Carolina Herrera: High Society with a twist from new boy Wes Gordon
Wes Gordon made his debut at the house of Carolina Herrera on Monday morning on the Upper West Side. And, with Herrera sitting in the front row, the new boy’s debut was a generous homage to the founder of the house.
That’s to say High Society, ladylike and coolly elegant fashion, albeit with a more youthful twist.
“I was really thinking about what makes Herrera fabulous and a lot of that was Mrs. Herrera herself. This is a house that should make fabulous clothes for fabulous women,” Gordon told FashionNetwork.com.
The result was a boldly colorful collection which opened with crisp plaid trouser suits and coral-colored plaid coats before moving to a dazzling dress embroidered with an 18-inch wide petal high color motif and a series of piped blazers cut long over latte suede minis.
The color palette was eye-popping vermilion, turquoise, dandelion and snake. Gordon’s best section were a series of bold often ravishingly cut chiffon dresses in oversized floral prints that would look stunning at wedding or smart summer luncheons.
“I wanted a collection of ruffles that dance and pieces for a woman who wants to smile,” confessed Gordon, a 31-year-old alumnus of Tom Ford and Oscar de la Renta.
The show was the first since the retirement this spring of Carolina from her house, one of five fashion brands controlled by the Puig family of Barcelona, including Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nina Ricci and, since the summer, Dries Van Noten.
“I think we made a pretty good choice. Eh?” beamed the clan leader Marc Puig post show. While Herrera commented: “I liked it, and it was nice to be the center of attention. Though I am only here as an observer; you are the critic, not me.”
The collection did perhaps lack the grand majesty one associated with Herrera, that special uptown chic that was her signature. However, the less grand approach of Gordon should suit the house, whose key business driver has historically been its perfume business, helping to generate an estimated $1.2 billion in worldwide retail sales.
The show was the latest example of fashion's architectural tour of the world, since it was staged inside the New-York Historical Society, a handsome neo-classical building located along Central Park that was the city’s first museum when it opened in 1804. Guests arrived in a torrential downpour, though inside it was all beautifully tasteful, all from the wonderful wooden spiral staircase in the soaring library to the fine art collection. When the models pirouetted out of the main room, they did so in front of a magnificent curtain painted by Pablo Picasso, Le Tricorne, created in 1919 for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.
“Had it been a sunny day I would have loved to have entered and exited a green Central Park. But I love this place, for as big as New York is it’s actually very hard to find a venue that has soul and not overused,” added Gordon.
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