Billy Reid: American Prep with a Victorian Twist

Though Billy Reid didn't mine any single source for his fall '11 inspiration--the designer cited everything from Gram Parsons and Victorian interiors to Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia -- the finished collection was distinctly au 'Billy.' After ten years of designing, Reid isn't experimenting too much within his quirky American sportswear aesthetic, but after scoring big with a CFDA win in 2010, he finally opened an NYC showroom in the East Village and, it turns out, expanded the line into womenswear.

While the gentlemen's offerings felt like familliar territory for Reid, with a combination of prepster staples like perfectly-faded chinos and leather bomber jackets mixed with more buttoned-up haberdashery looks, the womenswear was surprising in its comparitive softness: Long, draped organza skirts were mixed with moto jackets, elongated boyfriend blazers, and cool leather separates.

Rather than fall into the trap of creating a mini-me version of his man through shrunken menswear basics, Reid introduced us to his cool, downtown girlfriend. Both groups found a balance between old world tailoring and a hip take on "Heritage" dressing. As always, the quality of each piece, from the crisply cut jackets to the perfectly smooth leather pants, was immediately visible throughout.

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