By style.com)(Originally posted in
Tracy Reese typically works the sweet angle, but this season she headed in a more sensual direction with a vibrant collection infused with Afro-Cuban influences (three standing drummers accompanying the mambo-filled soundtrack drove home the show’s theme). “It’s about just really being able to bring your personality to the clothes,” Reese said backstage. Curve-hugging white lace trumpet skirts and dresses with flouncy flamenco-inspired hemlines illustrated the designer’s new, sultrier side, as did a tropical silk cocktail number with an appliquéd tulle overlay that had definite cha-cha-cha appeal. Reese mixed these romantic pieces with more athletic ones like bomber jackets, on-trend crop tops, and long board shorts done in a graphic windowpane check. She showed plenty of signature fit-and-flare frocks (to give Michelle Obama maximum options to choose from) in hibiscus florals, a charming tapestry print, and a techy laser-cut neoprene, which gave the flattering A-line silhouette a nice structure. Meanwhile, the closing look—a slinky piqué knit maxi skirt paired with a lace polo—felt fresh for evening.