The gown, with its airy white skirt and huge, flat flower, looked as light as a feather. But in the case of Carolina Herrera’s show, it was made of something far more unexpected.
“Scuba diving,” said the designer, who is usually associated with silks and satin, rather than foam fabrics.
These techno materials gave the gowns an exceptional lightness and seemed to absorb the flower prints, which were swollen by digital enhancement.
It was good to see Carolina experiment with new ideas, while keeping close to her DNA of graceful glamour.
As I reached out to touch the clothes backstage, squeezing the spongy fabric in my hand, I understood better this idea of ‘techno’ crêpe and piqué. It was explained to me that by mixing this material with linen, the designer could create some fine effects.
For example, there was a white top with a long, full skirt, where the flowers were glazed onto linen side panels; or an orange peony, enlarged as if in a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, was ‘zoomed in’ on both sleeves of a tailored dress. These oversized flowers were planted everywhere from stomach to thighs.
The collection was centred on floral blooms, in both pattern and in colours such as iris blue, daffodil yellow and peony purple. But, true to the ladylike Herrera style, there were also many simple summer outfits walking past the garden.
Carolina is never going to move too far from the roots of her imagination. Yet at this moment, she finds herself at the height of fashion. The tailored blouse, which is her signature, and in which she took her bow, is the coolest of looks for now and for next summer.