Although the ocean is a constant source of inspiration for designers, Carolina Herrera employs a different approach to aquatic themes for Fall/Winter 2015. Instead of investigating creatures beneath the surface, she applies liquid elements, like swirling abstract prints that mimic cooling lava from submarine volcanoes and patterns that emulate the way silt undulates under the tide. Liquid conforms to its container, and in the case of Herrera’s fall presentation, the container tends to be elegant silk and felted wool dresses, boxy outerwear, and tailored separates.
The protean qualities of Herrera’s prints are cast in hues the color of a faded winter beachfront, or, alternately, pulsing autumnal tones. She also favors a rounded, sloped-shoulder silhouette that floats like an orb around the body. Early looks balance top-heavy proportions with abbreviated skirts or cropped wool trousers, and are tricked out with fur collars and trim, bisecting lines of contrast stitching, marvelous arrangements of opalescent seashells, water droplet details, and textural materials like gray alligator skin.
Although the collection centers on a mood of understated elegance, Herrera occasionally breaks from tradition by presenting powerful looks, like a seamless and magically constructed crimson jacket paired with a matching wool sweater and a glossy reptile-skin mini skirt. Eveningwear is lit up with tufted and sequined embellishment, with gown shapes kept to classic standards. One particular frosted-blue gown is impressive for the way the voluminous skirt peels back to reveal ruffled layers beneath, while a gorgeous cap-sleeved princess gown is decorated with shiny jet-black fabric that glistens like obsidian. In Herrera’s capable hands, one of earth’s most ancient elements is given new life and form.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree