“It’s quite confusing in fashion right now,” said Carolina Herrera before her spring show. “You have to be doing something that you really believe in. I believe women should look glamorous in this moment in their life.” She doubled down on creating an atmosphere befitting her idea of feminine polish for the show, staging it Monday night in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art — the first fashion show ever to be held there — and designed a collection devoted to color specifically with the venue in mind. “Colors are a part of fashion and art,” she explained. “Fashion is not exactly like art because fashion is art in motion. You have to move. You have to wear it.”
Sitting under the clear, late summer night sky, among the garden’s shadows and light and bubbling pool, was a bewitching way to view the clothes. Herrera was serious about the color; everything was awash in happy, Warhol yellow, blue, pink, purple. It’s obvious that she knows what she likes — women who make an effort, but the way it was expressed was less resolved. Herrera recently brought on Wes Gordon to consult, and the lineup reflected what felt like two different generation’s vision of what glamour means today. One tuned into the reality of dressing up in an ever more informal world: a white crew neck tucked into high-waisted, tailored wide-leg jeans with rainbow buttons; a full-skirted shirtdress in wide chambray stripes, and a short-sleeved, V-neck dress done in ombréd sequin stripes on fluttery georgette. They were undeniably feminine and fancy, but still cut to go with the flow. On the other hand, poufed sleeves, plunging sweetheart necks, giant ball skirts and overly coordinated belts with colorful square buckles clung to a sense of occasion that doesn’t exist anymore. In that sense, they became clothes for standing still.