I love Carolina Herrera on general principles. She's classy, she's beautiful, and she makes gorgeous, gorgeous clothes. (I also strongly approve, of course, of her love of a good white blouse, a trait she and I share.)
Herrera's clothes are always impeccable, and if you've ever had the good fortune to examine them up close, you know that they are incredibly well-constructed. There's usually a lot more going on that meets the eye -- her evening gowns can be impressive feats of engineering. Her look is typically clean, crisp, Upper East Side chic, but for her collection shown in NY last week she headed out to the hunt country (by way of Sherwood Forest) and got all tweedy.
Of course, being Carolina Herrera, it's sophisticated, polished-until-it-gleams tweedy, as opposed to the rumpled, muddied kind. Suits me just fine.
I love the melange of textures in this look -- that smooth wool (my guess would be cashmere), the gleaming satin, the pants look like soft leather, and the shining patent boots. A great outfit made up of great separates that could be used & re-used for many seasons to come.
Separates seem to be the big story in New York this season, after several seasons of dresses, dresses, dresses. I love the easiness of a dress, but if you're thinking about a budget (and who's not?), spending a lump of money on two or three pieces rather than one does amortize out in a more financially-friendly way. You can wear a good tweed pencil skirt for the rest of your stylish life. Remove the hat and go with dressier shoes and the entire outfit above could be worn for a cocktail party.
Now, before you get all huffy and start saying things like, "For pete's sake!! No way would I wear that!" let's take this apart. What's really throwing you, probably, are the hat and the big spray of feathers at the neck of the blouse (again I say -- hooray for the feathers!). But that outfit is really just a silk blouse, a tremendously useful flat-knit sweater vest, and a pair of really dreamy chestnut-brown pleated trousers. I might never take off those trousers if I obtained them -- they are fantastic. And tell me you're not salivating over these boots:
And this coat...
If you can't find it in your heart to love this coat... well, I'm not sure if we can be friends anymore. Look at the beautiful lining peeking out at the bottom. ::sigh::
More feathers, on rusty-red silk jersey. The weather would have to be just right, because I can't quite figure how you get a jacket or wrap over those without crushing them, but oh, so pretty, and that dress would be an effortless and flattering dream to wear.
Love the subtle pattern of this fabric, and the way it plays with the texture of the feathers. The bodice of this dress is one of my favorite shapes, too. (It's best for women with a medium-to-small bust.)
Excellent bow. It looks like a magnolia blossom, doesn't it?
I think this is fantastic for evening. I love the tailored sharpness of the vest (another very wearable separate) over the volume of the skirt, and the color contrast is so pretty.
Another great dress for those of us who are smaller on top. The bow is always lady-like and elegant. Also, I am mesmerized by this fabric. Is it actually appliquéd? Or just printed to look appliquéd? It looks three-dimensional in these photos -- I really need to see this in person.
I just love it. The color, the shape, the float of the fabric, the feathers... There does seem to be more of a trend lately, despite what our Hollywood mannequins continue to squeeze into for the red carpets, of evening wear with a less-constructed and less-constricting shape. It's so much more sophisticated that painting on some lycra sheath that reveals every bit of your external anatomy, not to mention you can actually sit down and eat that $1000-a-plate charity dinner you shelled out for.
So. That's Carolina. Of the tiny handful of shows I've managed to look at so far (I am hopelessly behind, as usual) I think I've liked this one best. Beautiful clothes that would be flattering and easy to wear, and look of-the-moment but would remain useful for many years to come. These clothes fall under the heading of Style rather than Fashion -- they're the sorts of things you use to build a long-term wardrobe and look. I've heard people complain that Carolina only seems to design clothes for herself, but hey --
I can think of worse things than looking like that, can't you?