Inspired by the life and work of Martha Graham, Tracy Reese’s moving Spring show was her most powerful to date. “My mom was a dancer, my aunt was a dancer. I grew up around dancers, and believe in Martha’s process and philosophy so much,” she said backstage. “It’s about taking time to learn and master your craft first, and then introducing creativity.”
Guests—including noteworthy attendees like Steve McQueen, Whoopi Goldberg, and Tracee Ellis Ross—knew they were in for something special when a troupe of ballerinas popped out of the audience and performed an original choreographed number. After their performance, Reese broke the collection into three different acts, the first of which, entitled Discipline, was most directly influenced by Graham and was the most impactful. Models dressed in leotards layered underneath fluid gabardine trenches and sheer organza skirts channeled prima donnas off duty. The pure lines and soft fabrications were a refreshing change of pace from Reese’s signature party frocks. Reese’s second act, Craft, brought forth a more familiar mix of bright patterns and embellishments in the form of cactus intarsia knits, dahlia floral coats, and shift dresses covered in embroidery or sequins. The show ended on an exuberant note with a strapless evening gown (complete with pockets) cut from flamingo-pink cloque, which conveyed a confident femininity, teamed with easy flat sandals. While the lineup could’ve stood to lose a few looks, that impressive ballerina group was en pointe.