February 09, 2012 New York
Reid's appreciation of the finer things in life was sharpened by a recent trip with his wife to Paris and London, an archetypal Old World experience that took on all the romantic trappings of a second honeymoon. So there was a lot of love in his new collection, as well as some ingenious souvenirs like the jacket lining that mimicked the crumbling wallpaper in the church of Saint-Eustache in Paris (that's one way to turn a trip into a tax write-off). The womenswear played out like the fantasy of an innocent American abroad: lean, long, pencil-skirted, wide-brim-hatted, sophisticated sorts with whom a young man might have an adventure. The luxe was utterly straightforward in a floor-length suede outfit, the model sporting a mysteriously enormous saddle bag.
The menswear, on the other hand, had a kind of college boy formality—if Reid's women were greyhounds, his men were pups. A gray flannel suit was accompanied by a washed leather backpack. An immaculately realized shawl-collared tux in wool faille was worn with a washed oxford button-down and kilties. Reid artfully layered tailored twill over leather jackets. So the formality was actually depth-charged. But the luxury lingered in the plush fabrics or the shaved nutria collar on a tweed coat, which felt like mink. The dinner jacket in a natural cashmere hopsack that closed the show could be one of the season's most elegantly modern evening options.