Taylor Jarrett and Dagny Piasecki are an “it” couple in the truest sense of the phrase. You seldom hear one name without the other attached, and in Austin you hear their names EVERYWHERE. They’re the best dressed couple at the party, the adorable pair on the cover of Texas Monthly, the young artistic entrepreneurs who also happen to be seriously in love. Together they’re the co-founders of SHDW Studios in East Austin, a photo studio and gallery that plays host to some of the most exciting projects happening in Austin. We’re proud to claim Taylor as a contributor to our site, and while he gets plenty of work as a model, we’re continually blown away by his styling chops. Dagny is a photographer with an incredible eye for vintage clothing, and her sweet personality is inspiring to everyone around her (especially Taylor). Last week we grabbed drinks with Taylor and Dagny at Ah Sing Den in East Austin to get the full story on how they met and all the little things that make this glamorous pair so special.
photographed by wynn myers
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet? Give us your best “meet cute”.
Dagny: Taylor and I met at a pool party I hosted one Labor day weekend years back. I invited all of my closest Dallas friends to come visit me and one of them brought Taylor with him. I pulled my creepy photographer lady card and told him I’d love to work with him someday on a photoshoot because, yeah, he’s gorgeous! We never shot together but a year later we ran into each other, he immediately asked me to dinner and after some playing hard to get, were inseparable.
So Taylor, what was your first impression of Dagny?
My first impressions of Dagny were many — she was kind and inspiring. My knowledge of her work prior to us meeting made her all-smiles personality shine that much more. It was humbling to say the least.
And Dagny, what were your first thoughts about Taylor?
Sweet, kind, polite, gorgeous eyes and ummm do I even have to say it? Ridiculously good looking.
Fast forward two years (and six months) later: you now own and operate SHDW Studios together in East Austin. Did you two come up with the business concept together?
Dagny: We actually talked about the idea of a studio/creative space on our first date! Over time the universe opened a path for us to create what we always talked about. We came up with the name and concept together and slowly made what is now SHDW Studios. We are working on growing the business in Austin as well as other cities in the future.
What’s it like working with your significant other every day?
Taylor: It’s a complete joy working with Dagny everyday, she’s my biggest inspiration.
Dagny: People ask me this all the time and all I can say is it is wonderful! Some people are able to spend that much time with another person and not go insane, some are not. Luckily, Taylor and I are both only children so we have this connection that goes beyond the title of a relationship. We are partners in every sense of the word. It is challenging at times but our communication, respect and trust has allowed us to overcome any obstacles in our way.
Is there a favorite past project the two of you worked on together?
Taylor: All of our projects are really fun! I look back and remember first working together as such a special time; I was just starting out in Austin and got the opportunity to assist Dagny on frequent basis, those days were so much fun because we got to learn about each other very quickly. With that, we quickly realized we were each others counterparts and that we could truly build something great together.
What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever been given?
Taylor: Communication and respect for one another, above all, always.
Dagny: My Mom once told me that relationships are about opportunity not obligation. It is something that has carried great weight in my life and I will never forget.
Where are each of you from originally and how does that influence your dating style?
Dagny: Beyond the fact we both grew up in Texas cities for the majority of our lives, both our families have quite a colorful history. My father is from Poland and my mother from El Salvador. Taylor’s family is Panamanian and French. The cultures we come from and the way we were raised has a huge influence on our dating style and just lifestyle in general. More then anything we want to explore our dating styles in different countries!
You are both incredible stylists — do you ever dress each other?
Taylor: Thank you, and of course, all the time! Over the past couple of years we’ve really developed Dagny’s wardrobe. She’s always had great taste, so it was easy pitching her new ideas season to season.
Dagny: Taylor knows wayyyyyyy more about styling than I do. I prefer for him to dress me because well, who wouldn’t!? I have learned so much from him in terms of style. Before, I was just one of those girls that impulse bought and collected without intention. Looking in my closet, I would love my clothes but always feel confused. I didn’t know what my style really was or where I was going with it. Taylor has helped me refine my taste and closet putting me on a more definitive path. I will however never stop adding to my robe and kimono collection, and Taylor is just fine with that!
Taylor, if you could add ONE thing to Dagny’s wardrobe, what would it be?
Taylor: At this moment, it would have to be more Gucci shoes and accessories. She’s really into everything the brand has put out since Alessandro Michele has taken over the reigns, so definitely more Gucci!
And Dagny, what would add to Taylor’s closet?
I wish I could get him all the things he loves! But if I could add one thing it would be a timeless piece like an Audemar Piguet watch.
Do you guys have a “song”?
Dagny: We have many songs! The songs that hold value to us remind us of a particular memory, night, or experience we once had. If I had to pick one song that best fits us it would be “La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf.
Favorite date night spot in Austin?
Taylor: Vespaio or Uchi
Dagny, what do you admire most in Taylor?
Dagny: His ambition, kindness and ability to forgive. He gives GREAT hugs too 🙂
And Taylor, what do you admire most in her?
Taylor: Her kind heart, which has been a constant inspiration and attraction to me since we first met.
Movie that most represents your romance:
Taylor: Ferris Buller’s Day Off… A wise guy, determined to break the rules, all while falling in love with the girl of his dreams, that feels like us.
Dagny: I think about our romance like different scenes from different movies. Like the twist dance scene in Pulp Fiction with John Travolta and Uma Thurman. Every time I watch it I think “Taylor, that’s us!!!”
Okay — so what’s your go-to Netflix show to watch together?
Dagny: Now this is a true confession of a guilty pleasure… Gossip Girl. We have watched this show from beginning to end way too many times to say. It allows us to live vicariously through the lives of Manhattan’s young elite. Here’s that only child thing coming into play again. Both of our mothers always told us we had the curse of “champagne taste” so naturally we love imagining ourselves in a world of pure decadence. We like to think that one day if we ever lived in New York City we’d have a penthouse on the Upper East side and a driver! Beyond the ridiculousness of the show there really is some amazing character development that we just can’t get enough of. I mean come on – Chuck and Blair are the best!
Taylor: (laughing) Definitely, Gossip Girl, we’re uber fans.
SHDW is quickly becoming known in Austin as THE place for up-and-coming artists to show their work. Any upcoming shows we should know about?
Taylor: First and foremost, that is incredible to hear, we’ve worked really hard to get to this point and we so look forward to being a constant hub for the artist and creative community in Austin.
Dagny: We’ve had such an incredible year working with different artists and celebrating their talents in the gallery at SHDW. This year we will definitely have more amazing artist shows and presentations but we want to shift focus on doing more interactive events like workshops and classes for a while. We want creatives to spend more time at the space and highlight all the work of so many talented people in the city and all over! I myself am working on putting together my first fashion and studio photography workshop for the Spring.
For single friends still looking for the one, what advice (if any) would you give on dating in the modern world?
Taylor: People are busy, so finding the right person to love can take time and certainly takes patience. Build up the karma points. Being a good person, trumps all, and when building a relationship with someone you hope to one day love or be loved by a little bit of good karma is always nice to have on your side
Dagny: Take risks, be bold, do something that scares you. Don’t look for love, look for yourself and let love find you.
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