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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Billy Reid's Southern sophistication

February 14, 2012 |  7:07 am

Billy Reid Fall Winter 2012

Billy Reid takes things up a notch for fall 2012 with a dressy -- dare we say elegant -- men's and women's collection.

Reid's East Coast graduate-student-by-way-of-Alabama aesthetic is still very much at the heart of the collection, but this season seems to have taken a semester of finishing school across the pond and come back a bit more genteel.

Which is just about the way it happened, says the designer who was inspired by recent travels abroad. "I spent some great time in Paris and London this past year," Reid writes in the show notes. "And I've thoroughly enjoyed mixing that vibe into the collection.” 

The shift was most notable on the men's side, with three-piece suits in heathered gray cashmere tweed, double-breasted suits in navy blue cashmere flannel, and jackets and trousers in cotton velvet. The outerwear was equally upscale with parkas lined in sheared nutria and trench coats and leather vests sporting shearling collars.

The women's collection, which has always been a bit dressier than the men's, felt downright sophisticated; belted shearling ponchos paired with floppy wide-brimmed Albertus Swanepoel hats, navy twill sport coats and blue Oxford shirts paired with leather skirts, and a side-tie trench coat with fox fur collar layered over a silk jacquard cocktail dress.

The collection's color palette was based in muted beige, brown and gray shot through with blue hues. The most eye-catching was a head-to-toe women's look -- a belted blazer, flared flannel trousers and a blouse -- in a vivid shade of cobalt blue.

Billy Reid FW12 runway 2


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-- Adam Tschorn in New York

Photos: Looks from the fall 2012 Billy Reid runway show Friday in New York. Credit: Joe Kohen / Getty Images