After yesterday’s deluge, Sunday was a remarkably beautiful day – the type any designer presenting next year’s warm weather wardrobe would find an auspicious blessing. It provided the perfect transition into Tracy Reese‘s Spring 2009 show, which bursted with flouncy frocks in jovial hues and florals of every variety. The designs for Reese’s new high-end Black Label and her already popular contemporary line were presented in tandem and embodied an artistic, but altogether classically feminine appeal that will please Reese fans and any woman seeking something to wear something as cheerfully clement as the spring season should be.
As the photos we snapped may suggest, it is clear that Tracy Reese wants women to dress with exuberance next spring. Featuring every bold and pastel color found in nature, Reese painted her chiffons and georgettes with both impressionistic microflorals and oversized flower prints. Silk paillettes – which are all the rage right now – were incorporated into many of the standout tiered dresses, where they created playful sleeve, neck, and hemlines.
The most eye-popping use of the palettes was on a flamingo pink silk tutu, where the construction resembled – you guessed it – feathers. Smartly paired with a spring green scooped neck blouse, it was the best of the many ensembles Reese created through drawing greenery and floral hues closer together. Silks were sheared for optimum fluttering effect (movement seems to be key to nearly all Spring 2009 collections thus far). Accessories included love beads done as flapper neck chains, the latest of many savvy nostalgic elements Reese procures for her collections.
Reese even had a Balenciaga moment. That of course was when the highlight of the entire show appeared in the form of a sculptural purple and yellow handpainted microfloral bubble dress that gave Ghesquière‘s S/S ’08 structural floral armour an immensely wearable lease on life. Several impressive trenchcoats also played with form: they were starched stiff and sharp, with collars popped up and back panels folded outward for maximum angular effect. One of these coats was done in a faded gold brocade – surely a Black Label specialty – and featured Swarovski-encrusted embellishment on its lapels and hand-sketched floral details.
Tracy Reese’s claim to fame may rest within her ability to reliably produce lovely, if not particularly challenging designs for women-about-town who love fashion for its surface appeal. However, her Black Label creations are indicative of her ability to push her beyond the confines of her affiliation with the contemporary market. In those moments of catwalk revelation, we saw her work towards an ideal beyond those ephemeral must-haves that pretty young partygoers use once and throw away. If she takes the long road and walks it, then she just may build her own legacy in signature womenswear, in the grand tradition of Diane, Donna, and Carolina. Apparently, she has a believer in one Mr. André Leon Talley – we watched him beame throughout the entire show and proclaim the collection “beautiful” at its finale.