Evening gowns that evoke a sense of motorcycle-chic toughness? Reem Acra, the same designer that creates some of the most elegant bridal gowns to date like the one LeAnn Rimes wore on her wedding day, made the impossible possible on Monday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.
Acra told IBTimes backstage before the show for Spring 2013 that she was inspired by the work of New York-based artist Aaron Young in his motorcycle series, fusing the abstract prints and destructive nature with a collection of simple and modernly feminine evening gowns.
"It's about artwork. Aaron Young's artwork, with his motorcycle collection," Acra explained backstage before the show, showing some of her dresses. "You can see it in some of the dresses here, the laser cut. The print is from kind of a motorcycle."
Expertly placed laser cuts on the gowns were certainly conspicuous but by no means tawdry. In fact, the laser cuts paired with elegant colors of midnight navy and ivory with pops of vermilion, green and gold along with Acra's signature embellishment -- this time hand embroidered rope details and sequins -- on the simple silhouettes were the perfect juxtaposition Acra wanted: good girl goes bad.
"She's an elegant woman who went bad for a moment and came back," Acra said. "She's powerful, she has the same attitude. It's springtime, so she wanted to be a little bit artsy. So she went with the ivory and kind of a bold print."
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Each piece in the collection, especially the form-fitting dresses, did conjure up a bit of badness, especially the eye-catching dresses with cut out panels, some of which were small, while others were entire backs or side. Those aforementioned dresses rouse the question, "Is she naked, or is she not?" in a way that is still elegant but brings that modernity Acra is channeling.
"She wanted to be a little bit more sexy, a little bit more daring," Acra explained, showing some of the cut outs in her dresses. "But so modern this time, even more than last time. You will see a lot of modern attitude."
Perhaps it's because Acra is looking to widen her audience. Having began with a bridal collection before moving to ready-to-wear, Style.com wrote that Acra was "courting a younger crowd the past few seasons." And it's working; Isla Fisher most recently donned a Reem Acra from her Resort 2013 collection to the premiere of "Bachelorette" in Los Angeles.
But that's not all. Acra is on the heels of having her first eponymous fragrance released at Saks Fifth Avenue drawn from inspirations from her life.
"It's real. A true story," Acra said of the perfume, which goes on sale in October.
When asked what else she has in store, namely if she'd ever consider a diffusion label, the humble Reem Acra graciously responded that she is up for anything her future has in store,
"It's what the opportunity is going to bring to me," Acra said. "And right now it's one step at a time. You know I'm only 15 years in business, so there's a lot coming. I hope."