Calling Carolina Herrera the Doyenne of 7th Avenue Might actually get you slapped by this Feisty and Fierce Beauty who even now in her Golden Years radiates with a shine that far outmatches Gold! Ms. Herrera is Far too Lively and Active and Effervescent to be called anything approaching a Doyenne. Her collections in the last decade or more have brimmed with Fresh Vibrancy and a Keen eye to what the Young women of Society, Far and Wide, wearing and how to keep the closets of those Young Women and the LADIES that are their equally Fashionable Mothers, Aunts, Grandmothers bursting with updated variations on the looks that make their lives go around whilst all the while keeping Up with the way The Fashion Winds are blowing and keeping her Identity firmly intact!
For Spring 2014 Herrera Went Arty by way of Venezuela referencing Jesus Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez and Kinetic Art. Speaking on that... this Riff on Kinetic art reached it's apotheosis in July at the Couture Shows for Fall/Winter 2013 Where Uncle Karl also had visions of Kinetica dancing through his Fertile and Febrile Brain! His take was Dramatic PLUS and Moody but less Literal. Herrera's mood was more Sunny, Gossamer and Certainly Less Moody But also more Literal, taking the Liquid, Angular Movement of Kinetic art and applying it in swirling prints and juxtaposing different angles in layered prints.
The Collection had the Air of the Grandiose, Always Par for the Course Chez Herrera. However that Grandiosity here was Rendered Beautifully Nouveau in Herrera's Mix of Earthy Colours and Undulating Silhouettes made more Liquid by the wavy prints. Those Wavy Graph-like prints that Opened the show with an almost dizzying Effect to them were Brash and New for Carolina, where in the past it may have been less Optic and headache inducing but the chance taken there paid off richly as it yielded dividends of Newness that sometimes can be lacking in a CH Show. Two of the Best Examples of this were when the Test Pattern like Waves were translated as a Strict print and not an optical play with the fabric itself, as in Exit No. 9 and then No. 10 which were both as Desirable as a Monet! The Shift Dress of Exit No. 9 is one of the best outfits of the NY season and should be taken as such!
Strangely though, for Carolina Herrera, which is known for dressing the most Powerful of The Uptown Ladies... this was an affair that skewed solidly towards the evening, which again is a little off kilter for the house, but even so, when the daywear was slithering down the Catwalk it was doing so In the best of Fashions. One must stop here and take notice of the Bit of Ralph Rucci Homage being paid in a sparse few of the outfits... Exit Nos. 12, 13, 14, 17 And 21 definitely Alighted upon the Branches of the Mighty Redwood that is Ralph Rucci and still retained the Essential Spirit of Carolina!
It was a Collection of Showstoppers tempered with Some Severity and Classical Restraint... Even some of the showstoppers showed that Restraint... The Literal best of the Bunch... A Heart Stopping Gown at Exit No. 16 That made ones Brain Boil with Unrequited Passion all the more so because it was DRAMA with a Capital DRAMA! However it was by far the most restrained Drama conceivable! In Form, it was Ease Personified... In A dusty Pale-ish Apricot/Cream Colour with a Blazing TRUE Apricot Orange Silk Skirt underneath... Words Fail!
The Collection played on it's strengths one after another and carried itself towards a destination that was gleefully awaited by those watching. That Destination as always was Chicness and Feminine Empowerment. You have to be a woman who is in full control of all her Womanly Wiles and Faculties to wear Carolina Herrera... Like the Woman herself... You can't let the clothes control you... you Control the Clothes and the Life you lead in those clothes...
In Carolina Herrera, Remember Chillrens... As Showstopping and Breathstealing as the clothes may be... They are the Supporting Cast in your Life.. You Are, THE STAR!