Tracy Reese's colorful, feminine designs are adored by many, including celebs like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Michelle Obama. The lovely, laid-back designer met up with us at her NYC West Village store to watch her appearance on Project Runway and have a little chat.
Real Beauty: Can you tell us a little bit about your experience as a guest judge on Project Runway?
Tracy Reese: Oh it was fun! It was a glamorous moment.they have great hair and makeup people busy prepping you, and everyones got their highest heels on. So the TV glamour part was a lot of fun. But it was really interesting to see what the contestants did with the challenge. Its sort of wrenching for the one who didnt do so well, but exciting for the ones whose talent really shines through. But from week to week, different challenges speak to different peoplehopefully each one gets their chance to shine before they have to say goodbye.
RB: Was there anything specific you were looking for as a judge?
TR: A great silhouette, something that is really wearable. Show pieces are fun, but an outfit that has no use is never as interesting to me as something that you can wear in some facet of your life.
RB: Do you have a style philosophy?
TR:I believe in dressing right for your body and your lifestyleI think this is especially important for women. It's something that is changing every hour and its interesting to see the progress that has been made just in the past five years. People are really able to express themselves through their clothing in the workplace. Theres just more freedom in dress, and thats really wonderful. In design in general, theres much more variety and this speaks to modern women. We arent all the same and the same trends dont look good on everybody. We need to be able to customize our look. Im just glad the world is opening upits not just one look, one way.
RB: Do you have a fashion inspiration or icon?
TR: Oh, tons! Inspiration comes in so many forms: textiles, great artists, designers from the past and presentits just all around us. People put together great looks on the street. Theres just so much, the hardest part is focusing on a small section so your voice can be clear and strong.
RB: Do you prefer designing for one season over another?
TR: I like both. Spring is great because there is a lightness to it and its a time of re-birth. You can try new ideas and the clothes dont have to be as serious. But fall is wonderful because of all the great textures and textiles. You can run the gamut from light to heavy, from fur to georgette. So that part, sinking your teeth into something meaty, is a lot of fun. But just the lightness of spring is probably a little bit more my favorite.
RB: Is there any crazy trend happening right now that you would never try?
TR: I stopped saying 'never.' I think 'try' is the operative word. You might try it and realize its not good for you, or you might try it and realize, 'hey this is kind of cute on me!' There are so many different silhouettes and different shapes, and if you dont try them, you wont know if its good for you or not.