1980s frills were at the base of Reem Acra‘s spring/summer 2017 showing for New York Fashion Week. The collection was all about eveningwear with volume and flowing fabrics in all the right places. Classically known for her red carpet and exclusive garments, so we always know to expect a certain level of pristine femininity, yet she has been surprising us over the course of the last few seasons by showing some restraint on the seasonal runway shows; there have been more separates and an extra air of casualness as well.
“I like giving the customer the option to change and do what she wants,” the Lebanese designer said behind the scenes of her runway show. She is expanding her customer base as well as helping to expand the meaning of eveningwear.
Even her most casual looks would, especially in the increasingly lax fashion society we live in today, seem to be in the right place at most black-tie events. Acra’s customer is now able to choose pieces that can be worn multiple ways, even multiple times for the less extravagant pieces, so she truly is giving buyers some choice in bolstering their wardrobes.
There was restraint in making the eveningwear not too exclusive that it wasn’t practical, but of course that didn’t mean Acra wouldn’t have fun with what she showed. The frills and ruffles that characterized the collection were so feminine and flirty and made for some new, cute silhouettes. And yet, she didn’t overplay the details, also opting to work with structured fabrics to create more crisply tailored pieces.
The color scheme for the Reem Acra spring 2017 ready-to-wear collection seemed as though it would be straightforward by the time the first 13 looks came down the runway, as there had consistently only been pieces in shades of white and black, with a focus more tight on the milky white shades.
However, the 14th piece that walked down the catwalk had a sudden mix of color. It was a simple, white mini dress with black lace detailing, but the front was covered in a spatter of multicolored flowers almost appearing to be polka dots. This evolved into an eighth look segment that was back to back color madness; the pieces were striking, as were the bold colors, and it didn’t interrupt the flow of the show either. It was almost as if the designer was making sure the audience was awake halfway through the show!
A stained-glass-colored mini dress with black lace was a polished and refined piece, and was followed by a bright yellow dress with black lace that fell dead center between edgy and feminine. One of Acra’s biggest strengths as a designer is restraint, and knowing where to draw the line before a design falls too far one way or the other.
Finishing off the colorful section of the show was a feathery blue number that was sheer in many places, with cover only present due to the layering of the fabric. This was one of the younger looks in the line, but it would definitely have its place on red carpets, especially at a music ceremony, I’d say.
But, of course, we’d be sore not to mention the actual gowns in the line. It’s great that Acra expanded out, but it would have been foolish to cut out her beautiful gowns completely!
These gowns were all about drama, from puffed sleeves to dramatic high-low hems, and plenty of bare skin peeking through sheer fabrics, they were all certainly statements. Some of the gowns read more dated than others, like the gold, sequined dress with puffy organza sleeves; yet, she remained true to her inspiration and it did make for a great continuation of the story that was told on the runway.
Photos courtesy of Vogue