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Tracy Reese rocks NY fashion week

10 september 2012, 10:45
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Designer Tracy Reese. ©REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Designer Tracy Reese. ©REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Tracy Reese capitalized on her high-profile sartorial relationship with First Lady Michelle Obama with a sparkling New York fashion week show Sunday that paid homage to every woman's inner nerd, AFP reports.

Rubbishing the old adage about girls who wear glasses, Reese accessorized her ethereal and colorful spring-summer 2013 with the kind of old-school, oversized spectacles typically sported by bad-boy photographer Terry Richardson.

As for the clothes, there was lots of layering, with light-colored biker jackets with minimal detailing donned over loose-fitting shirts worn in turn over fluid miniskirts or trousers.

It was a collection from the 48-year-old African-American designer sure to please not only the US first lady, who appeared in a Tracy Reese dress to speak at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, but also her daughters.

"I was really inspired by juxtapositions," Reese told AFP backstage, explaining her latest creations.

"The fabric is where we started, and there were so many wonderful fabrics offered for spring from all of our favorite (textile) mills, so I was playing with organic fabrics as well as technical fabrics," she added.

"And I wanted to mash up prints, embroideries and beaded designs to create a look that was fresh and unique. But most importantly, the clothes had to be comfortable, versatile and have a lot of ease so that they're super-easy for our customers to wear and enjoy."

Asked about that Obama dress, Reese said: "She looks amazing in our things -- and in everybody else's things, for that matter... and it was an amazing speech... It was, all in all, just one of the best experiences of my life."

Sunday was chock-a-block with shows by some of the biggest names in American fashion design, including Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Thakoon Panichgul.

Thakoon described the shapes in his latest collection as "very 60s inspired."

"I loved the simplicity of a good heavy cotton dress from the 60s," the Thai-American designer said in a backstage interview. "Something that is so simple but yet so architectural and beautiful -- that's what I love."

Like so many designers this season, Thakoon made generous use of leather -- not a material one normally associates with summertime -- mixing it with embroideries and cottons.

"For me, leather is an armor -- it protects, but at the same time, it has a lot of softness," said French expat designer Catherine Malandrino, whose own Paris-meets-New York collection included several white leather looks.

Totally avoiding leather Sunday evening was perennial crowdpleaser Zang Toi whose sophisticated and shamelessly romantic gowns, minidresses, trouser suits and gowns floated down the runway in pastel blues and pinks.

He built his show around a tale of French Riviera love affair, according to the notes he gave -- together with lollipops -- to his celebrity guests. Some looks brought Grace Kelly to mind, others the Gay Nineties.

One "ice pink" gown seemed like it stepped off the top of a wedding cake.

Earlier Sunday, Victoria Beckham sent out a sumptuous collection that proved again that her career in fashion design is no flash in the Spice Girl pan.

"We focused on texture this year more than on color," she said after her show at the New York Public Library that features shoes -- including flat sandals -- by Manolo Blahnik.

"The collection is versatile, modern, and there is an ease about it," she said, as her soccer star husband David Beckham held their year-old daughter Harper in his arms. "There isn't a thing out there that I wouldn't wear myself."

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