Carolina Herrera's program notes explained that Spring was inspired by two things: the traditional clothes of Korea and botanical plates collected in the eighteenth century.
For anybody who admired the elegant simplicity of her recent Resort show, that little bit of news sent up a red flag. The tall, wide-brimmed straw hats (customarily worn by men in Korea) and the superfluous obilike bows that decorated the bust- and waistlines of evening dresses hardly dispelled the disquiet, nor did floral prints complete with calligraphy detailing the plant's name and origins.
Happily, there was also a lot here of a more subtle nature. The more restrained gowns suggested that Herrera can still teach a thing or two to the up-and-comers gunning for the Park Avenue set. In particular, a lotus-blossom-embroidered blouse and olive to-the-floor skirt and a forest green metallic fil coupé column dress with a slightly asymmetrical neckline nailed the understated grandeur that's long been a Herrera signature.
If it's grandeur plain and simple a girl is after, she should look no further than the finale gown with its yard-upon-yard of porcelain-embroidered floral jacquard.