Autumn/winter 2017 Runway Show
The Billy Reid Autumn-Winter 2017 runway show was among the first to kick off New York Fashion Week: Men’s, set in The Cellar at The Beekman hotel on Nassau Street in downtown Manhattan on the evening of Monday, January 30. After sitting out a runway season, Billy returned to NYC with a Shindig-inspired vision that built upon his signature style for mixing live performance with fashion and community.
"The sense of community has been one of the most gratifying and inspirational parts of my work,” Billy says. “So many people have helped us through the years to create some incredibly special moments, and events, like our annual Shindig in Florence, Alabama.” Several Shindig friends joined us on the AW17 runway including model and singer-songwriter Karen Elson, who performed last August on the Florence stage. Karen and Billy have long been friends, and bringing her into the fold added to the warm feel of an evening with like-minded souls. Karen also walked the runway and performed the song “Distant Shore” from her newest album, Double Roses.
Billy asked his friend Tony Award-winning actor Alex Sharp, who attended Shindig No. 8, to join the performance with a spoken word recitation of Beat poet Frank O’Hara’s “Avenue A.” As you might expect from a lauded stage actor, Alex delivered O’Hara’s resonating lines, “We hardly ever see the moon any more, so no wonder it's so beautiful when we look up suddenly and there it is gliding broken-faced over the bridges,” with precision pitch.
One of the influences on this season’s collection was the Beat Generation exhibition at Centre Pompidou in Paris, which Billy visited in 2016. Lived-in luxury, high-waists and soft textures in corduroy and boiled wools with loose silhouettes are hallmarks of the season’s staples. Many of the runway looks included Billy Reid Eyewear, which will officially launch later this year. Beyond the visual influence, Billy credits the Beat movement for inspiring this show through their camaraderie. “The movement had an instinctual and deep appreciation for craft and Americana,” says Billy. “They blended and shared their creativity in harmony.”
Friends and songbirds The Watson Twins sang an A cappella rendition of “Oh, What a Beautiful City (Twelve Gates to the City)”, and bluesman Cedric Burnside, grandson of R.L Burnside and friend of Billy’s, serenaded the room with a guitar rendition of “Love Her Til I Die” as models walked the marble mosaic floor of the landmark 19th century building. Karen, Alex, and Cedric have all recently been featured on The Journal.
After closing remarks from Billy, thanking the CFDA and show sponsors KSWISS, The Speakeasy after-party started with an impromptu jazz band, drolly named Billy and the Rock Bottoms, that drew revelers to the runway turned dance floor. The make-shift band was formed by friends of Alex Sharp’s who played at Alex’s birthday two nights before, for which Billy was in attendance. Billy loved them immediately and asked them to join the post-show celebration on Monday evening. The band was Willem de Koch on Trombone, Nick Dunston on bass, Savannah Harris on drums, Adam Moezinia on guitar and John Otten on trumpet. Whiskey cocktails were sipped and small bites from friend Chef Tom Colicchio were enjoyed as long-time pal Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons played DJ during band breaks.
We put tremendous work and long hours into planning and producing our runway shows, but never at a cost to the laid-back vibe and organic gathering of spirited friends that inevitably make our Shindigs - and runway shows - memorable soirées.
Frequent Journal contributor and friend Brett Warren documented the runway show, pre-show and The Speakeasy party. These are some of our favorites.
We also made a short video of the event, which you can watch here.