The fash­ion doyenne shares her love for clas­sic style and her thoughts on fash­ion to­day. By Cai Mei Khoo.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents -

In Sin­ga­pore for the Audi Fash­ion Fes­ti­val, Carolina Her­rera shares her thoughts on fash­ion

Sin­ga­pore is crest­ing a fash­ion wave right now. Shortly af­ter Karl Lager­feld staged his Chanel Cruise show on the is­land repub­lic, Carolina Her­rera and her daugh­ter, Carolina Her­rera de Báez, opened this year’s Audi Fash­ion Fes­ti­val with their Au­tumn/Win­ter ’ 13 col­lec­tions for Carolina Her­rera and its sec­ondary line, CH Carolina Her­rera. They also opened their CH Carolina Her­rera store in Ma­rina Bay Sands. BAZAAR sat down for an ex­clu­sive chat with the grand dame of fash­ion. You’re known for your ex­cep­tional per­sonal style. Who or what is your strong­est in­flu­ence? I grew up in a fam­ily that was al­ways very well-dressed and liked beau­ti­ful things. Fash­ion to me is about mak­ing women more beau­ti­ful, not just about ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. You must have loved fash­ion since you were a child, then? In child­hood, I was more in­ter­ested in my horses, re­ally. I used to ride ev­ery day and play with my dogs; I only dis­cov­ered fash­ion when I grew up. Fash­ion back then was not like what it is to­day. Now you get a three­year-old girl de­cid­ing what she wants to wear. My mother or nanny used to tell me what to wear and that was it. There was no dis­cus­sion about fash­ion. Your thoughts on fash­ion now? Fash­ion is very fas­ci­nat­ing and the pub­lic is def­i­nitely more in­volved now. Ev­ery­body knows, or wants to know, evey­thing about fash­ion, which they can do in­stantly, through the news­pa­pers, In­ter­net, and movies. It’s a move­ment that’s con­stantly chang­ing. It’s about new­ness, even mak­ing old things look new. As a de­signer, how do you bring that new­ness to your brand? I’m a very cu­ri­ous per­son. I have a lot of cu­rios­ity and imag­i­na­tion, and I think that’s very im­por­tant in your life. I might take in­spi­ra­tion from the ’20s, ’40s or ’50s, but I make it suit­able for to­day. It’s very im­por­tant to al­ways keep your eyes open and see what’s go­ing on around you. What’s a con­stant source of in­spi­ra­tion for you? It can be a book or even a cer­tain colour in a paint­ing. In­spi­ra­tion is every­where. And I’m lucky that I have a pho­to­graphic mem­ory. What made you choose that For­ties theme for your Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13 col­lec­tion? The mu­sic for the show. I worked with English com­poser Tom Hodge on the mu­sic, which is an adap­ta­tion of a Beethoven con­certo. I did it the other way around. Usu­ally you work on the col­lec­tion first and then get the mu­sic to go with it. This time, I heard the mu­sic first. When I heard the fin­ished piece in Lon­don, I knew ex­actly what I wanted – some drama, some ro­mance, and some melan­choly. I needed to have some hints of

the For­ties – a tiny waist and the treat­ment of the sleeves. When you sit there and lis­ten to the mu­sic and look at the col­lec­tion, there’s a con­nec­tion. I loved it. Favourite look from the col­lec­tion? I can­not choose only one. If they’re all there, it’s be­cause I like all of them. Best mo­ment in fash­ion? The fi­nale of ev­ery show. I’m al­ways ner­vous be­fore the show. What do you love most about your job? The whole con­cept of it. I love fash­ion. I think it’s so much fun. And no­body knows what fash­ion re­ally is; it’s a mys­tery, it’s mag­i­cal, it’s some­thing to please your eye. It’s funny when they say fash­ion is in­tel­lec­tual. It’s not in­tel­lec­tual at all – it’s all about pleas­ing the eye. Do you plan your out­fits? I get dressed in just 10 min­utes. You have to feel well in what you’re wear­ing and not just wear some­thing sim­ply be­cause it’s fash­ion­able to wear it – then you be­come a fash­ion vic­tim. You have to be a bit more orig­i­nal and unique. Your pe per­sonal style is best de­scrib de­scribed as clas­sic and el­e­gant. l What does el­e­gance mean to you? El­e­gance is not just what you’re wear­ing. It’s a com­bi­na­tion of so many things – the way you move, the way you think, your taste in books, in­te­ri­ors, and more. It’s not about beauty, ei­ther. You may see some beau­ti­ful women but they are not el­e­gant at all. Like El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor, she was the most beau­ti­ful woman in the world but she was not el­e­gant. So, el­e­gance is re­ally a com­bi­na­tion of many things. It’s some­thing in­side of you. If you weren’t a fash­ion de­signer, what would you be? I don’t know. I’ve never thought about that. I would be a fash­ion de­signer all over again. What keeps you go­ing? My pas­sion for fash­ion. The creative side of fash­ion is fab­u­lous.

Carolina Her­rera de Báez and Carolina Her­rera

The CH Carolina Her­rera store at Ma­rina Bay Sands in Sin­ga­pore

Carolina Her­rera Au­tumn/Win­ter ’13

Carolina Her­rera Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13 Carolina Her­rera Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13

The limited edi­tion Em­broi­dered Ma­tryoshka bags

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