Rule #1 at a Reem Acra show: Don’t blink. You don’t want to miss a single second or nary a detail. There is so much to take in at one of Acra’s shows that you must be at the ready.
Each dress in the Spring 2013 collection is a work of art. Pearls and chunky crystals fully adorn dresses or magically morph from a beaded bodice into a fluffy ruffled tulle skirt. Fluid and form-fitting silhouettes flatter the body in a way that would make any bride consider never ever removing her dress. Mix and match embroideries and patches of delicate lace flit about as if they were butterflies free to land wherever they wish. Gossamer fabrics make these dresses moveable, modern and oh so of the moment.
Rule #2 at a Reem Acra show: Expect the unexpected. You just never know what surprises await you, and believe me, there are always plenty of delightful surprises in store.
Fast-forward to the finale. As her beautiful and very reserved models line up the runway for one last look, each girl begins to shed her delicate layers. One by one they remove tiny bodices, full-length capes and tiers and tiers of skirts. This was the chic-est striptease we’ve ever seen, not that we’re experts mind you. This was some finale, and leads us directly to Rule #3.
Rule #3 at a Reem Acra show: Prepare to see things differently. You might have gone in thinking you already knew everything there was to know about wedding fashion, but after a Reem Acra collection you will have a whole new vocabulary. Your mind will bend slightly in the right direction.
A wedding gown was always just a wedding gown. One piece, or maybe every once in a while, two pieces like a corset and a skirt. But Acra showed us a new way that a wedding gown can be two, three, four or even five pieces.
It can be a slim column with a long, light, gently beaded tulle dress layered over it. It can be a structured, fitted mini dress with a cascading horsehair-stiffened tulle skirt that is ribbon- tied over it. It can be a chic lace slim gown with a cloud-like belt of swirling flowers at the waist, both lying beneath a single layer tulle cape edged in scalloped lace. It can also be a chic beaded gown covered in multiples of tulle over-skirts. Long, shorter, then shortest adding volume like thick Chantilly cream.
The idea of layering is one we all utilize in our work clothes and our casual clothes. But the idea of layered wedding gowns is totally unique and offers brides an exciting, fun experience beyond just one piece. This was not just a collection or a show, this was an education. An invitation to move forward into truly innovative territory.
And finally, Rule #4. Reem Acra proves that all rules are meant to be broken.