NYFW: CAROLINA HERRERA S/S 2014

Carolina Herrera. The very name is synonymous with New York fashion. A luxury brand that has survived economic ups and downs over thirty years, this is where everyone looks for the definition of feminine elegance. Ms. Herrera has said, “I have a responsibility to the woman of today – to make her feel confident, modern and above all else beautiful.”

With her spring/summer 2014 line, Ms. Herrera draws inspiration from the kinetic art movement and presents us with an array of geometric lines and patterns overlayed with soft chiffon and tulle, with elegantly placed embellishments providing texture. The color palette is best described as dusty, muted earth tones of orange and green and brushed gold. The silhouettes are, for the most part, long and flowing.

This is, for the most part, a line of gowns ready for the red carpet or charity ball or, if you’re really mean, your cousin’s wedding (you’ll outshine the bride wearing these gowns). Yet, not everything here is all that formal. There are plenty of dresses here that would not be out of place at the office, especially the board room. And there is one surprising piece I assume is meant for poolside lounging, though something tells me one wouldn’t want to actually get it wet.

Despite being such a strong New York brand, Caroline Herrera has a reasonably strong presence in the Midwest with boutiques not only in Chicago, but Grand Rapids, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Kansas City (why not Indianapolis?). Even if one doesn’t have any reason to wear one of the gowns, the dresses and separates (granted, there aren’t many) are totally appropriate for women everywhere. the cuts are flattering even if one wears double-digit sizes. The looks are feminine but strong, beautiful but never inappropriate (well, except for that one swimsuit).

Women who travel, who have reputations in the business world, entrepreneurs, or just appreciate the artistry of the designs would do well to take a very long look at this Caroline Herrera line. As the designer is fond of saying, “You must always keep your eyes open. Beauty finds you that way.”

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