view the full collection in our Photo Gallery
story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Charles Beckwith
It’s been a fascinating experience to watch Reem Acra‘s growth as a designer. In her earlier work, Ms. Acra was more feminine and flirty, then in the middle of the last decade her pieces became more form-fitting. Her love of metallic embroidery and stone and crystalline accents began to emerge and her work began to become increasingly capable of creating those jarring moments that send the red carpet photographers into a frenzy. For Reem Acra’s return to the runways of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (she’s been showing in her Fifth Avenue atelier for the past few seasons), she turned up the volume on the glamorous sexiness that is quickly becoming her new signature.
Ms. Acra’s Fall 2012 show displayed the finest examples to date of her growth into a sewing siren for the glamor-seeking women of the world, but more than that the collection had the feel of an attempt to create a complete wardrobe for her client. This is always a positive approach and reinforces the sense of understanding that has been emanating from the label in recent months. The company recently launched a perfume and had a very strong “red carpet season.” With The Academy Awards coming up, the future looks to be even better with this new mix of dark and shimmering suits, separates, and dazzling dresses that make up Reem Acra’s Fall 2012 offerings.
The show opened with a series of leather pieces which is a material that Ms. Acra has become increasingly fond of working in. The looks that followed were primarily black for a while, but were executed in such intriguing materials that they did not want for visual interest. Trapunto stitching, (a stitch creating a quilted effect), embroidery, and lace worked wonderfully on silks, cashmere, and wools.
Mid-show the mood changed as Ms. Acra unveiled rusts, steel grays, sands, and coffees before closing in her always beautiful work with evening wear in complex metallics and blacks. The real star of the show was the designer’s work with geometry. Reem Acra loves to play with lines and spaces and is supremely capable of creating work that fascinates without ever confusing.
Two dresses in particular sent a wave of “oooooh” through the crowd; a “Twilight shimmer and ebony” stretch gown made out of lurex, which had a beautifully-shaped skin-exposing space on the left midriff, and an black silk gown which featured a similar effect but created a ribbon of flesh that wound from neck to hip in a most provocative “how is that staying on” way.
Reem Acra looks poised to continue the reinvigoration that has been wrought by the smart choices that her management has been making. In the end however fashion is about the clothes and on that score Reem Acra has carved a well known place in the fashion world for beautiful, glamorous and increasingly matchless designs.