NY Runway Report

Carolina Herrera presents spring's best ball gown in million-dollar runway show

Carolina Herrera presents spring's best gown in $1 million runway show

Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera floral gown
The last two looks of Carolina Herrera's collection featured embroidered gowns of pixilated foam. Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera red gown
Carolina Herrera vibrant pink techno pique gown with translucent belt. Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Fashion Week spring 2015 designer Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera took her runway bow wearing her traditional uniform of crisp white blouse and black skirt. Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera floral
Carolina Herrera magnolia print techno jersey coat. Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera floral shoulders
Carolina Herrera tulip illusion print silk faille shirtdress. Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera beige
Carolina Herrera moonbeam silk and cotton canvas coat and skirt, white techno jersey top with spectrum print applique. Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera yellow cut-outs
Carolina Herrera sunglow techno pique dress with white organza inserts. Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera black-and-white gown
Carolina Herrera floral applique techno jersey T-shirt and photographic petal jacquard skirt. Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera purple and red gown
Carolina Herrera majestic purple silk organza multilayered gown. Photo by © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera floral gown
The last two looks of Carolina Herrera's collection featured embroidered gowns of pixilated foam. Photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera floral gown
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera red gown
Fashion Week spring 2015 designer Carolina Herrera
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera floral
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera floral shoulders
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera beige
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera yellow cut-outs
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera black-and-white gown
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera purple and red gown
Fashion Week spring 2015 Carolina Herrera floral gown

Season after season, Carolina Herrera always shows a polished collection for her well-heeled clientele. But for spring 2015, she seemed particularly inspired — all because of a single tulip.

In a 12-minute runway show that the New York Times estimates cost at least $1 million, Herrera sent out a breathtakingly beautiful collection, featuring ball gowns with big skirts and long trains that left the audience gasping in delight. A gorgeous pixilated rose embroidered gown — the floral image in cracked patterns along the front of the ball skirt and on the train — is sure to show up on the red carpet or at a Texas charity ball. It's my favorite gown of the upcoming spring season.

 A gorgeous pixilated rose embroidered gown is sure to show up on the red carpet or at a Texas charity ball. 

Herrera used shades of a flower, with vibrant pinks, purples and yellows, along with whites, grays and greens, as the basis of the colorful collection. She jazzed up what might be considered an old idea with digital prints and techno fabrics, like cracked foam, to offer a modern take on floral attire. 

The opening looks, which featured an abstract tulip in a digital print with a flap of color, were a bit jarring. But when Herrera transitioned to full floral prints in colors or even singular white patterns embossed on tan or black fabric, the collection blossomed. 

When not in full floral mode, Herrera featured suits, dresses and even evening gowns in single, bold colors — red, yellow or purple — using techniques that etched large seams in zigzag patterns.

Just as intricate was the set, which rivaled a Broadway show, with clusters of futuristic wooden trees, painted green and in various heights reaching up to 16 feet, on the runway, which was extended over the first two rows of seats for a wider effect. Models strolled among the trees and between onlookers positioned on the runway, like a scene from Into The Woods.

It was spectacular theater for a lovely collection, showing that at age 76, Herrera just keeps getting better with age.

When she took her runway bow, Herrera appeared in her traditional uniform of crisp white blouse and black skirt. While florals are the big trend for spring, she's sticking to her classic style.