This review is brought to you not by a fashion pundit, publicist, obsessed fashionista, or blogger. I’m a 30-something cosmetic executive with my own exacting style and bona fide Tracy Reese devotee. My cosmopolitan lifestyle warrants polished clothing, flattering fit, and the trifecta is the flexibility to transition from workplace to cocktail; all with clever panache. Tracy Reese is my favorite [newer] designer (tied with homage to Ralph Lauren) – my first piece purchased in 2004 in a Seoul, Korea boutique, the dress label’s black logo is sans her now recognizable signature chandelier – and this New York Fashion Week was my third consecutive viewing of her design genius at the tents. As the (un)official ambassador patron for this fashion line, the owners of The Vyne asked me to share my acute opine.
Ready to Wear
Tracy Reese Spring 2011 RTW epitomized “ready to wear” with silhouettes appropriate for all curves, comfort yet a still pulled together look, and crisp, warm colors just darling on sepia skins. It was an ever so slight yet refreshing departure from her collection’s distinguishing bold colors, prints and embellishments. The ultra-feminine, joie de vivre, modernity, and detailing brand hallmarks were not lost as the 70s retro-inspired, truly wearable, effortless chic in basics and neutrals were remixed anew with texture. To further play up, the clothing was punctuated by simple yet statement-making accessories (by sista-designer Shauna Neely), Stella-Got-Her-Groove-Back wide brim hats, large psychedelic, vintage eyewear, and layered necklaces. The makeup look was ethereal but warm, barely-there luminosity, subtle peach (the new pink) hues, and a neutral dash of color on lips. Laidback, no-fuss hair, either Hippie-esque long with middle part, no bang, or pulled back.
Real to Wear
The Tracy Reese show is, if not the, then, one of the most, ethnically and body type diverse in its catwalk casting, front row and standing room. This translates into fashion that represents the real world that is “real to wear”.
Visit Essence.com to view the behind the curtain video.
Reasons to Wear
As quick indoctrination, every upwardly mobile Black woman should own at least three Tracy Reese pieces for two reasons.
- Tracy Reese meets the great expectations of the acculturated. She is one of only a handful of African-American women to run her own labels and to influence the fashion world by consistently showing at the tents. Support a sister!
- Both the eponymous Tracy Reese as well as her Plenty label, are among few lines in which: most often there is accommodation in the hip; the structures aren’t confining, instead forgiving; and lining, built-in bodices, and hang straps, etcetera, marks of expert finishing, are incorporated, afforded less by others. Fine, distinctive clothing is a worthy investment for tailored, timeless not overtly trendy items. My mounting Tracy Reese wardrobe over the last few years withstands laundering and doesn’t look worn. Tracy Reese designs are quintessential for the sophisticated, rising professional and social tastemaker to swag responsibly. Support yourself with smart style!