Since taking the creative reins at Carolina Herrera, Wes Gordon has hit just about every right note, putting his own mark on the house founder’s template of upbeat chic, So much so that he has formalized color, print, exuberance and joyfulness as the brand codes going forward, Gordon said after the show. He’s done so while advancing the brand in a younger, less studied direction.
For spring, Gordon was inspired by the recent California “super bloom,” a rare occurrence when wildflowers overproduce seeds during a drought year, which erupt into a natural wonder the following season. “What was once a barren field suddenly is a vibrant rich colorful carpet of beauty and flowers as far as the eye can see,” he said.
The view beneath the domed clear — and steamy — tent Gordon constructed in lower Manhattan’s Battery Garden proved colorful indeed, filled with an array of joyful patterns and prints. Many of these — polka dots and stripes along with the essential fanciful florals — looked lovely. So, too, his 3-D floral embroideries, including a white-on-white puffed sleeved minidress and a redo of the fabulous embroidered T-shirt gown now in-store, this one in light blue with blue, white and yellow flowers.
Yet for all the visual pep, the collection lacked the sly irreverence Gordon has otherwise shown since arrival, when he has brought a sportswear attitude to dressing up. You sensed it from the first series that played on the house signature white-shirt-and-long-skirt motif. Despite the elements of ease — short sleeves, cotton skirts — they felt, if not formal exactly, then a bit self-conscious.
One got the impression Gordon felt a little stymied. Perhaps he was distracted from his collection by the vast amount of work he put into the renovation of the impeccable flagship that recently opened on Madison Avenue. Still, what Gordon has done in the year since he assumed the role of creative director is impressive. This was likely just a little sophomore slump in the delightful garden he’s planting at Herrera.
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