INSPIRATION: Alluring confidence, instinctive elegance
WHO WAS THERE: Uptown icons Lee Radziwill, the designer's daughters Patricia and Carolina, Jr. (Patricia with her gorgeous daughters in matching printed dresses), Fernanda Niven, Mary Alice Stephenson, runway coach Miss J. Alexander, and fellow designers, Tory Burch and Lars Nilsson
TOP LOOKS: Carolina's signature white blouse and black pants - embellished and teased out luxuriously for the show; Belted camel coat trimmed and backed in sable; Red and silver jacquard one-sleeve cocktail dress; Steel gray organza layered bolero over steel blue moiré gown with red velvet belt; Bright azalea silk gazaar gown-fitted like a glove over the hips, with dramatic ruffles to the ankles
ACCESSORIES: Not too-high (and platform free!) lady-like sandals by Manolo Blahnik for Carolina Herrera in steel blue, mustard and red suede with the puffy embroidery used throughout the show. Round felt brimmed hats by Albertus Swanepoel with feather fans tucked in the crown. Embroidered and knotted gloves in the same rich autumnal hues in the collection.
WHAT WE THOUGHT: Elegance and taste is what Carolina does. The designer is better at it than anyone else, because it is always rich and never boring. And unlike many taste-making createurs, she makes clothes to make you look beautiful. From chic daywear, to sultry evening gowns, Herrera's intense palette, prints and excess of hand-work (embroidery, beading and appliqué), and perfect fit are the stars.
The most stunning idea she presented for Fall was a regal sleeve. This voluminous forearm was most effective in a one shoulder cocktail dress, but breathtaking in every iteration. The sculpted, ruffled and pleated gowns were like "fashion Prozac," to quote my favorite Andrew Bevan from Teen Vogue -- especially in a bright azalea. It's impossible not to be happy when they are in one's sight. Always fresh on the red carpet, Carolina's spirit and lightness is never weighed down.