No fashionably familiar, all-white flowers here. As her resort selling season commenced, Carolina Herrera set the tables of her showroom with a variety of fanciful blooms — pink peonies and ranunculus, yellow wattles, white and purple sweet peas, the various vases set about with apparent randomness. They made for lovely viewing while announcing the designer’s seasonal motif. “I call it ‘a conversation between flowers.’ I have a lot of colors,” Herrera said, her premise being that in a garden, there’s no such thing as colors that clash. Her primary point of reference: the gardens at La Vega, her family’s residence in Caracas. “You see all the flowers together and they all go together beautifully, no?”
Given that setup, the collection’s floral fancy proved intensely controlled, the prevailing mood one of unfettered romanticism. Yes there was color: on one wall, a range of reds and berries; on another, every conceivable shade of blue. And there were flowers galore: patterns from tiny, impressionistic blossom prints to boldly scaled hydrangeas; appliqués that worked the pretty side of graphic; lush embroideries. It all retained a certain breeziness because the shapes were, by Herrera’s standards, on the simple side, often with small bodices atop full skirts. She worked this silhouette sometimes for drama — a pale blue gown lavished with pink and red 3-D embroidery — and sometimes for ease, as in a pair of tank tops atop long, printed skirts. She also offered several takes on the shirtdress, including an embroidered pink organza gown for evening. “Resort should never be complicated,” she said.
Herrera tempered her obvious floral renderings with looks that simply mixed colors: a red coat with pink belt over a blue dress; a blue-and-pink striped gown belted in maroon. In fact, she worked in a healthy dose of the stripes and polka dots she loves including a fresh, all-white dotted shirtdress. Sometimes the fashionably familiar just works.