09/08/2013 09:23 EDT | Updated 11/08/2013 05:12 EST

Plantains, maracas and fedoras for Tracy Reese's Cuban-inspired collection

NEW YORK, N.Y. - If there are maracas involved, it's got to be a good time, right? Tracy Reese threw herself a little Cuba-themed party at New York Fashion Week on Sunday.

She said she was doing a little dance herself backstage — hip shimmies and all — as she watched the dresses, which she called "dulce vida dresses," slouchy trousers and fedoras hit the runway. There was live music and bags of dried plantains were left on the chairs for the audience.

"This collection was so much fun," she said in an interview "All the girls and the one guy in the office had the best time doing it."

She settled on the inspiration because she wanted to infuse energy into the spring collection, and the music that comes from there just makes her want to move, she explained. "Movement makes the body feel good, and then you bring that energy into everything else you do."

Reese also encouraged shoppers to take the risks to mix-and-match colours, patterns and textures like designers do. If done right, they'll see their wardrobe come alive, she said.

She used a vibrant sunflower colour, sugar pink and sea green. The last several outfits were all white, which shouldn't be surprising as a trend for a warm-weather season but stylists, editors and retailers are seeing even more of it than usual during this round of previews.

One of the best all-white outfits was a breezy "flyaway" camisole paired with linen-stripe golf shorts. It seemed oh-so-tropical.


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