NYFWM HIGHLIGHTS: BILLY REID

by William Buckley

BILLY REID

Oh Billy. You keep us on our toes. Following recent seasons that have been, for me, fantastic, I left the show last week wondering if I’d missed something. The bold statements in fabrics and silhouettes weren’t as exaggerated. I kept waiting for those show stopping pieces, and when they didn’t appear quite as expected I was, if I’m honest, a bit disappointed. I like the drama, I like the rich textures like that super chunky corduroy overcoat last fall, or the intricate patterns woven into the knits for spring ’16. I like the pops of unexpected color, which were scaled back this season: an orange beanie and an orange sweater just slightly peaking out from under a number of neutral layers. Billy loves neutrals, we all do, and this collection was decidedly so.

But in retrospect, it may have been his best collection yet. I flipped through the images after the show, a closer look, and all those hallmarks of his were there, clear, just a little less loud.”I wanted to emphasize easy and uncomplicated shapes,” explains Billy, “blending rich textiles like soft suedes, cashmere twills, camel hair, and yak mixes to create soft tweeds, textured knits, and purposeful luxury outerwear.”

And on further thought, Billy’s customer, while certainly stylish, is still a guy’s guy. Although Billy’s occasionally played with the gender stereotypes of silhouette, that southern sensibility, that masculinity, is an important part of his aesthetic and his success. This collection was more restrained, like an artist’s lighter stroke, and the collection is more elegant and sophisticated for it.

Behind the scenes below shots by Andrew Werner, backstage for mr-mag.com.