It's a high tightrope to walk when you're a young designer tasked with bringing new life to a legacy brand, as Wes Gordon has been asked to do at Carolina Herrera. You have to continue to please loyal customers while refreshing the aesthetic to attract new ones — a move which many find too tricky to ever really master.
Gordon, however, seems completely at home in his new role. His first official collection for the brand, Resort 2019, was a triumph in color play and injected youthfulness into the offerings. That vibe continued onto the Spring 2019 runway, with Gordon mining Ms. Herrera herself for inspiration. Gordon looked back to images of Herrera just before launching her brand in the '70s, a time period reflected in the sunny graphics and louche shapes.
Speaking of which, Gordon may just be the new King of Prints. He played with florals and polka dots in various bright colors and sizes, always nailing the proportion. There was the green-and-white floral, smaller on a silky button down and larger on a pair of gaucho pants; a bright yellow floral got a jolt of energy with black-and-white dotted ribbons at the sleeves. Gordon also used beading and embellishment details, putting sparkling daisies and playful racing horses on chiffon gowns and satin blazers.
As for that tightrope, Gordon zipped across it, offering pantsuits that would look equally appropriate on Herrera's Upper East Side ladies-who-lunch as they would on the younger "It" girls on the front row, like Hailey Baldwin. A billowing black, ruffled gown had pregnant Lily Aldridge's approval; crocheted pieces came in short, tight playsuits and elegant, soignée day dresses. And it's hard to imagine any customer not being delighted by the floral knee-high boots.
At this point in the game, many newly-named creative directors are still sorting out the kinks, but it seems like Gordon has everything just about figured out. The future at Carolina Herrera is looking bright.
See the complete Carolina Herrera Spring 2019 collection in the gallery below.