Fashion: The Era of Herrera

by Catherine Trifiletti

At The Orchestra of Americas’ gala this spring, fashion designer Carolina Herrera will be honored for her iconic contributions to the worldwide fashion history.

WASHINGTON LIFE: Prior to the explosion of your career as a designer, you were cited as one of the world’s best dressed women by Vogue and others. How do you think that your unique background and trajectory, entering a design role in fashion from the perspective of the wearer rather than designer, impacted your career?

CAROLINA HERRERA: The first time I was in the international best dressed list was in 1971 and I had no idea of becoming a designer then. What did inspire my career was my first collection in 1981, to see women wearing my clothes, this was a great thrill for me.

Inspiration from the arts seems to be a recurring theme in your work. for instance, a line of handbags (seen at the CH Carolina Herrera store in CityCenterDC) that pays homage to iconic concert spaces from La Scala to the Metropolitan Opera. What has the relationship between other art forms and fashion meant to you?

The world of art is very important for all designers, but art has many forms.Art is paintings, music and literature. Everyday life is full of inspiration and this has to be appreciated by one’s eyes and taste.That is the different part of it. I always say fashion is art in movement.

You will be honored in Washington next year by the orchestra of the americas, an initiative dedicated to empowering young musicians, many from Latin America, to make a global mark on the world’s biggest stages. In what ways do you feel your Latin roots contribute to your style and design aesthetic?

I am very honored to receive an award from the Orchestra of the Americas, which helps many talented young musicians.

Do you have a mantra that dictates your design process?

Natural elegance

Favorite item in your closet.

A white shirt and a full-length mirror.

Published in our September 2020 issue.

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