“I didn’t want to get so caught up in the pragmatism of this moment that we lost the playfulness of the clothes.” Wes Gordon was talking about how he approached his new collection for Carolina Herrera, but he might as well have been summing up the brand philosophy. Herrera has never been a resource for sweatsuits, cashmere or otherwise, and that’s not about to change because of the pandemic.
The COVID-19-time concessions Gordon’s made are oriented more toward the way the company does business than the pieces he designs. Resort, for example, is half the size it was in the Before Times, and going forward the brand is organizing pre-collections and runway collections into “super seasons,” the better to “evolve and carry forward the work and create things with longevity.”
Apropos of that, Gordon said he likes looking back at the clothes Mrs. Herrera made at the start of her label in the early 1980s. This season he was particularly taken with her flair for sleeves, which tended to the voluminous and sculptural. Gordon incorporated the exuberant shape into new pieces, including a pair of dresses, one short and one long, in a fluid allover silver micro-paillette. The lively paper taffeta bows of a pastel party dress and a black jumpsuit likewise felt true to the Herrera heritage.