Carolina Herrera unveils secret garden at NY Fashion Week

NEW YORK (AP) — Carolina Herrera breathed spring back to life at Monday’s New York Fashion Week show with a romantic portrayal of nature and beauty, accentuating that the brand’s modern and striking feminine aesthetics work for every woman throughout the seasons and decades.

Inspired by one of his favorite childhood novels, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, designer Wes Gordon said that “in a world that can be dark and scary and unpredictable, it’s okay for some things to just be pure joy and beauty.”

“That’s what this morning was about,” he added.

The Plaza Hotel ballroom’s grand elegance boomed with Barbara Streisand’s classic “Funny Girl” hit “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” complementing the romantic bliss emanating from the maximalist hand-painted tea roses and peonies gowns, mini-dresses and matching bucket hats and denim jumpsuits worn by models adorned with a classic crimson red lip and, in some cases, chunky, droopy earrings.

“I really created a palette of five beautiful floral prints, that I reimagined in lots of different scales and colorways,” Gordon said. “I view this collection as a garden.”

Gordon and his team skillfully handcrafted a multitude of looks starting with the opening gown, a striped cotton blouse paired with a taffeta ball skirt, illustrating a whimsical high-class gardener vibe in line with true Herrera fashion.

Models Stella Maxwell and Karlie Kloss each had two separate looks. Maxwell shined in a mini yellow taxicab-colored floral dress while Kloss’ height accentuated her second look, a long sleeve, yellow peony trench gown.

Sitting in the front row were Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Martha Stewart and singers Ellie Goulding, Sabrina Carpenter and Becky G.

Standout pieces included a bold dramatic body-hugging column dress with a large rosette sleeve, which was seen on actress Kate Hudson the previous night at the Toronto Film Festival. Another eye-catching moment featured a mini yellow tent dress that almost looked like it was floating on the model.

But the showstopper was Precious Lee’s closing gown, a strapless, bodysuit black silk chiffon dress trimmed with tulle. Lee held the extravagant train with her hands as she closed the show.

Gordon emphasized that Herrera’s ability to evolve each season is because of the brand’s ability to listen, specifically to women.

“It’s not hard to evolve with the times if you just pay attention to women who wear your clothes,” Gordon said.

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