Clifford on The Catwalk Htx
All dressed up

Paris by way of Florence, Ala.: Billy Reid mixes Southern spirit & European sophistication for fall

Paris by way of Florence, Ala.: Billy Reid mixes Southern spirit & European sophistication for fall

News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
Even the casual looks look more formal in Billy Reid's fall 2012 collection Photo by David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
Billy Reid acknowledges the audience at the end of his runway show. Photo by David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
Womenswear is becoming more of a part of the Billy Reid collection each season. For fall, he envisioned a Charleston, S.C. woman with chic New York and Paris sophistication. Photo by David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
Billy Reid camel wool/cashmere blanket coat with brown leather trim, camel/wool brown bowler and leather clutch Photo by David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
Billy Reid navy/wool sport jacket with leather detail, oxford blue striped club collar shirt, gold mohair open-sweater and cordovan leather skirt Photo by David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid
News_Fashion Week_Fall 2012_Billy Reid

NEW YORK — Billy Reid has always been a good ol' Southern boy. But in his latest collection, set for fall, he's gone uptown and overseas.

As the winner of the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and the GQ Best New Menswear Designer in America awards, the Florence, Ala.-based designer has already pretty much conquered the New York fashion world. So for the first full-scale fashion show under his Billy Reid label, he's crossed over the Atlantic in search of a more sophisticated style to combine with his down home ways.

 "For some reason it just felt right," he said afterwards about the collection's more formal feel. "Last season was so casual."

 The fall 2012 collection he presented during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is dressier than his previous efforts. There wasn't a stitch of denim in the collection; no chinos either. Instead the menswear looks highlighted hand-tailored three-piece cashmere tweed suits, luxe dinner jackets in ivory and black, and parkas lined in mink-like nutria.

"For some reason it just felt right," he said afterwards about the collection's more formal feel. "Last season was so casual."

Reid said the collection was influenced by a trip with his wife to Paris and London, which may account for its Old World refinement.

While known for his menswear collections, Reid has been branching out more each season into a full-fledged womenswear line. He cited the influence of a "Charleston girl, (who) moves to downtown New  York — then to Paris (where she) falls in love," for this collection. Among the terrific looks: A cobalt blue blazer and flared trousers, cropped bomber in distressed leather with an embroidered mohair pencil skirt, and a camel cashmere blanket coat with brown leather trim.

Reid said he is excited about moving his Houston store from The Galleria into a former antiques store located on Westheimer near Kirby. "It's a house with a kitchen," he exclaimed. "We've been nomads, back and forth looking for the right location. This environment works perfectly."

He plans to be in Houston for the opening late next month.