It may have been gray and muggy outside, but inside the Bryant Park tents at Carolina Herrera’s spring show it was all blue skies and lavender-scented Mediterranean breezes. Inspired by the languid, light-soaked Riviera photos taken by Jacques-Henri Lartigue at the turn of the last century, Herrera sent out a dreamy, pretty collection with full-spectrum appeal.
There’s a new team in the Herrera office, since earlier this year the designer named her daughter Patricia Lansing as designer and Herve Pierre Braillard (ex-Bill Blass and Vera Wang) as design director. Herrera’s trademark elegance is still the guiding force, but there are other influences as well, offering a lighter, sexier feeling with occasional sporty accents. One key piece was the racer-back tank; it opened the show in sheer ivory cashmere, went through a series of embellishments, and ended up black, beaded, and paired with a floaty ivory georgette skirt.
The palette was limited but not dull: Ivory and black were set off by pale pink, a rosy brick, and shots of lemon yellow, plus a few meandering abstract prints. Fluttery chiffon and slinky jersey dresses were often topped by crocodile link belts or trimmed with wide striped ribbon, while smart, slim day suits got a dash of contrast topstitching. Even without Biarritz on your itinerary, this collection will guarantee you a place in the sun.