At Carolina Herrera, wildflowers bloom on the Hudson River

Entertainment

The Carolina Herrera collection is modeled during Fashion Week, in New York, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Wildflowers were blooming on the banks of the Hudson River on Monday, thanks to the fertile imagination of Wes Gordon at Carolina Herrera.

Gordon, now into his second year as the label’s creative director, upped his game with a crowd-pleasing, flower-themed collection that was big on color and vibrant prints.

The designer said his inspiration was the California super bloom, a phenomenon that leads to an unusually high proportion of wildflowers blossoming at once.

That’s what happened on Gordon’s runway under a tent overlooking the water at the tip of Manhattan. He sent out a succession of dresses both very long and very short with dramatic bursts of florals. One typical print was a bright yellow background populated with large blue flowers. Another striking look was a belted minidress with an impressionistic mix of flowers in hot pink, green and purple.

Gordon was also fond of polka dots — big and bold, and in black and white. And he sent a number of plaids down the runway, for example in a miniskirt and jacket with billowing sleeves, or in a long strapless belted number in blue and tan plaid.

Glam eveningwear finished out the collection, and here too Gordon indulged his fondness for both color, as in a shimmering green number, and for those polka dots. One of the most striking designs consisted of a sheer layer of black polka dots on white, over a light pink layer underneath — all adorned with a black bowtie sash, and a bow-like flourish on one shoulder.

The evening styles managed to be both luxurious and playful; the final number resembled a skirt but with the waist at the shoulder line, again with a sheer layer of black polka dots on white, this time over a bright yellow layer underneath.

“I am a big fan of color and Caroline Herrera is all about color,” Gordon said backstage. “Our woman is all about color, and I think the world needs as much color as possible.”

“I think clothes should be a source of fun and joy and delight,” he said. “There’s enough scary bad things in the world. When you get dressed, that should not be one of them.”

Gordon described his floral inspiration in the show notes as “the sensory delight of wildflowers as far as the eye can see … vibrant yellow, hot pink, brilliant orange and bold blue mix with prints evoking ephemeral desert fields blanketed in lilies, verbena and poppies.”

Celebrity guests included Martha Stewart, supermodel Karlie Kloss, and actress Vanessa Hudgens, who wore a midriff-baring lacey black ensemble as she danced in her seat at one point to the show’s bouncy soundtrack.

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