The Casualisation Of Carolina Herrera

Steered by the youthful spirit of new creative director Wes Gordon, the US label is relaxed and playful instead of being all proper, and it’s for everyone now, not just socialites.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Is it just us, or does Wes Gordon look a little like Jonathan Anderson?

Wes Gordon has been treading lightly with the brand that Venezuelan socialite-turned-designer Carolina Herrera handed him the reins to last year.

For his fi rst collection, Resort ’19, he opted for everyday cotton instead of heavier silks (the founder’s favourite) so that shirts, skirts and dresses would look softer, not stiff. For S/S ’19, he introduced miniskirts and a more exuberant palette. And for Pre-Fall ’19, he turned elegance on its head with a less uptight take on it.

It doesn’t mean that the American creative director isn’t sure-footed; he has worked alongside Herrera, his mentor, since March 2017, absorbing her DNA. But Gordon, like a lot of fashion designers now, wants to court the youthful with RTW that’s more relatable and adventurous. Unlike some of his colleagues, he also wants to respect the founder and her audience.

The 2.0 balance is finally struck at F/W ’19 with a strong showing of wear-at-any-time short, bright dresses, mostly with full sleeves, and special-occasion evening wear (which Herrera is known for) that is now trapeze-shaped, billowing and carefree, not tailored to precision.

And that’s not even his strongest collection. What is: Resort ’20. – ST 
My Reading Room
The new evening standard at Carolina Herrera: unstructured, relaxed, fun. And best with flat shoes so that you can really dance all night.
 
My Reading Room
My Reading Room
Carolina Herrera is available at www.net-aporter.com.