After a highly decorative collection for spring, Carolina Herrera chose to pull back a bit for fall. “It’s very simple and to the point,” she said, “but the lines are strong.”


Touché. Herrera’s lady likes to flaunt her natural elegance with a dash of drama. Here, if the designer held back on obvious embellishment — aside from expressive use of fur accents — she more than made up for it in assertive silhouettes. These were often rendered in posh, substantial fabrics such as flannels, bouclés and tweeds that infused the lineup with a smart sportif. The show opened on a note of high chic: a dark gray coat with an amethyst velvet belt. With its full skirt shaped by generous folds, the piece introduced a key tenant that showed up in various incarnations for day and evening. Another such structural flourish, the capelet, put volume at the top of coats and jackets. Herrera also offered some lovely lean dresses and a great-looking dégradé sweater worn with a pleated skirt and sable scarf for a glam spin on collegiate chic.


At times, however, Herrera seemed too confined by her self-imposed simplicity. Then, some looks turned cumbersome. She gave herself more leeway at night — beading, embroidering and printing gowns with flair. That said, her evening star was a gorgeous take on the classic trench, cut in billowing amethyst organdy.

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