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More Coincidence Than Conspiracy At Fashion Week

TRACY REESE

There were animal prints all over Tracy Reese's fall collection.

A cheetah-print coat opened the show, paired with a black lace shirt and a charcoal pant. The collection also included a cheetah tunic covering a cheetah skirt, a zebra-print trench over a crepe floral dress and an "animal jacquard" coat in tan and black worn over a sequined sweater.

"There are so many cool ways to use animal prints," Reese said backstage. "Subtle and not so subtle. Even in the beading."

Reese said she hoped women would become bolder about mixing prints â¿¿ like pairing an animal print with a floral. "Most women like to wear only one print at a time. But I like to mix them, and I wanted to open up the conversation a bit."

Her collection also included a floral-printed neoprene frock in pink, orange and black and a sleek black knee-length number with huge red flowers on it, its dainty shape contrasting nicely with the boldness of the print.

VICTORIA BECKHAM

The opening look at Victoria Beckham's show was a windowpane plaid coat. She also incorporated more sweaters and knits into her collection, with a nod to mod with some geometric, colorblocked shift dresses.

The most unexpected looks were the flashes of bright yellow, including a sleeveless trench; the techno shine she added to pleated skirts that the audience could only see as the models walked; and the long cape-style tuxedo coat.

One of the important evolutions for fall is the softer shoulder, which she used to tweak one of her popular zip-back, slim-fit dress silhouettes.

For shoes, she put models in lower kitten heels, made in collaboration with Manolo Blahnik, which was a bit of a surprise for a woman known for skyscraper stilettos.

"I'm always designing what I want to wear," she said.

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