Billy Reid F/W 2012: A Southerner in Paris

Feb 15, 2012 By Lauren Valenti

Billy Reid Fall 2012

Each season, Billy Reid serves up a collection best served with a splash of bourbon, and while this stayed true for F/W 2012, the Billy Reid label took on a new identity – one that emulated European sophistication. Leaving his safeSouthern homeland for the city of the lights, the collection was inspired by a recent jaunt through two iconic cities. “I spent some great time in Paris and London this past year and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed mixing that vibe into the collection.” said Reid.

Best known for his menswear, Reid had a chance to show off his immaculate tailoring with peak lapel jackets, shearling lined dress coats, three-piece suits and shawl-collar tuxedos which emanated an effortless debonair style. Fox fur, wools, cashmere and other sumptuous fabrics breathed a new air of luxury into Reid’s overall aesthetic. However, Reid’s signatures were not absent by any means, with pieces that featured familiar calvalry detail, distressed suede and perfectly-weathered leather. It was obvious that the hand-crafted sportswear had the best-dressed-men-of-fashion-week sitting front, even those slugging back their complementary long-necked beers, wide-eyed and lovestruck as they pictured themselves leaving their Alabama terrain to stroll the seine of the north of France.

Reid’s womenswear told a similar story, one which Reid gave the simple synopsis, “Charleston girl, moves to downtown New York – then to Paris, (where she) falls in love.” Reid’s woman is head-over-heels but keeps her cool in menswear-inspired designs, with many of the assemblages topped of with chic wide-brim hats from master milliner Albert Swanepoel. Flannel belted blazers, cashmere trousers, mohair sweaters and evening cardigans were among the most wearable separates. Those who enjoy a fur flair would be taken with the sharp outwear accented with heavenly mink and fox. Reid’s venture into womenswear also included accessories such as the oversized alligator and mustang hobo, leather envelope clutch and southerly oxford heels.

Accompanying us on the journey through Reid’s new visions was sound stylist Laurent Vacher, whose music was the perfect balance between Reid’s laid back temperament and being runway appropriate. After an excerpt from Aretha Franklin’s “I Say A Little Prayer for You” sounded as an ironic introduction, Joe Henry Blood’s folky Southern vocals resonated through the room in his song, “Stars”. Complementary to the opening tracks were “Widow Wimberly” by Tony Joe White and “I’ve Got This Friend” by Barton Hollow from similar-in-style singer/songwriters. Closing the show was musician of the decade Jack White whose brand new track, “Love Interruption” exhibited beautifully sung angst, ending the show ever-so-coolly.

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