Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Carolina Herrera: From Munch to La Mode

New York - Though Carolina Herrera remains America's pre-eminently classy designer, she's inspiration for her latest collection was Edvard Munch's painting of a bohemian anarchist. Yet the contradiction, far from confusing designer led to one of the finest collections we've seen so far in the New York season.
Munch's painting of the radical Hans Jæger, whose neighborhood in Oslo, Christiania, was a funky and alternative quarter, may have been a bizarre source of stimulation but the net result was couture quality coolness. Ideal clothes for the very opposite sort of people the super-well-heeled women from the Upper East Side who sat front row.
Remarkably sleek tunic dresses finished with glass bauble trim reminiscent of the modernist functionality of Art Deco or brilliantly wrought robes with erratic geometric appliqué patterns echoed Munch's imagery and obsession with Jaeger.
Yet Herrera's collection for fall 2007 oozed haute sophistication, from the remarkable jacquard coats to the stockings finished with jade.
Munch's friendship with the freaky bohemians led by Jæger deeply marked his life and was source of almost permanent inner conflict. Ironically, designer's connection to Munch's art made for remarkably balanced fashion, clothes that flattered, had poise and looked great. Uncanny, surprising and unexpected, but true.


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