Designer Tracy Reese.

Martha Graham, one of the twentieth century’s greatest ballerina dancers, was the inspiration for Tracy Reese’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection of beautiful “off-duty” ballerina looks in blush and black tones.  Setting herself apart during New York Fashion Week, the show opened with a dark, dramatic performance by ballerinas at Art Beam in New York City.  Celebrities Tracee Ellis Ross, June Ambrose, Andre Leon Talley, Shaun Robinson, Whoopi Goldberg and Bethann Hardison were there to see Reese’s latest.

“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,” Reese told “It’s about taking time to learn and master your craft first, and then introducing creativity.”

As a dancer and designer myself, I wanted to interpret how Reese inspires a multi-cultural nation to wear her frocks as spirited expressions embracing social, political, psychological, and sexual genres.  I see Reese as I see Graham, an American pioneer who taught a multitude how to enliven the body with directed and energetic movement.

One of Reese’s looks was a ballerina gown, expressing power and beauty with a noir heart-inspired lace perfectly placed over blush undertones on the bodice and diagonals of the flowing skirt.  The gown reminds me of a butterfly about to set flight, akin to the release of a dancer whose legs begin to grand jete’ across the stage.  This beautiful number explores the frailty of human emotion with an exposed décolleté that is celebrated by its precious V-neck bodice, accompanied by a multi-layered tulle skirt, exposing women’s need to be reverenced.  Reese’s gown is a dramatic interpretation of beauty imitating art, an unprecedented creation for the designer.

In another phase, models strutted the catwalk wearing Reese’s widely respected trademark, decorating women in lushly patterned textiles and elaborate graphics with colored movable fabrics.  Capturing my attention in chic décor was a knit sweater that painted a hazy sunset and desert landscape with bright blue cactuses, abstract purple and blue tree prints set on a neutral background, balanced in black.  Its calmaesthetic actually spoke louder than the purple dahlia floral mini-skirt.

Clients like First Lady Michelle Obama follow Reese’s incandescent experimentation with retro-influenced style because she recreates natural habitats rich with color, texture and ambiance.  Reese’s evoking human emotion through color and style is raison d’être to celebrate our inner bohemian with femininity and flair.  Like Graham, Reese’s creativity crosses artistic boundaries embracing many genres.

She learned to sew growing up in Detroit.  After receiving an accelerated degree from Parsons School of Design in 1984, Reese eventually became a design head for Perry Ellis before launching her label.  The flagship store (2006) resides in New York City’s meatpacking district. Reese’s lines include Plenty (2000), Plenty Home (2004), Frock! (2006) and Tracy Reese Black Label (2009).   T.R. Designs, Inc. has boasted more than $12 million annually in sales since 2002.

Visit luxury stores like Bloomingdales to view Reese’s collections, visit or download the Covet Fashion App for iPhone that I love!