"Cool" isn't the first adjective you expect to hear from the lips of bridal-turned-ready-to-wear designer Reem Acra
, but it was her word of choice for pre-fall looks like an airy silk T-shirt dress with contrasting piping, a sheer floor-length caftan with patchwork detail, and a sequin mermaid skirt paired with a casual jersey cowl-neck tee. "The whole thing is about a young attitude," she said of her new focus on mix-and-match separates. Those attractively priced silk tunics? Depending on the customer, Acra suggests wearing them with jeans, leggings, or tights. Ditto a gold paillette dress with a thigh-grazing hem. There will always be a market for the special-occasion dressing with which the designer has made her name, but in times like these, the fresh options she presented today seemed like a smart play for retailers and shoppers alike.