It takes a very special woman indeed to pull a designer away from her studio just days before her fall fashion show. For Carolina Herrera last night, that woman was Kelly Talamas, editor in chief of Vogue Mexico and Latin America, who touched down in New York to celebrate the title’s 15th anniversary with a dinner at The Standard Grill. “I feel very honored to see people come out of their way, especially on a week like this,” said Talamas, wearing a printed skirt and top from the Columbian label Polite. “There’s such a big Latin community here that we are very close with — you know, we are really just south of the border!”
Herrera couldn’t stay for long, of course; she pulled on her voluminous mink jacket and slinked away before dinner. Maria Cornejo, on the other hand, arrived late, having come straight from a fitting. “This is the lull before the storm,” said the designer, who presents her collection on Monday. “We’re waiting for samples to come in, we’re waiting for models to get confirmed. Today is a weird day — it’s a little scary because it’s quiet.” What was not quiet was the dinner party, with hosts Yaz Hernandez and Gabriel Rivera-Barraza giving toasts and pouring wine for guests like Roopal Patel and Valerie Steele. “Muy nice,” said Hernandez as plates of diver scallops and beef ragu were set on the table. “Spanglish!” laughed Steele.
By the end of the night, Cornejo seemed in no rush to get back to work. “There’s a quiet confidence when you get older,” she said of her design process. “You figure out what you want to say, and either you achieve it or you don’t. There’s a point where you have to let it go. The reality is, you have to have a pretty clear idea by now what you’re doing. If you don’t, then it’s scary.”