Think of fashion’s rebel yell and chances are you’re not thinking Carolina Herrera. But if you consider a rebel someone who stands firm against the status quo no matter how solitary her position, Herrera is James Dean. Especially during Collections season.
As others have migrated downtown, Herrera took up residence at The Frick. In the face of widespread youth obsession, Herrera keeps her core customer front and center. Most importantly, during a time when New York Fashion Week feels like one big, sweaty marketing bacchanal, Herrera chooses serenity over frenzy. In her fall collection, serenity played like a dream.
Herrera followed last season’s treatise on pink with a collection that lacked an obvious singular focus. “I don’t work from one of those [retro] inspirations,” she said during a preview. “I believe in the future of fashion. I’m not talking about the past.”
Her future is a lovely one, in which the embrace of elegance resonates around the clock and across generations, via a range of offerings and subtle juxtaposition. The lineup featured tradition and tech (she loves both classic men’s wear and high-tech, surf-foam fabric), fluidity and structure, simplicity and embellishment. Despite her claims of no themes, several constants ran throughout, unifying the lineup. One such motif: depth of field. After happening upon a raised jasmine embroidery during her fabric research, Herrera got interested in 3-D iterations. She used the small floral embroidery and also enlarged the concept on a pale-pink techno mini shift with three cutout flowers down the front and, larger still, on a boxy tunic with a single giant bloom emerging from a background of sheared mink.
And she was all about movement, cutting dresses and skirts with volume, from the glen-plaid day dress that opened the show to several gowns discreet in their glamour. With their billowing lines, these beauties would waft gracefully across the stage of the Dolby Theatre come Oscar night.