"There's more than one way to wear a dress," said Tracy Reese backstage after her Fall show. "I think we're so used to categorizing them as 'pretty frocks' or 'go-to-work dresses,' but I do all kinds of things with them. I wear them with sneakers or throw a casual anorak on top." There was a playful modernity about the way Reese styled her latest lineup. Signature party dresses and full skirts—which came in a variety of abstract florals as well as a melancholic, winter landscape print—looked fresh paired with fringy, color-blocked sweaters or a metallic windbreaker. But festive cocktail attire was only part of the equation here. Reese continued to ramp up everyday separates this season, with highlights including herringbone trousers that had a relaxed boyfriend fit and cozy plaid blanket cardigans. She also sent out a range of practical parkas and sharp topcoats updated in novelty fabrications such as graphic, chevron-patterned wool or croc-stamped leather.

There's a characteristic pragmatism behind Reese's approach to designing. "Obviously we want the clothes to be beautiful and striking, but we also want them to really be wearable and serve a purpose in our customers' lives," she explained. This flair for functionality made her a natural ambassador for Tide's new Washable Fashion initiative in partnership with the CFDA, for which Reese created two full runway looks (one outfit featured silver denim cargo pants, while the other consisted of a knit pullover and a nice jacquard skirt) meant to be washed with Tide Pods. Saving time and money on dry cleaning is a proposition that will surely resonate with Reese's contemporary customers.