When Reem Acra
was a young girl, every Sunday she and her father used to hike up mountains on the outskirts of Beirut in search of amber. After digging up the resin, they would wash it before examining it under a microscope, then catalog the specimens. These nature memories influenced Acra's Fall collection. The designer explained how she would frequently find insects trapped in the amber, so there was a silk floral print with bees and bugs all over it, with jeweled critter brooches to match. A "manipulated leopard" pattern looked like magnified amber, according to Acra, who has lately been aiming for a younger customer. Simple, unadorned (yes, really) cocktail shifts were cut in menswear-ish fabrics like gabardine. Even some of the evening looks were relatively restrained; a long, black crepe gown with cap sleeves and a low, lace back was elegant with a train. And there was a teal dress with an iridescent chiffon cape and high, jeweled neckline that would work for either a dame or a lass. Of course, there were liberal doses of Acra's hallmark sequins here: A body-con, strapless number was fringed in them; their color was "sky-to-earth ombré."