Whatever you may think of his designs, Billy Reid has certainly done an incredible job at building a distinctly unique culture around his brand.
Guests at his show last night were offered whiskey, red wine, beer and a Southern-inspired cocktail as they filed into the Eyebeam, where a cluster of chandeliers gave a touch of antique polish to the industrial-looking space. Reid's famous southern hospitality was in in full effect--and it's the reason why the crowd, a mix of dashingly dressed (straight!) dudes and well-shod fashion editors, made their way to his show despite the blizzard.
The clothes, like the man behind them, were unpretentious and approachable. Maybe they didn't make for the most exciting fashion show, but it's obvious why they've won over a loyal following: beautifully made, yet understated, it was luxury for real-life situations.
For women, there were a few more fashion-y looks--which felt new and exciting for the brand. Highlights included a sweater emblazoned with a rose, paired with a flared leather skirt; printed pants; and, near the end, a long-sleeve full length patterned dress. Dhani and I agreed those were some of our favorite looks.
Something we missed: The accessories. Last season I remember loving the brand's handbags and shoes, but at last night's show they were nowhere to be found. Models all sported different heels (the models' own perhaps?) that gave some of them trouble on the runway, and only one look (a men's one) was styled with a bag. Hopefully Billy will bring them back next season.
On the men’s side, it seems as if Reid paraded some of his classic, homespun talent with handsome, cuffed, herringbone trousers, cool coats, and his formidable, tailored jackets. And he’s stepped up the luxe by adding fur and shearling to some of his jackets’ lapels and collars and with sumptuous, velvet suiting. A low note was the irksome patterns in his heavier knits, as well as the aggressive stripes in his lighter ones (which allowed for a New England forest’s variety of earth tones—more browns, reds and oranges than any one eye could, or should, handle).