For Fall 2002, Carolina Herrera did what jazz musicians do all the time: Take a standard and breathe new life into it. In her own riff on a series of classics, Herrera turned out a luxurious, perfectly balanced show that could easily have been titled "Lush Life."
Herrera's concise collection, shown to a small audience in her showroom, was built around menswear fabrics and tailoring, reworked to very feminine proportions and in a restrained palette of black, ivory, gold and gray. Crisply tailored, wide-leg pants showed up either as part of a suitthe jackets with a hint of built-up shoulder, the button-front vests worn as a topor with sexy, silky shirts. There were glimpses of well-bred glitz throughout. A restrained gold-lamé fabric, for instance, was made day-wearable in a narrow coat or the aforementioned trousers, while some of the jackets got a whirl of gold beading on the shoulders. Plush leopard-stenciled lamb showed up in a simple belted coat, and as a jacket over a satin skirt.
For evening, Herrera sent out a series of slinky black dresses, each set off by one eye-catching detail: a flash of red lining, a cascade of ruffles or a deep plunge neckline.