Tracy Reese print blouse, skirt and coat from her
spring 2015 collection.
the dead of winter, designer Tracy Reese can always be
counted on to revive womenís senses with sun-bathed
colors, fresh prints and breezy silhouettes.
celebratory signatures are one reason her two lines,
Tracy Reese and its bohemian little sister Plenty, are a
favorite of Anthropologie shoppers in any season. Reese
counts first lady Michelle Obama as a client, too.
always love designing for spring because itís such an
optimistic season," Reese said.
permeates all of her output of late. She is adding a
Plenty dress line and launching handbags for fall. Her
new eau de parfum ($68) just debuted at Anthropologie.
Soon Reeseís spring designs will arrive at Nordstrom
and other stores, from a runway collection that one
critic called her most powerful to date.
show opened not with a flouncy lace dress but a fluid
all-black ensemble consisting of a silk to-the-floor
trench and pants over a ballerina leotard. It wasnít
so much a departure as a personal reference.
collection was inspired by dance, specifically Martha
Graham and modern dance," Reese said. "My mom
was a modern dance teacher, and my aunt is also a
professor of modern dance at Wayne State in Detroit. Itís
something Iíve always been surrounded with and
wanted to bring pieces inspired by a dancerís
wardrobe, in their downtime, into everyday dressing.
looked at, how do you make that look not like sweats,
but something chic yet comfortable that you can
integrate into your wardrobe?" Reese said.
didnít swear off exuberance, showing floral coats and
a strapless evening gown in flamingo pink. But in a nod
to comfort, the gown sported pockets and was paired with
I dress for evening, I always feel like Iím some other
person, and I hate that feeling," she said.
"We showed the entire collection with flat shoes
because I was sick of being in agony, and I canít be
myself when Iím not comfortable. If youíre wearing a
full-length gown, no one knows if youíre wearing heels
helps if youíre 5 foot 7, like Reese is, or taller.
I think we each have to embrace our real selves,"
she said. "Iíve got big hips, and Iíve got to
love that about me, just as a petite woman has got to
love being petite, because thereís not a lot she can
do to change that. Youíve got to look at your petite
of which, retailers are ordering more petite size ranges
from brands after all but abandoning them in the past
business is through the roof," Reese said. "We
started doing petite with a few of our retailers, and itís
a huge business. One reason is that, even if you arenít
vertically challenged, you might be a little shorter
shoulder to waist, and petite cuts might fit you better.
Itís a runaway success story. Iím hoping it will
spread into some larger sizes as well."