story by Lisa-Maria Radano
photos by Charles Beckwith
The clear message from Reem Acra for Spring 2014 is get up and dance. There were no backstage discussions of empowering women or clothes conferring confidence for the demands of their busy lives. No, no. Ms. Acra wants her girls to have some fun. Proof was the show started, not with the expected selection of spiffy day looks, but rather with a sparkly detonation of molten, bias cut, and draped party dresses in black, the key shade of night.
Hair was huge and frizzed up, and disco music felt right blaring in the background. One model’s bosom popped out to play in an irrepressible if inadvertent homage to the heyday hijinks of Studio 54. Tulle overlay, polka dots, plenty of metallics, and hems from mini to ball gown maxi danced up and down the runway. Though night dressing was the mission, a few brightly colored, swingy day frocks in houndstooth and red suede made a brief nod to boring things like lunch.
Quickly steering back into midnight, the designer unleashed her trademark embroideries and metallics. A passage of show stopping gold lamé gowns was dizzying, especially a panne bias cut halter. For a palate cleanse, there was a keen duo of sharp black matte jersey columns with sexy cutouts, serving as a nod to the great Halston. A silver column in silk crepe, aglitter with bugle beading on its sexy cutout bodice, begged for the red carpet, where many of Ms. Acra’s gowns will surely find their nimble footing. The finale – a black stunner replete with cascades of gold trimmed tulle seems destined for a winner!
There was one look that stood out for a few of us in the audience, and not just because of its idiosyncratic position within the context of the collection. An embroidered ivory chiffon blouse with a black silk chiffon tiered palazzo pant put one in mind of Marisa Berenson and of classic YSL as it wandered with Bohemian elegance, amid the frisky glamour. Well, I guess a girl’s got to have something to wear on Sunday.