Last night the CFDA Awards, the Oscars of the fashion world, took place and in New York at Alice Tully Hall and the winners are in. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen took away the big womenswear designer of the year award for The Row, Joseph Altuzarra won the Swarovski Award for womenswear and Phillip Lim for menswear and Tommy Hilfiger was awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.
Simon Spurr didn't end up winning the menswear designer of the year award, which was just as well considering all of the controversy surrounding his departure from his namesake line.
Get your passport. The Tracy Reese girl for Spring appears to be a heavy traveller. In both a bit of time travel back to the '70s and a trip around the world, the designer provided a varied collection at New York Fashion Week. The set of looks veered everywhere from floppy hats and bell bottoms to sheer-overlay minidresses to tribal-print trousers, and among all of that, we found very wearable separates for the quirky, adventurous types.
Reese made playful use of colour, as with a printed lilac dress with prerequisite cutouts, and she also had a good time with accessories. Round glasses - both in sunglasses versions, a la the Olsens, and nerd-style clear frames - were all over the designer's runway. It appears, in all her globe hopping, that Tracy Reese customers need to set off their eyes on any occasion.
Tracy Reese isn't trying to be Alexander Wang - as in, she doesn't expect editors waiting on-edge to see new turn she'll take next. Instead, like plenty of other economically aware designers, she's basing her style on what customers want. That, for now, includes more of her signature short, ruched dresses (in cheetah print, black and army green, for instance), plus textured layers we wish we had today for the second round of New York snowstorms.
Reese girls - such as Julia Stiles, Kristen Bell, Adrienne Bailon and Erin Lucas, who all sat front-row - can keep warm in cosy cardigans (think cable knit or fur-sleeved), fringed jackets, stirrup pants and ample scarves. Mixing textures was key. Reese rolled out a sweet "spruce" lace dress to match her floral runway background, and she added interest to other pieces with real and faux fur, jacquard styles and crystal embellishment. Some might say safe about this collection, but we're going with another 'S' word: salable.
When we think of frothy, sweet dresses made for real women, one name pops to mind first: Tracy Reese. The Detroit-born designer (who trained with Martine Sitbon and previously worked at Perry Ellis) has made bright, playful prints her specialty, and clients like Alicia Keys and Eva Longoria-Parker can't get enough. Reese's eponymous label now has two offshoots - the bohemian line plenty by Tracy Reese and the occasion-dresses collection frock! - and Reese has added her name to everything from footwear to homewares to candles.
This week, we talk to the designer about what it's really like to keep her studio in line.
Kelly Rowland hit the Dsquared2 fashion show at Milan Fashion Week (here with Simona Ventura), with an LBD as her outfit of choice. Back in New York, the singer, chose something brighter for Tracy Reese.