Carolina Herrera is making her company’s 35th anniversary year one to remember by staging her first major exhibition in two cities simultaneously — Savannah and Atlanta.
Thanks to the Savannah College of Art & Design, “Refined Irreverence” will bow at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta and SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah. The dual exhibition is a first for the designer, who will be presented with the university’s Etoile award on May 21 at the Savannah campus. Following in the footsteps of such previous recipients as Pierre Cardin and Catherine Deneuve, Herrera will be celebrated at SCAD’s Trustees Theater prior to the annual SCAD fashion show.
The double-header also marks SCAD’s first concurrent exhibitions at SCAD FASH, the university’s new museum dedicated to fashion and film in Atlanta, and SCAD MOA, Savannah’s premier destination for progressive arts programming since 2011. “Refined Irreverence” bows May 20 on both campuses and will be on view through September.
Rafael Gomes, SCAD director of fashion exhibitions, has curated the retrospective by culling more than 75 garments from the designer’s expansive collection. Visitors will find in the galleries an assortment of new and vintage Herrera designs, tracing the designer’s work from her 1981 inaugural collection through more current creations. The presentation will include runway looks, wedding gowns from her bridal collections, red-carpet gowns worn by Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Tina Fey, Renée Zellweger and Lucy Liu and even selections from Herrera’s personal collections. Just last month for President Barack Obama’s historic arrival in Havana, the First Lady stepped off Air Force One wearing a white, navy and red floral A-line Carolina Herrera dress.
SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace said of Herrera: “Her artistry reflects a refined sensibility that is at once classic and modern. Every woman who wears her designs feels exactly as Carolina intends: beautiful.”
The Venezuelan-born Herrera has taken to a variety of museum-related appearances as of late, and even held her February runway show at The Frick Collection in New York for the second time. In September, she will receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Services in the Field of Fashion at the Crystal Charity Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show and Luncheon in Dallas. Last fall Herrera was awarded the Portrait of a Nation Prize at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.