Tracy Reese’s New York Girl-themed collection for fall 2013 was actually inspired by fond personal memories–and don’t you just love a good story?
“You know what, for me, it’s a quintessential New York collection,” the designer explained backstage as she was simultaneously taking interviews and getting her hair done. “A dear friend of mine, Denise Carbonell, she got flooded during Sandy and we were out there hangin’ out and she was drying out her basement and she had all these Paper magazines from like 1988 and 1989 and it brought back so many memories. When we were going out all the time … It was just so great and we loved to dress up, but we did it our own way,”
“We weren’t trying to look like everyone else,” she continued. “It was better to be an individual than to just go with the crowd. I missed that a little bit and I just wanted to revisit that spirit on the runway. So it’s a totally 2013 collection but with this spirit of those times when it was just great to be in New York—as it always is and still is, and now more than ever—but celebrating the individual.”
(Well, 1989 was the year that Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” came out, just in case you need a reference point.) Tracy’s 2013 re-interpretation of the go-go late 80’s had a tougher, punk rock edge as compared to her usual flirtatiously ladylike looks. Pants were relaxed and tapered at the ankle, coats were oversized with exaggerated lapels and chunky, embellished knits were sculpted at the shoulders and baggy in fit. Distinct textures included sequins, velvet, lace and quilted leather. Prints abounded; the neon-hued cheetah print was especially fun (and very Carrie Diaries) and pattern mixing isn’t going anywhere if Tracy Reese has anything to say about it. The exuberant but strong separates were, indeed, elements that fashion girls would take to concoct their own street style-friendly ensembles. Plus, Reese sent one model down the runway with a cat–best accessory ever? (Read about model cat Lily here.)
Despite the irreverent city girl edge to the line (and the bright, sequined body-con mini-shifts), Reese isn’t forgetting her core audience—especially after the feedback from that sensational frock Michelle Obama wore to the DNC. FLOTUS-friendly sleeveless fit-and-flare knee length styles were sprinkled throughout the collection—the black and red floral one just screams the FLOTUS. There was also a beautiful black lace applique one, but we’ll assume that the designer would put a lining under for the First Lady, unlike the see-through version that the model wore down the runway.