Each Fashion Week, you’ll have the high-concept thematic collections, the over-the-top sexed out ones and grungy downtown cool styles, but honestly, sometimes all I want to do is look at pretty, flattering pieces I know will make me feel good about myself. And that’s why I love me a Tracy Reese show (and why I go bananas at her sample sales).
“I wanted to do something bold and vibrant,” the designer told me backstage before the show. “Very confident and using color in a very optimistic way. We have a lot of gorgeous fabrics, amazing textures – playing with mixing those textures and layering in a lot of cool embellishments. The skirt lengths are shorter – I just feel [like a shorter hemline] seems more active and energetic. And I want the clothes to have a lot of energy and I think you’ll see that on the runway.”
But before a runway show starts, there is of course the very tricky act of properly seating the celebs–in this case, Twilight’s Nikki Reed, former Victoria’s Secret Angel Selita Ebanks, Kate Mara, 90210’s Shenae Grimes, Glamour editor-at-large Louise Roe and Pretty Little Liars’ Torrey DeVitto. While I was hovering around, I overheard Ebanks treating her escort to some sort of F-bomb-laden fit in regards to sitting next to someone who wasn’t there yet (“she’s not f*cking answering her phone”). Then handlers first placed DeVitto in a completely different section from the rest of the girls and PRs immediately came around to remedy that situation. But after some shuffling, all was right in the world and the show finally began.
It was really refreshing in a season so filled with moody blacks, navys and maybe a full-bodied wine-hue here and there, to actually see some color. The shades were very seasonal – jewel tones of emerald and royal purple, marigold, poppy red and a burnished gold leather (and of course some city-friendly black). Reese mixed in textures of jacquard, leather, wool, silks, sequined embellishments and neoprene. I’ll be pushing my way through the sample sale for the mint green mini-peplum wool coat and any of the beautifully sequined and beaded dresses that I can find.
The looks were accessorized with blocked peep-toe wedges and Tracy Reese gold handbags and deep-hued blocked satchels. Some girls wore wool toppers that were like a trucker-hat-meets-flat-rimmed-baseball-cap combination, along with visor sunnies. Loved the messy twisty ponytails, too.
“I just wanted them to look like a girl walking down the street,” Reese said as she described the styling. “It is very urban, it’s very streetwise, I wanted it to be simple like a normal person would put herself together: ‘Here’s my top and skirt, here’s the coat I put on with that, here’s the simple shift dress, I’m putting on a cap, I’ve got my purse and I know where I’m going.’”
Another item of note in a Tracy Reese runway show is the diverse mix of models walking the runway. The issue of diversity on the runway has kind of been eclipsed this season with the whole this underage model business, but there’s no doubt it’s still very much an issue.
“Baby steps, baby steps,” Reese said, referring to the fashion industry’s progress towards greater diversity. “It’s better than it was three years ago and there’s still some distance to go. I’ve always really been committed to a really diverse runway. Not that we can have every type of person in the universe walking down the runway but I feel like there should be a healthy mix and it shows that the clothes can flatter, many different ethnicities, hair colors, skin tones, personalities.” We like.