Few designers embody their own aesthetic as gracefully and wholeheartedly as Carolina Herrera.
~ Lauren Milligan, The Interview: Carolina Herrera, Matches Fashion
But what happens when that fashion and style visionary hands the reigns over to another?
Even though it still says Carolina Herrera on the label, it is now Wes Gordon, a 31-year old American designer, who is Creative Director at the House of Herrera. The grande dame of fashion stepped down after presenting her Fall 2018 collection in February. Mrs. Herrera is now 79.
He [Wes Gordon] is very good and he has a very wonderful, elegant mind and he has a good eye. He trained with me for a year and I’m very happy with my decision. He’s going to follow what I did; it will be an evolution, not a revolution.
~ Carolina Herrera, Carolina Herrera, in Her Own Words, Vogue, May, 2018
Gordon’s first collection, CH Spring 2019 Bridal, debuted in April. One reviewer was impressed with his modern silhouettes and playful details, gushing, We are left a little bit speechless.
It was auspicious start to Gordon’s new tenure.
Then Tracee Ellis Ross, 45, was listed among the Best Dressed by People and E! Online at the 2018 Council of Fashion Designers of America awards wearing one of Gordon’s gowns.
the self-proclaimed “lover of clothes” wears a strapless black-and-pink tiered ruffle dress, marking one of designer Wes Gordon’s first designs as the Creative Director at Carolina Herrera.
~ People, June 04, 2018
The power of star power gives a big nod Gordon’s way.
I wonder if the latest Carolina Herrera advertising campaign reflects a generational shift taking place as well. These Spring 2018 dresses (shown at right), created under Mrs. Herrera’s auspices, are marketed in a decidedly new direction from the previous campaign (Fall 2017, at left).
It’s younger; it’s hipper: the frayed hem is edgier. It’s shot on the city street, not on a settee with an embossed wallpaper backdrop. At a glance, I thought it was a Dior ad. Maria Grazia Chiuri as Artistic Director of the venerable French brand created a seismic shift that not everyone was thrilled with—$700 We Should All Be Feminists t-shirts as a case in point.
Time and fashion march on.
But we don’t all have to follow to the beat of the tribal drum. Fashion magazines have little to say to me anymore. They feature models not my age, venerate celebrities, show clothes I wouldn’t wear, and tout attitudes I don’t subscribe to. This from someone who loves fashion, and once upon a time published her own fashion magazine. So instead, I write this blog for women-of-a-certain-age.
Fashion magazines will speak to those still trying to find their style, who wonder what’s trendy, or are looking for something else.
If books furnish a room, magazines fill empty corners.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Herrera and I will keep on wearing our white shirts.