“There’s nothing shy about the collection,” Wes Gordon said during a preview of his latest collection for Carolina Herrera, set at New York City’s uptown Academy Mansion. “It’s bold colors, big trains and a kind of a continuous evolution of silhouettes I’ve been working on for the past few seasons.”
Spring was described as a jumping off point, “for coming to terms with the things I really love — the beauty of classical silhouettes, explosive florals, bold colors — and embracing it shamelessly and unapologetically with enthusiasm.” It served as a natural transition into pre-fall’s “idea of beauty with a capital B.”
“I started really thinking about the woman who dresses that way and then the idea of this diva personality. My mood board consisted of a million Maria Callas photos, Jacqueline de Ribes and, of course, Mrs. Herrera — the woman who inhabits the spotlight,” he said, adding images of Cher inspired the collection’s party-ready stretch crepe jumpsuit with tiered bell bottom-esque ruffles while colorful rose prints were plucked from Callas’ finale bow scene in Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca.” “It was this idea of the singular, confident, bold and fabulous female.”
Fittingly over the weekend, the “ultimate diva,” Adele shined on stage in Las Vegas in a custom Herrera black silk taffeta draped one-shoulder gown with gold floral brooch.
Within pre-fall, Gordon’s modern diva and the Herrera house’s glamorous codes continued to stride in symbiosis. Case in point: the designer’s baby pink corseted gown with hand-draped, structured heart bodice, or Mrs. Herrera’s signature white shirt, which was inspired by the collection’s bold red faille number and given the drama treatment in cropped silk faille with a floor-sweeping train atop slim high-waisted black trousers.
“I don’t think things need to be thrown away ever — the leopard, the heart, polka dots — there’s nothing that is out of date, and the heart is a beautiful shape that the world needs in spades. This was a new way of interpreting love and really celebrating the skills of our atelier,” he said of the collection’s leopard jacquard numbers and various heart-adorned looks.
Across eveningwear, Gordon upped the ante on elegance through a variety of flattering feminine silhouettes, which came both maxi and mini; body-skimming or with voluminous proportions and trains, and with or without signature pearls, flowers, crystal and chain embroideries and accessories.
But what does the modern diva wear for day?
“It becomes this expression of an artistic personality,” Gordon said, adding rich textiles, cinched waist and full skirt silhouettes, and a continuation of implementing irreverent, colorful print combinations were key. For instance, a rose-printed organza blouse with color-contrasting rose cotton gabardine skirt and printed waist-cinching belt (which would look equally great with the collection’s print-matched girly knits), or a high-waisted combination skirt with chambray yolk and full denim skirt, paired with a navy knit cardigan.
From day to night, Gordon’s key to success was melding signature Herrera restraint with bold, unabashed femininity. Perfect for his woman in the spotlight, both figuratively and metaphorically.
“What is elegance with beauty? What is fabulousness in 2023? In a world of 8 billion and scary headlines and uncertainty, getting dressed should be an expression of your individuality your personality, optimism, joy, boldness and an opportunity to just really embrace the moment and celebrate who you are,” the designer said.
With a wardrobe like this, who wouldn’t want to be a diva everyday?