Day 2! A total of ninety-one shows are taking place during New York Fashion Week, a highly-anticipated comeback after a forced hiatus of almost two years. With most events being held in person, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced that access to the shows would only be for those who are fully vaccinated.
One of the key players of American fashion is, of course, Carolina Herrera. With Wes Gordon at the helm of the firm, I couldn’t be more excited to see what awaited us in this collection. In 2017, Carolina Herrera knocked (literally) on his door. The queen of New York fashion wanted to relax her participation in the brand and was looking for a replacement to act as creative director. The meeting in New York between Gordon and Herrera established these changes, and Herrera moved to the role of ambassador. Since 2018, Gordon has been in charge of the firm and even dressed artists like Rosalía for the Grammys. His debut show for Spring-Summer 2019 gave us a collection that continued a legacy but added a touch of rebellion.
A few months ago, Gordon received a DM from a stranger on Instagram who contacted him to give him a scrapbook-style notebook that showed the entire Carolina Herrera collection for Spring-Summer 1983. For the creative director, this work was a revelation, and it inspired him to create Spring-Summer 2022 collection with which, by the way, the brand celebrates forty years. Four decades ago, Carolina Herrera launched her fashion brand with a show at Manhattan’s luxurious Metropolitan Club to an audience that included Andy Warhol, CZ Guest, Steve Rubell (the founder of Studio 54), Nan Kempner, and Bianca Jagger.
“Two of the most Herrera things are florals and polka dots, so why not combine them?” said Gordon. And, this was exactly what we saw on the runway: embroidered polka dots, frayed fabric flowers, seersucker suits…these were some of the 1983 styles incorporated into Gordon’s latest collection. “It’s dramatic, bold and fearless in the same way those early ’80s party pictures were,” he said, referring to Herrera’s prime in the Studio 54 days.
My personal favorites were a black dress with puffed sleeves and a big white bow at the front. Another favorite was a mid-length fitted dress in bubblegum pink, again with puffed sleeves. Both looks were paired with black-and-white polka dot pumps and clutches. I also loved a balloon-shaped mini-dress in white with silver flowers and an empire neckline adorned with a black bow. I was dreaming about how I would wear it to an event! Another of my favorites was a black ankle-length dress with spectacular white sleeves that reminded me of butterfly wings.
On the topic of the 40th anniversary, Gordon said: “One of the first compliments people give to Mrs. Herrera is how elegant she is in her personal style; but what’s often overlooked is her brilliance as a designer. One idea of hers I love is that the bravest thing is to be beautiful and elegant. In an industry that’s so much about what’s next, without always the objectivity of is this good or right, that point of view is rebellious and courageous. I like to keep it in mind. “Bravo to Gordon’s statements, Ms. Herrera’s legacy, and the audacity of putting femininity above all things, including trends.