along with a patternmaker and a seamstress, creates prototypes that are then produced in small-batch quantities in the heart of New York City’s fashion district, ensuring the most opulence quality on the market. She fits private clients at her design atelier in Nashville’s historic Cummins Station and also sells online at CavanaghBaker.com, as well as to a limited number of boutiques around the United States.
She’s known for using interesting fabric, creating new silhouettes, and for clothes that fit well and are solidly constructed. The Alabama native started at Vanderbilt University and got fashion technical training at the Savannah College of Art and Design, graduating with a fashion degree in 2014. At that time, her all-black senior collection, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, received many honors upon its debut, including coverage in Women’s Wear Daily and Fashionista. She also worked in Reebok’s athletic design department in Boston before relocating to Nashville.
She now designs “for women who appreciate the fine art of dressing,” who typically are 40 to 65 years old. She says it’s how these women put their looks together that sets them apart.
“The woman who wears our clothing doesn’t care what celebrities are wearing. She sees her style, knows what she wants, and buys it no matter what the fads are,” she adds. “They’re finding what they like as trendsetters. And they’re travelers, artists, doctors, business professionals and mothers who focus on a lot of charity work.”
Nashville residents like to drop by Cavanagh’s eye-catching boutique front to get glimpses of her limited edition, made-to-order garments, which she confides are inspired by individuality and textures.
Her new collection offers a ready-to-wear line composed of classic silhouettes and unique, sophisticated fabrics. Luxury, drama and glamour are the visual hallmarks of the designs of Cavanagh Baker.
Here, in Brentwood Lifestyle, are showcased some of Cavanagh’s most recent holiday fashion designs. She says clothing trends are leaning toward more casual, however, it’s easy to “glam up” seemingly casual outfits with one statement piece, such as overcoats.
Cavanagh’s Atelier is open to the public on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.
Jacket: Coco Two-in-One Jacket Auburn
- Material: Metallic wool, silk lining, metal buttons, two-way detachable zipper.
- Notes: Sizes XS-XL, available in multiple colors and fabrics. Fitted.
- Price: $1,500; other fabrics from $1,300 and up.
- Black dress: example of one-of-a-kind slip dress.
- Material: Couture beaded lace.
- Price $1,350.
- Notes: Can be made in any length and any fabric – price dependent on length and material changes.
Jacket: Kingsley Jacket
- A bestseller from two seasons ago brought back by popular demand.
- Material: Silk velvet, silk charmeuse, silk.
- Notes: Comes in multiple colors. Relaxed fit.
Jacket: Jackie O Oversized Coat Black with Mink Pom-Poms
- Material: wool, mink, silk blend lining.
- Price: $1,200.
- Notes: Oversized fit. Only available in Nashville atelier. Email to purchase.
- Dress: Asymmetrical slip dress (for spring, sample).
- Material: Silk velvet.
- Notes: Price TBD, more colors will be available.
On Nina: Kingsley jacket/On Cavanagh
- Jacket: Jackie O oversized Coat Millennial Pink.
- Material: Metallic wool. Silk lining. Covered buttons.
- Notes: Oversized fit, more colors and fabrics available.
- Price: $990
Dress: Amelia Slip Dress
- Material: Silk velvet.
- Price: $900.
- Notes: Fitted, high slit, can be made in other fabrics and lengths.