NEW YORK—Like all designers, Carolina Herrera cannot avoid the past—after all, what fashion collection could ever warrant the label of totally new, never-before-seen? But with her Fall/Winter 2014 Herrera is showing that she still has a few things to teach upcoming designers who sometimes sacrifice quality and luxury for novelty.
A collection, says Carolina Herrera, should be a collection, not potpourri: “Sometimes the potpourris are fun to look at, but it doesn’t make sense for me,” Herrera told The Associated Press.
To that effect, what she presents is a unified vision with clear themes and clean lines.
Herrera invoked a well-clad 1960s air hostess or perhaps the image of her through the Hollywood camera lens. Either way, this impeccably dressed lady loves a clean-cut jacket with fur trim that is used to maximum stunning effect, mostly in moderation. This is the mark of a designer who is in full command of her materials.
The rounded shoulder line in the coats and dresses, be they below the knee or maxi, makes for a soft but statuesque silhouette. It’s all balanced out by the A-line cut but also the felt fez hats or beehive updos that revolve around the back of the head rather than being a full blown classic beehive that starts at the temples. It all goes towards Herrera’s vision of understated luxury.
There are graphic prints that sometimes resemble a collage and sometimes optical illusion patterns. One of the most unusual maxi dresses is a sleeveless number in vibrant red and blue geometric print. It has a high collar that is lined with bordeaux fur which is allowed to fold out just slightly. An unusual, sensual touch.
Despite the lovely dresses, what stands out is a seemingly demure fur pullover that rests on the hips, with elbow-length sleeves that ombre from black to gray up toward the shoulders. The ensemble is completed by pencil pants, pointy low-heel shoes and long green gloves. It is a vision of softness and loveliness but with a dollop of “I take no prisoners” attitude that brings it all into the 21st Century.
And there’s not even a whiff of potpourri in the air.