Wes Gordon is proud to characterize New York style with the Carolina Herrera Fall 2021 assortment
“We’re a very proud part of Seventh Avenue and New York Fashion Week – we’re not going anywhere.”
In one episode of the fifth season of “Gossip Girl” (I know, take it with me), Serena van der Woodsen asks a potential love interest with a dreamy look in her eyes: “How can someone not love New York?”
Wes Gordon spoke about his fall 2021 collection for Carolina Herrera in the same sulky tone. It’s the brand’s 40th anniversary this year and along with everything that has happened since the New York Covid-19 crisis, he’s especially in love with the place he and the Herrera house call home . That motivated him to return to the American Collections Calendar after sitting down last season.
“It was important for us to give a presentation this season to show our support for New York City and New York Fashion Week,” he said in a Zoom presentation. “We’re a very proud part of Seventh Avenue and New York Fashion Week – we’re not going anywhere.”
The Herrera team brought that love for New York to the streets, filmed their lookbook upstairs in the Empire State Building, and took models to 1 Vanderbilt (across from Grand Central Station) and a double-decker tourist bus to the center of Times Square. “We have a hard time getting as excited about a video or a photo shoot as we do a show, but this time the camaraderie that came out of it was really special,” said Gordon. The brand also donates to New York Cares, the city’s largest network of volunteers.
In terms of design, these feelings have been literally translated into a series of heart motifs. “It’s more than just a symbol,” remarked Gordon. “It’s a reminder of the importance of love, especially now.” They appeared in marquetry-printed sweaters, as embellishments on dresses – a mixture of lace, thread, and beads – and as prints on Gordon’s nifty version of a twin set. He added the subject to his tailoring, a hearty clipping that he’s pretty proud to be spot on. The hearts were also everywhere in the accessories, from earrings and belts to bags and shoes.
The story goes on
Elsewhere on the print side, Gordon sensed a mood of the late 70s / early 80s (inspired as always by Ms. Herrera herself), transformed the brand’s typical polka dots into a Dalmatian splash and blew the proportions of a giraffe print. Gordon points out that in his three years as Creative Director, he introduced trousers to the Herrera Lexicon. For fall 2021, his vision includes a wide-legged dark denim style (with heart-shaped pockets, natch) and flowing numbers with a drawstring to integrate a sportier element – as close to sweatpants as the Herrera house will ever get.
“Ultimately, we make clothes and the clothes have to be worn by the customer, which means we have to think about the life they lead,” said Gordon.
Of course, while comfort is king, Gordon isn’t giving up on the glamor he’s become so famous for. There are some sequin dresses (a sequel to the Resort 2021 “Jewel Box” collection in deeper tones) as well as taffeta ball skirts, another Herrera signature. Some evening numbers feature a rainbow, a nod to the cape that Gordon created for Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala – one of the first things he did as the brand’s creative director. Alek Wek models a stunning option, a figure-hugging black dress with a ruffled chest and an explosion of pink tulle emerging from the skirt.
Clothing for your next Zoom call isn’t (unless you’re part of a very fancy Zoom). But, according to Gordon, these are items of clothing that will always have a place in the world of Herrera, pandemic or not.
“There are corners of the world where we still sell clothes, and more importantly, one of the most exciting things about my job is the opportunity to work with our incredible atelier at Herrera,” said Gordon. “Ultimately, a fashion show should be about magic and dreams, and pragmatic or not, we will always have that in a Herrera collection.”
You can find the complete collection of Carolina Herrera Fall 2021 in the gallery below:
A look from the Carolina Herrera Fall 2021 collection. Photo: Courtesy Carolina Herrera
See the 38 images in this gallery in the original article
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