Reem Acra Goes Art Deco at New York Fashion Week

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Look out, red carpet: the designer best known for ballgowns and weddings toughens up and gets with the trends.

The fall 2012 collections on the runway at New York Fashion Week are recycling and reworking some current Hollywood trends: the 1920s and the Jazz Age, particularly. Is it Boardwalk Empire, The Artist and Hugo influencing designers? Or did Gucci's previous spring collection pave the way with all its flapper black and gold-beaded fringe? Whatever the inspiration, art deco is poised to permeate the autumn air as well as the awards season atmospheric pressure.

Reem Acra -- who could be considered "old school," with her signature frothy gowns, tulle and lace -- did a total turnaround on Monday. Now, to be fair, she's made some more modern dresses in the last few years, including a violet mermaid ballgown for Olivia Wilde that, in our opinion, took Wilde from small screen to big screen in one much-photographed awards show walk. But for fall, Acra really toughened up, working mostly in a palette of black and gold -- all the gowns were black, gold or a combo of the two.

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There were also really slinky leather dresses in bottle green, and a leather suit in wine, that could easily transition from day to night (as long as you spend half the day in the gym so you can squeeze into the styles by evening). Acra's gowns were all done in crunchy beading with a lot of texture and mesh inserts. The effect was very Peppy Miller (the character portrayed by Berenice Bejo in The Artist) crossed with Gwyneth Paltrow. The black peekaboo gowns - which also came in flat-pressed gold beading so light it looked like tissue paper (expensive tissue paper) -- appeared ready-made for the Grammys, but a a little over the top for Oscar flashbulbs.

But if Paltrow's going to the post-Academy Awards Vanity Fair party, Acra's got her number. We'll be seeing Jennifer Lopez in one of these numbers within weeks, mark our words.