Credit Billy Reid with giving the show of the week last night, administering a welcome dose of thoughtfully sharp country cool. His line of linen, wool and comfortably elegant tailoring proved a welcome respite after days of humidity. The AC and Doghead didn’t hurt, either.

Reid has come far in since holding presentations in hotel studios just a few seasons ago—his ability to make clothes that look formal but not fussy has served him well, winning deserved critical and popular acclaim. Anyone who wins CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year and throws a proper southern shindig with the Alabama Shakes is bound to make friends.

The crowd last night duly reflected the fame–wooden benches held the largest numbers of handsomely tailored men we’ve seen since Simon Spurr last season; half looked like they came prepared to jump on the runway and perform a show themselves. Lynn Yaeger joined us of course, plus Mandy Moore and actor Gabriel Man. We also spied NBA player Russell Westbrook and Jack Huston of Twilight fame, with girlfriend in tow.

More importantly, the clothes held up their end of the bargain. Natural tones and hand tailoring characterized the collection—think beige and red linen plaid suiting over a white and orange cotton Tattersall dress shirt; parchment waxed cotton coat over a natural panel striped shirt and warm gray hemp linen slim trouser. All over burnished suede wingtips, with an oatmeal linen herringbone tie to match.

Ladies wore similar threads, softened a bit for the feminine physique: white linen and gauze Dolman dresses under tan goat suede overcoats; a white coated cotton parka over cotton voile pelican shirt and tailored shorts. (The accompanying white alligator crust and latigo handmade handbag goes on the Christmas list.)

Anyone who wears the white silk Pelican wrap dress over whitesilk trousers with a white alligator crust belt will stand out beautifully.
Music by Laurent Vacher—Apache Relay, Alabama Shakes, Jackson Browne—set the tone in the best possible way. Everyone seemed in a good mood. Reid deserved every bit of the resulting boisterous and loud applause.