If there is such a thing as a self-fulfilling prophecy, then Carolina Herrera is doing more than her part to bring back the good old days of flush. The collection Herrera showed on Monday said ta-ta to artsiness while screaming money in the cleverest of manners — eschewing all discretion while retaining a rock-solid highbrow attitude. The overt embrace of opulence felt oddly comforting, and if some looks crossed into the land of too much, most were quite beautiful.
Throughout, Herrera worked the flamboyant side of lady. Along the way she invoked numerous archetypal trappings of patrician indulgence — wide-brimmed hats, ample shimmer and fur for days. She opened with gusto: an ultrachic shirt-and-pants combo of the sort she herself often wears, topped off with a demonstrative little fur, a sable jacket emblazoned in front with a bold brush print. In fact, trousers-with-swagger were one of the collection’s keys, showing up variously in a red tweed suit as well as more sportif combinations. With their ample proportions, these made a smart counterpoint to Herrera’s curvy dresses. Invariably, these bore notice-me touches, whether in the draped folds of a Prince of Wales sheath or the sable rim that outlined the neckline of a puffed-sleeve embroidered mosaic dress divine in its decadence. Herrera used similarly lavish doses of fur on the collars of her impressive jackets and coats. Perhaps ironically, her one nod to discretion came via a print that featured multiple photos of herself — the images were almost imperceptibly tiny, and the fabric used for a blouse under a dashing suit and coat.
Evening was similarly lavish. Here, if a wayward pair — one gown seemingly crafted from recycled Christmas ribbons; another, a tropical paradise print — seemed to have wandered in from somewhere else, Herrera’s lovely assortment of steely blue and gray gowns more than recovered the tone of elegant opulence.