“I didn’t long to be a designer. I always liked fashion, but it was always a bit sleeping in me.” Carolina Herrera said once, and it’s one of many quotes I love about her. And just like that, it pretty much sums up my career in fashion and the direction I want to take it. Many years in coordinating fashion events and being around fashion, I know that my time to design. More of that to come, I suppose.
This post is dedicated to my fashion Icon, Carolina Herrera. On February 12, 2018, Carolina presented her Fall/WInter 2018 collection and a few days before that, it was announced that she will step down as creative director and become the Global Ambassador for her brand. She will still be involved but not creatively. Herrera’s parfums is overlooked by her daughter, Carolina Herrera Jr. After 37 years and 70 plus shows, she came out for her final bow. The collection, as always, was luxurious, feminine and very optimistic, which is fantastic for the brand.
Herrera has been on the forefront of what is American Fashion. When heavy hitters like Calvin Klien, Donna Karen, Anne Klien, Ralph Lauren opted for minimalism designs, Oscar de la Renta and she brought forward embellished clothes, body-conscious dresses and glamorous evening gowns to American runways. I remember reading a story about her in one of my mother’s Vogue and Vanidades magazines. I remember seeing a latino name and thinking, “She’s just like me.” It was there that at the age of 13, and the influence of my older siblings and cousins, my passion for fashion ignited. I have been following her career ever since and I have seen her aesthetic evolve.
Her interpretation of the Great Gatsby for summer, in pastels, whites, and greys while everyone was doing the lingerie trend. Women horseback riding through the English forest with feather hats, knee-high boots, in plaids and capes. Or giving us leggins in copper, cassis, lapis, and plum for fall. Or her creative ways of showing us the movement of water for a whole collection, the weaving of a Japanese basket that influenced the whole collection, or the pop of color juxtaposed with bold embellishments and big polka dots prints.
My point is that she always evolved and stayed a bit distanced from trends. With each collection, she got cooler, younger and edgier but remained true to her brand and to the people who she catered to. The many women who have money and who love to wear the beautiful evening gowns. She also knew how to make the collection appeal to the younger crowd. It was evident in the last three collections.
Carolina has passed the torch to Wes Gordon, a designer that has worked at Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford. The sophistication and the point of views of what luxury is to those designers are embedded in him. He’s right on track to lead the Carolina Herrera brand into the future. Afterall, he has been at Herrera’s side for the past 11 months.
I am curious to see what comes out from this new designer. How close to the DNA of CH will be influenced? How much of his own voice as a designer is he putting in the collection? How much creative freedom does he actually have? Only time will tell.
The part that I will be missing the most is those last moments, those last moments of anticipation. When the models have done the finale walk. The attendees are clapping, the lights are down. Then you see that crisp white button-up shirt, before seeing her. That golden hair mixed with gray, just very put together, like what you’ve just seen on the runway. It’s that moment that you realize why you’re there or why you’re viewing the show. It is because you wanna look, you wannabe just as stylish as her.