Behind Wes Gordon’s revolutionary vision for Carolina Herrera

Wes Gordon just wants to make happy clothes, and that's exactly what he's been doing since his appointment as Carolina Herrera's creative director. Photo: Shutterstock
Updated 20 November 2019

Behind Wes Gordon’s revolutionary vision for Carolina Herrera

  • Since his appointment as creative director, Wes Gordon has managed to seamlessly incorporate his own joyful flair into the fashion house
  • His ability to maintain the house’s old world glamour in addition to his revolutionary and exuberant vision has appealed to a new generation of clients

DUBAI: Wes Gordon just wants to make happy clothes. And the Atlanta-born designer, who was handpicked to be Carolina Herrera's successor after she announced her retirement in February 2018, has done just that since his appointment as the New York-based label’s creative director. You don’t have to look further than the brand’s Spring 2020 collection, showcased at the bottom of Manhattan Island inside a glass bubble lined with plush, white carpet that was inspired by the rare botanical phenomenon, super bloom.

“Carolina Herrera is a brand about beauty,” declares the designer. “No one knows what tomorrow is going to be like. We just know today, and the things that we’re able to control ourselves, I feel like it’s our job to make them beautiful,” The 33-year-old told Arab News.

Indeed, in today’s current political climate, there’s never been more reason to inject joie de vivre back into fashion. “There’s a lot of dark and uncertainty right now,” muses Gordon. “And you can’t fight dark with dark.”


A model walks the runway at the Carolina Herrera Ready-to-Wear Spring 2020 show. Photo: Getty

Carolina Herrera Ready-to-Wear Spring 2020 show. Photo: Getty

During his year-long tenure — He made his debut last September with an upbeat Spring 2019 collection, after running his own eponymous label for several years in addition to serving as Herrera’s right-hand since 2016 — the Central St. Martin’s graduate has churned out three joyful and upbeat ready-to-wear collections built on the foundation of vibrant hues and that serve as a refreshing departure from the sea of blacks and greys that have dominated the runways for the past few seasons.  

“I love color,” shares Gordon. “Bold, vivacious, saturated colors — nothing grey or sad. So the first thing I do before I start designing a collection, is think really hard about colors.

“My biggest takeaway from the role is that something beautiful will always be successful. When you’re able to create something that’s just gorgeous, it will always do well.”

However, helming Carolina Herrera is no small feat. As one of the biggest fashion brands in the world, Gordon recognizes that his stint as a consultant at the label eased his transition since he was already familiar with the company.

Since his appointment, Gordon has managed to seamlessly incorporate his own joyful flair into the fashion house founded 39 years ago, without straying from the brand’s DNA or alienating its existing clientele.

While the designer does admit that it is virtually impossible for there to not be a change — “I’m not Mrs. Herrera,” he states — he does revel in the fact that though his designs are unique, clients are still able to look at them and say, “that still feels Herrera.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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His ability to maintain the house’s old world glamour in addition to his revolutionary and exuberant vision has appealed to a new generation of clients, which include everyone from “Euphoria” actress Zendaya to American screenwriter Lena Waithe, whom he dressed for the 2018 Met Gala.

As for the woman he designs for? “She’s fabulous and fantastic. She’s the best dressed and most fun woman in any room.  If every woman in the street is wearing grey, she is wearing hot pink. She dresses for herself and treats every moment like a celebration,” he notes. Very much like Carolina Herrera herself.


Models Gigi, Bella Hadid walk designer Gaultier’s last fashion show

Jean-Paul Gaultier took his final bow of a 50-year career in the industry at the Paris Fashion Week. (AFP)
Updated 39 min 37 sec ago

Models Gigi, Bella Hadid walk designer Gaultier’s last fashion show

  • Part-Palestinian sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid were among the big names walking his last haute couture runway, the models wearing Gaultier’s latest designs from his Spring 2020 collection

DUBAI: French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier on Wednesday took his final bow of a 50-year career in the industry at the Paris Couture Week.

Part-Palestinian sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid were among the big names walking his last haute couture runway, the models wearing Gaultier’s latest designs from his Spring 2020 collection.

Gigi was dressed in a sailor’s outfit featuring a striped bodysuit with white wide-leg trousers and sailor hat. (AFP)

Gigi was dressed in a sailor’s outfit featuring a striped bodysuit with white wide-leg trousers and sailor hat.

Bella wore a strapless peacock-like black dress which the stylists paired with boots and gloves.

Bella wore a strapless peacock-like black dress which the stylists paired with boots and gloves. (AFP)

Gaultier shared a video on his Instagram this week inviting his followers to attend the show and celebrate the end of his half-century career with him. “It is going to be a party with my friends, and we are going to have fun until very, very late.”

He then went on to announce his farewell. “Now I am going to share something with you. This will be my last haute couture show. Be there! You can’t miss this,” he said. “However, stay tuned, Gaultier Paris will go on. The haute couture continues. I have a new concept and I will tell you about it later.”