At Carolina Her­rera, clothes are so sweet they’ll make your teeth ache

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Style & Grooming - By Robin Givhan

WHEN Carolina Her­rera was at the helm of her name­sake brand, its sen­si­bil­ity was akin to Man­hat­tans and ne­groni: grown-up, time­less, un­sen­ti­men­tal but with just enough sweet­ness to elicit a throaty laugh. Her­rera stepped down last sea­son and handed the reigns to Wes Gor­don, who showed his first col­lec­tion Monday morn­ing. It was more of a rum punch: a lot of un­nec­es­sary sweet­ness.

Which is not to say that Gor­don’s spring 2019 col­lec­tion wasn’t pretty. It was de­light­ful, fem­i­nine and charm­ing. It is a de­cid­edly younger, fizzier sen­si­bil­ity for the brand. But like a fresh­man at their first big cam­pus party, the spring 2019 col­lec­tion speaks of overindul­gence, over do­ing it and tak­ing things over the top. There are only so many flower prints and ruched sleeves and flow­ing trains and jelly-bean coloured ap­pliques that a woman’s wardrobe can han­dle be­fore she be­gins to look like she’s play­ing dress-up rather than sim­ply get­ting dressed.

As Gor­don’s mod­els walked through the dig­ni­fied sa­lons of the New York His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, the joy­ful­ness of the clothes came on like a roar. Jux­ta­posed against their sober sur­round­ings, the dull grey of the rainy ur­ban land- scape and the al­most atonal sound­track of city life, the clothes were a kalei­do­scope of colour - a high-vol­ume cho­rus of hap­pi­ness.

In mood, the col­lec­tion is the equiv­a­lent of a smi­ley face. Mes­sage de­liv­ered, but where’s the nu­ance? For a brand like Carolina Her­rera, which is so rooted in ur­bane ele­gance and chic­ness, one hopes for more sub­tlety, a bit more fi­nesse. These clothes call to mind the kind of woman who dots her “i” with a heart. And sorry, but never trust a woman (or a man) who uses a heart as punc­tu­a­tion; per­pet­ual sun­shine is only good in the­ory.

There are a host of ter­rific in­gre­di­ents in the new Carolina Her­rera: splen­did crafts­man­ship, a keen eye for colour, a will­ing­ness to craft clothes that speak to life in cities be­yond the East Coast. And Gor­don takes the sig­na­ture crisp white shirt of the brand’s name­sake and turns it into peas­ant dresses. He cuts it from white eye­let; he crops it. He makes it into some­thing new.

Tamp down the sweet­ness, root the col­lec­tion in some­thing a bit more solid than meringue. Throw a splash of club soda into that high­ball. Women have plenty to smile about. But it’s ex­haust­ing keep­ing a smile on your face all the time. – Wash­ing­ton Post.

Carolina Her­rera Spring Sum­mer 2019 Col­lec­tion.

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