Carolina Herrera drew considerable attention last week when she voiced her disapproval at how New Yorkers dress. The designer of resplendent gowns and impeccable women’s suits finds the sloppy, casual, ill-put-together nature of common street style quite appalling and would very much like to see women, especially, put a little more thought into what they wear and just how it makes them look. While a number of people took umbrage at Ms. Herrera’s comments, a portion of what she had to say makes a tremendous amount of sense. Everyone, and perhaps women especially, need to pay more attention to whether the looks they’re buying and putting on actually work for them. Not every look is for every body type.

Taking that advice, though, likely means that a great many of you won’t be wearing anything from the Carolina Herrera spring/summer collection. While the line is quite lovely to view and was absolutely beautiful as it came down the runway, it is nonetheless a set of clothes that fit a very limited number of bodies. Waist lines are high, so if one is not at least 5′ 7″ with a long torso there’s no need even entering the store. Padded, rounded shoulders won’t work on anyone who already has a fairly broad frame. While looser fitting tops may look forgiving, the tailoring of the bottom portions of those ensembles restrict them to those more trim and fit. So, while the clothes look wonderful on the models, real life experiences are likely to vary tremendously.

Go ahead, be upset; these are quite lovely clothes. Starting with an off white two pieces on which a digitally modified rose splits the visual line between top and bottom, this is a super attractive collection. The color palette is heavy on pinks, purples, taupe, and yellow. The digital treatment of the rose theme varies from piece to piece and is especially wonderful in a gown where the flower is divided into mosaic pieces. Those new to the collection but familiar with the name might be surprised at just how contemporary Carolina Herrera looks tend to be.

Another favorite in this collection is a soft yellow dress with sheer cut outs at the waist and a sheer back. Is this dress for everyone? Absolutely not, but I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful it might look on someone with some really great back art.

Carolina Herrera is a fantastic designer and I have no problem with her stating her opinions on sloppy dressing. As a country, we could stand a little sprucing up. However, one needs to consider carefully the cut and fit of any of these clothes before walking out of the store with them. They’re definitely not for everyone.

Photo credit: Kim Weston Arnold

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