The Carolina Herrera Spring 2016 collection, shown against the Beaux-Arts grandeur of the Frick’s covered courtyard, focused on pink and pleats, it was a controlled dream of a show. “This is my rose period,” Herrera said during a preview. “Fashion should be optimistic.”
Her other big theme: transparency. But, as the Voltaire bon mot on Herrera’s mood board announced, “the secret of being boring is to say everything.” She thus handled the peekaboo with discretion – an approach that yielded more than modesty. Herrera used thin, sheer strips of fabric as welting between pieces of fabric, including trompe l’oeil pleats. This created gridlike surface interest that informed the clothes with a modernist attitude, particularly when worked in techno mesh and Neoprene, now among her favorite fabrics, even for evening.
Within its hyper focus, this collection offered plenty of range. Dresses came as sheath, trapeze, shirtdress; evening, in two-piece ballgowns and a pleated white beauty with an overall top. As for all the pink, by keeping the decorative elements to the inherent structural geometry (save for the occasional feather and flower-appliqué sighting) it never over-blossomed into cloying sweetness. Rather, it played as sophisticated, optimistic chic.