Tracy Reese on Fringe, Feathers and the First Lady

Tracy Reese, via Anna Perfecto Canlas.
Tracy Reese, via Anna Perfecto Canlas.

As designer Tracy Reese fleshed out her Fall 2014 collection, she was thinking about what makes women buy clothes. “For me, it’s always an emotional response to things I’m seeing, that I love,” she said, speaking to The Observer before her show at Center 548 in Chelsea. “That’s what it is for a lot of people.”

 An hour before her presentation, we caught up with Tracy in the hair and makeup room, walking around comfortably in a sky-blue floral frock that Michelle Obama would wear—and Nike Air Max sneakers dipped in “liquid” gold.


New York Observer: Great sneakers.

Tracr Reese: Emotional response! I got them at Dover Street Market about a month ago… I was like, ‘okay, mine!’

NYO: Can you tell us about your color palette for the collection? Was it a conscious decision to do neutrals for fall?

 TR: You know, I just felt it coming on. We always do color and we’ve got great color in the collection as well, but it looked refreshed paired with the neutrals. So, there’s wonderful taupes and greys and of course, lots of black. We’ve got some navy but then there are rich plums, amber and rose.

 NYO: What about the metallic leathers you mentioned earlier?

 TR: The metallic leathers are mostly in accessories: gunmetal, gold foil, silver, bright silver and a holographic silver as well, for the shoes and the bags.

 NYO: Are there other accessories?

 TR: Our jewelry is in customs in Memphis. But I have all the clothes. I’m thankful.

 NYO: What other embellishments do you have?

 TR: There’s quite a bit of embellishment on the clothes. I’m into feathers and fringe right now, a lot of beautiful beadwork.

 NYO: How are you reinventing fringe?

 TR: There’s a soft yarn fringe on a sweater. But it’s color blocked and asymmetrical.

 NYO: Is there anything else you’re particularly excited about in the collection?

TR: We’re doing some washable items. We’ve teamed up with Tide and Tide Pods [laundry detergent packs]—They’re the easiest things in the world to use. We’ve actually machine-washed a few of the outfits coming down the runway. We want comfortable, wearable clothing and we want to be able to care for them in an easy way, and by ourselves. Dry cleaning bills can be tough.

NYO: Are we going to see your signature dresses, of which the First Lady is a fan?

TR: We’ve got our classic frocks. We kind of went to town with them. They’re in unique fabrics from shaggy lurex, to beautiful all-over embroidery and beading. There are also some relaxed jackets and tailored coats that are belted. And some boyfriend pants that are really sharp. Tracy Reese on Fringe, Feathers and the First Lady