New York celebrated Tuesday with two uptown brands, Carolina Herrera and Love Shack Fancy, staging impressively romantic shows in sacred downtown locations – a museum and a seminary. 

Carolina Herrera: cosmopolitan elegance in the Whitney

Carolina Herrera – Spring-Summer2024 – Womenswear – New York – © Launchmetrics

The marque much loved by Park Avenue princesses unveiled its Spring/Summer 2024 collection inside the light-bathed main lobby of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the better to appreciate these swish and chic clothes.
In a very faithful interpretation of the Herrera DNA, creative director Wes Gordon presented a clean, lean silhouette in a soft color palette.

His inspiration, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, would surely have worn pretty well all of this collection for its spruce precision. While architect Renzo Piano’s stripped-back modernism made the perfect foil for these elegant clothes.
One of Gordon’s greatest strengths is his careful self-editing, clear from the opening look – a perfectly cut crisp white cotton crisscross blouse with leg-of-mutton sleeves paired with a just-below-the-knee black satin slit pencil skirt. Deceptively simple yet reeking of class. 
His pristine pant suits, cut with shirt jackets and mannish cuffed shirts that morphed into dresses all imparted great self-confidence.
If anything, Wes is a more romantic designer than founder Carolina, as he sent out all manner of tulle A-Line skirts and bubble skirts paired with mini tanks, sleek blazers. Romantic but never prim – notably in the lilac hued lace pencil skirt and matching bra that revealed acres of tummy, and led to a burst of ohs and ahs from his hyper coiffed audience.
Ending in a black mannish oversized shirt against an electric silver skirt in hand-embroidered sequins, and a triumphant finale backed up by Henry Mancini’s lush Lujon, the soundtrack to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The cast streaming outside onto the museum entrance steps to vivid applause from the fashionistas who gather outside every important show in New York.
“I loved the collection. Beautiful and very Wes,” beamed Carolina Herrera before embracing Gordon.
Though founded and based in New York, the house of Carolina Herrera is part of the growing empire of the Puig family, Spain’s leading luxury goods clan. They also control Jean-Paul Gaultier, Paco Rabanne, Nina Ricci and Dries Van Noten
There was an ebullient air about the Whitney, led by a newly clean-shaven and slimmed-down CEO Marc Puig, grandson of Antonio Puig, who founded the company in 1914 in Barcelona. His next big play, yachting, since the next American’s Cup will be staged in the waters off Barcelona next year.
“And we will debut the first ever women’s competition too,” enthused Marc. Its name: the Puig Women’s America’s Cup.

LoveShackFancy: Flirty perfume launch and show in a seminary

Loveshackfancy – Fall-Winter2023 – 2024 – Womenswear – Etats-Unis – New York – © ImaxTree

A properly happening brand, LoveShackFancy staged its perfume launch and mini runway show on a banqueting table beneath a looming neo gothic ceiling in Chelsea Square.
In a delicious act of irony, the flirty and romantic cast paraded their stuff inside The Refectory, or dining room of the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopalian Church. Talk about fashion corrupting the devout, inside the refined, 200-year-old seminary in Chelsea Square.
The brand has been busy in many areas, and recently launched its first scents independently. A trio of fragrances created by top European perfume supplier Firmenich and IFF, which were displayed inside the seminary.
Founder Rebecca Hessel Cohen ended the evening dancing on the banqueting table with her friends and their children attired in the pastel ruffled wardrobe that LoveShackFancy has made its own. While models danced around the refectory in Rebecca’s signature satin and silk empire waist dresses, slit well up the side. 
Success has led to a change of address. The Upper East Side-born stylist and designer moving to a West Village brown stone and carriage house, where she shot the ads for the trio of scents – Forever in Love, Moondance and Bohème.
Priced at $125 for a 75ml flacon, the scents began selling online last week, and in Sephora this week.

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