“Fall 2013 was all inspired by music,” said designer Carolina Herrera, “Music first and then the inspiration because of the music.” This season’s sartorial sonata struck a particularly influential chord with the elegant doyenne. According to the liner notes, Mrs. Herrera collaborated with London-based composer Tom Hodge and producer Javier Peral to commission a musical score inspired by Beethoven’s Kreutzer Violin Sonata. Recorded with the London Contemporary Orchestra in Abbey Road Studios on November 28, 2012, “Capriccio for Carolina,” (Capriccio is an instrumental work with an improvisatory style and a free form.) is a modern reinterpretation of the romance, drama, and fantasy of the original piece. “When I saw it, I saw the whole collection in front of me, which is very rare, because usually you have the collection ready and then you add the music to it, but this time was the other way around.”
Designers often reference the arts (fine, modern, performing) in their collections, but this season a classical arrangement was the impetus, conjuring a visceral reaction and forming the foundation for a refined collection with whimsical prints, luxurious textiles, and feminine silhouettes. Runway shows are celebrated for their theatrical quotient with a high production value, themed sets, slick recording engineers, and syncopated remixes, but Carolina Herrera is sophistication personified so it would only follow suit that every last detail of the collection down to the music would underscore her poise and grace. Mrs. Herrera added, “I was fascinated… emotionally, then visually and everything together made this fantastic music!”
Designed with a strong 1940’s heroine in mind, the silhouette of nipped waists and flirty movement of skirts heightened the collection’s romanticism and drama. “I started with the colors like the music very soft… changing the colors for a very strong ballet of colors at the end,” noted the designer. The 41 looks began quite light and airy in shades of rose quartz, sandstone, and tiger eye, before building to a crescendo of gemstone hues of ruby, sapphire, and emerald. “It has drama, it has romanticism, it’s a little bit of melancholia, to which I think it went perfectly with that show.”
My favorite looks from the Carolina Herrera Fall 2013 Ready to Wear Collection included: the rose quartz modern houndstooth print silk gown with black velvet detail; the black wool turtleneck with pink degrade fur insert atop a tiger eye, sandstone, and black flower urchin jacquard ball skirt and black pony belt; the gray flannel wool blouse with bow detail with gray wool flannel pleated pant; the black wool turtleneck knit paired with an emerald and sandstone wool stripe ball skirt with fox fur detail and emerald python belt; the black multi color hand-painted dahlia devore gown with black sequin detail; and the ruby velvet and amethyst pony fur gown with amethyst pony belt.
Visit the Carolina Herrera website for more information and to download the original composition featured during her runway show.