Carolina Herrera flamingo tiered halter gown. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Carolina Herrera ivory jacket with drape detail, black ottoman stitch turtleneck with raglan sleeves, nectarine and azure rosette print tiered midi-skirt, blue crossbody bag. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Carolina Herrera azure two-button jacket with wingtip lapel, azure straight-legged pants, black button-up blouse, nectarine crossbody bag. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Guests at the Carolina Herrera runway show posed in front of a wall of live sunflowers. (Photo by Clifford Pugh)
Carolina Herrera nectarine puff sleeve mini-dress. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Carolina Herrera flamingo A-line oversized wool coat, taxi cab wide-legged pants. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Carolina Herrera shell pink one-shoulder gown with nectarine drape detail. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Carolina Herrera taxi cab ruffle sleeve wrap dress. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Carolina Herrera white puff sleeve blouse with embellishment, flamingo banded skirt. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Carolina Herrera white oversized shirt gown with ruffle detail pays tribute to the founder's love of white shirts. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
Carolina Herrera short-sleeved cape gown with hand-sewn floral embellishment. (Photo by Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
NEW YORK — Most designers invariably concentrate on drab shades of black and gray for their fall/winter collections, figuring that since the weather in much of the the world is cold and gloomy, people want to dress that way. But in his second outing at New York Fashion Week for Carolina Herrera, creative director Wes Gordon went a different route, with a collection that is so bright and riotous, you just about have to wear shades to view it.
The collection should make fashionable Texans happy, since retailers note that many women in the Lone Star State are partial to wearing colorful clothing all year long.
Gordon, who took on the job of creative director after Herrera stepped down last year, said he was inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe’s still life photographs of large flowers in creating the collection, which features short dresses and billowing gowns in a beaded rosette pattern and forest floral designs. The floral motif carried over to the lobby of the New York Historical Society, where the show was held, with a wall of live sunflowers available for guests to pose in front of for Instagram photos.
The colors in the collection are so bold that even the labels Gordon uses in the program notes stick out — “azure,” “flamingo,” and “nectarine” replace “blue,” “pink,” and “orange” as descriptions — and he calls a super-bright yellow shade “taxi,” instantly evoking the shade of a bright Yellow Cab in the viewer’s mind.
Many looks are loose and flowing, perhaps a little too oversized for the body-conscious woman, but nevertheless evoking a carefree, less constrained spirit.
For the closing look, Gordon plays with one of Herrera’s most notable traditions in creating a flowing gown that resembles a crisp white shirt. The founder was known for her affinity for white shirts and often took her runway bow wearing one.
This time Herrera was wearing a herringbone suit with burgundy cape as she nodded her approval from the front row, which also included actress Shailene Woodley, Camilla Belle, Michelle Monaghan, Peyton List, and newcomer Virginia Gardner, who co-stars in the Marvel series, Runaways, on Hulu.
In Houston, Gordon will present the collection at the Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon + Neiman Marcus Fashion Presentation, benefitting the March of Dimes, on March 28 at the Post Oak Hotel.