NEW YORK -- Billy Reid, recent recipient of the CFDA’s Menswear Designer of the Year Award for 2012, sent his men’s and women’s spring-summer 2013 collections down the runway here on Sept. 7 during New York Fashion Week.
The inspiration: Reid focused his attention – and love of tailoring – on lighter-weight spring and summer fabrications for both men and women, and the look and feel of the women’s collection found additional inspiration in “Charles Brittin: West and South,” a book compiling the work of Brittin, a photographer who chroniclied the arts and civil rights movements of the ‘50s and ‘60s.
The look: The overall vibe was easygoing Southern chic -- for the men that meant linen double-breasted suits, relaxed khaki trousers and tennis shorts and traditionally heavier outerwear pieces like lambskin jackets and leather bombers that felt as breezy as the linen gauze shirts they were layered over.
On the women’s side of the collection, that translated into linen gauze Dolman dresses, leather trousers, skirts and vests that draped like silk, and cotton voile shirts.
A pelican motif appeared on a handful of pieces throughout the collection, taking wing on ascots, polo shirts and hand-knit sweaters for men, and wrap dresses, shirt dresses and shirts for women. (The brown pelican is native to the Gulf region – including Alabama where Reid is based).
The scene:Spotted in the crowd were NBA players Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics) and recent Olympic gold mdela winner Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma Thunder) -- who was taking in just his second-ever fashion show (his first had been Richard Chai), actress/singer Mandy Moore and actors Gabriel Mann and Jack Huston.
The verdict:Any designer that can make leather jackets and trousers look cool, comfortable and wearable on a muggy Manhattan that approached 100% humidity is nothing short of a miracle worker.