"If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden," Frances Hodgson Burnett writes in the classic children's novel, The Secret Garden.
That's the sentiment that inspired designer Reem Acra to create her mesmerizing spring 2017 collection, which was unveiled at New York Fashion Week. Before the show, Acra left a hint of what was in store, with a small card on each seat that read, "When you have the keys to the secret garden. Do you use it? Do you hide it?"
Nearly every look in the collection — from voluminous mini-dresses to sheer gowns —features delicate 3-D florals on transparent sleeves, tulle skirts, silk collars — and even lurex socks. Wildflower embellishments and graphic printed lace with sheer overlay evoke a sense of illusion and a dreamlike effect while ostrich feather trims and beaded bodices add a touch of glamour.
Noting that a woman doesn't always want to wear a cocktail dress or evening gown to a special event, Acra emphasizes separates like a black lace bolero, a white zip-up jacket with push-up sleeves, and satin peplum top that could easily be mixed or matched with jeans or skinny pants for more casual activities.
Acra is known for her evening wear, so it's not surprising she offered a number of showstoppers, including big ball gowns with voluminous skirts and transparent tulle gowns with embroidered flowers.
Many of the looks are in soft pink pastels, although styles in bright yellow, blue, black and white add a pop of color.
In Houston, Elizabeth Anthony carries the Reem Acra collection.