Unless it’s Paris Haute Couture Week, most ready-to-wear shows do not begin with eveningwear gowns, but that’s exactly what Carolina Herrera showed first for her Spring/Summer 2017 collection, which coincidentally marks her 35-year anniversary as a designer. Although an ornately constructed gown with a voluminously folded and draped skirt came down the runway first, it was the cheeky fact that it was done in flat cornflower-blue denim that proved Herrera still has tricks up her crisply cuffed sleeve after all this time. Polished denim pieces followed, which underscored the point that dressing up can still feel effortless – a central message on Herrera’s Spring/Summer 2017 runway
Even after 35 years in the industry, Herrera has never been satisfied with resting her laurels on her enormous body of work.
Shirting was also a major factor throughout the presentation, acting as a conduit for her many sophisticated looks. Naturally, an anniversary presentation brings out a designer’s reminiscent side, so Herrera was compelled to revisit shirting, which is a cornerstone of her brand. Not only did she filter her current collection through memories of the past, but she also managed to bring a freshness to the house signature. In essence, this collection was a retrospective in the sense that it looked back at her previous work and pioneering in that it continued to evolve her aesthetic, once more.
Although Herrera’s new versions of the shirt-waister were peeled away at the neckline and sensually unbuttoned, there were a few with girly accents like knotted sleeves. Necklines were also constantly changing from plunge-front and off-shoulder to ruffled crumb-catchers. If the warmer months involve showing a little skin, Herrera’s take is grown-up enough to still feel modest. Among the crisply rendered frocks were more luxurious, gilded versions featuring brocade and foiled metallic fabric, which offered glamorous options for evening. Despite their lavish exteriors, the simple construction of the gowns kept the effortless nature of the collection in check.
Even after 35 years in the industry, Herrera has never been satisfied with resting her laurels on her enormous body of work and works tirelessly to develop, innovate, and pioneer new techniques and textiles for her collections. By refusing to compromise or cop out, she has assured the type of consistent wow factor that few designers are able to accomplish in their lifetimes.