NEW YORK – Strong statement pieces in bold colors meant to emphasize bravery, confidence and exuberance dominated Wes Gordon's runway at Carolina Herrera on Monday, with short dresses sporting ruffles in bold crimson and long trains in hues of pink, right on theme for Valentine’s Day.
A color palette of deep reds, purples, blues, pinks and yellows gave fiery life to dramatic silhouettes in gowns and party dresses of various lengths, adorned with large bows or voluminous sleeves. There were also sharply tailored pants ensembles designed to depict a self-assured, confident woman.
Gordon also used shades of black and white to contrast with the bright hues. He said in a backstage interview that as he was sketching for this Fall/Winter 2022 collection, themes of brave and self-assured women ran through his mind, and he also prioritized making "something special and something full of love.”
“The Carolina Herrera woman is looking for epic clothes," he said, "strong clothes for strong women.”
The collection debuted a wide variety of mid-length dresses with plunging necklines or flared, dramatic silhouettes alongside chic mini-dresses, some with colorful floral patterns. Among the most striking garments was a bright red cocktail mini adorned with a tulle ruffle around the shoulders and neck, so big that it obscured the lower part of the model's face.
“The silhouettes this season are markedly linear and tailored, yet feature moments of exuberance like an undulating cascade, an enormous sleeve or a color reveal at a hem,” the label explained on its Instagram page.
Most of the models wore sleek pulled-back hairstyles and strappy black heels. Some even wore oversized black sunglasses — no matter that this was a freezing mid-February day in New York.
Gordon said that there was a reason he was going for the dramatic. “It’s our most fabulous, dramatic pieces that are selling the fastest,” he said. "There is definitely, I think, a desire to celebrate, to get dressed. The moment is absolutely right now.”
Celebrities on hand included “West Side Story” Oscar nominee alum Ariana DeBose, Alexandra Daddario of “The White Lotus,” and Alisha Boe of “13 Reasons Why.”
DeBose, who wore a Herrera floral mini in deep purple, praised Gordon for helming the fashion house in his mid-30s. “I find his work to be incredibly inventive, but also again celebrating femininity,” she said. "And for me, being a Latina, I could see myself ... in these beautiful, beautiful garments," she said.
Debuting the show to a physical audience this year was important to Gordon because, he said, “We are such a proud part of New York Fashion Week. I am proud to be a designer in New York. This was an opportunity that we were going to say, ‘We are here, we are continuing to make the most beautiful things, the world continues to turn, and we are so proud to be a part of that conversation.’"