Fashion Week: Paola Hernandez Hosts a Pool Party; Tracy Reese Knocks It Out of the Park


Mexican designer Paola Hernandez is a genius! We love her for taking us out of the Lincoln Center tents, to high above Chelsea at Hotel Americano’s rooftop terrace. Was she trying to bribe us with cocktails and lounge chairs? Who cares! That’s the great thing about presentations versus runway shows — you get the opportunity to see the fabrics up close and experience the movement of the clothes with more clarity.

It was so refreshing to see models unrestrained by high heels and not walking like robotic mannequins in a line formation. At Hernandez’s show, the statuesque beauties were allowed to drink, sit, and relax. Some people have all the luck.

The title of the presentation was called “Meeting Point,” inspired by the designer’s search for the intersection between the physical and the spiritual, and it was an extreme departure from what Hernandez has shown in the past.

We spoke to her earlier this year about her impending collection, and she told us the line would have lots of color. Hernandez is prone to explore garments in darker tones, mostly in gray and black, and the shift seems a much-needed revitalization. Perhaps that’s what prompted the outdoor exhibition.

Aside from her clothing line, Hernandez also has a collection of jewelry and shoes, all of which the models wore glamorously. We especially liked the blue and beige oxfords. We briefly chatted with Hernandez while she walked around taking photographs, and asked her about the unique sight of models drinking and sitting. “I told them ‘this is your moment, too, so have fun!'” We can always count on Hernandez to execute a casual and lovely affair.

Walking into the Studio, the venue in which Tracy Reese would be showing her Spring 2012 collection, we saw a park backdrop filled with trees. We knew we’d be in for a treat, then we noticed we were sitting behind actress Angela Bassett. As soon as the photogs got wind, the front row was attacked with flashing lights. Seated next to Bassett were Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Aisha Tyler, Beverly Johnson, and Solange Knowles, who once again ran to her seat as the show was about to start.

From the very first look — a vintage blue and pink-patterned bathing suit circa 1930 — to a black see-through lace dress, every piece was simply magical. Reese showcased the most alluring feminine wear we’ve seen all season. Each relaxed item unleashed an air of romance (the runway music, by Lykke Li, enhanced the love vibe even more). The color schemes mixed between subtle hues of khaki and pastels and gradually blended with saturated tones and neon brights. We can’t say enough how amazing this line is. Reese takes center stage as a designer above the rest.