Carolina Herrera’s new line melds blooming peonies, bright colors and chic, wearable looks


NEW YORK (AP) — A single pink peony greeted each guest at Carolina Herrera’s latest fashion show, which celebrated the flower with splashy prints and detailed embroidery.

Monday’s New York Fashion Week show was held on the 40th floor of a downtown skyscraper, with 360-degree views of Manhattan serving as the perfect backdrop for a fall/winter collection of bright colors in unconventional combinations, and striking gowns in sumptuous fabrics.

Peonies made several appearances on the catwalk, too. An A-line grey wool collarless coat had pink peonies of varying sizes splashed over it, while a shorter white wool cape was adorned with similar detailed pink and yellow peony embroidering.

Herrera Creative Director Wes Gordon said he saw the flower — one of his favorites — on an art piece and wanted to translate it to his designs. “Beauty and elegance are about the details, and we need more beautiful details in the world,” Gordon told The Associated Press after the show.

There were several more casual, bright yellow gathered chiffon dresses with peony designs. But two of the most dramatic looks were chiffon ball gowns — one in light pink and another in deep purple — covered in darker pink peonies with multiple layers of giant printed chiffon ruffles, accenting the neckline or hips.

“The prints this season were based on a 19th century gouache painting of a pink peony that I found. I rendered it on chiffons in a quite small scale … then I exploded it on a ball skirt … working with our embroiderers who just rendered that painting in individual rows of thread,” Gordon said.

Gordon said his creative process this season started with creating unusual color combinations within specific graphic designs and architectural looks. Two dresses down the long runway were strapless gowns with pockets — one in a bright red, and another with broad diagonal color blocks of black and white.

“I wanted to push forward how we color blocked and incorporate the accessories as well,” Gordon said. He pointed to one model wearing a skinny black pant with built-in pink cummerbund and purple merino wool turtleneck. The look included a leather sling back shoe with the Herrera-red pattern. “You have this red speaking to this cool pink and the warm purple and it’s something really beautiful that results.”

Most of the models wore their hair tied into a tight bun with bright red lipstick accenting their clothes, as they marched slowly down the runway to the score from the new TV series “Griselda,” and Beyonce’s “Halo.”

Diane Kruger sat in the front row with Demi Moore, Anna Wintour, Becky G , Misty Copeland, and Julianne Hough.

Kruger said she’s always appreciated Herrera’s “true American fashion” and called the clothes “very wearable.”

“You know, with this uptown flair that she has — it’s for all ages. As I get older, I appreciate it even more because I do think it’s very beautifully cut for the female form,” the actor said.

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