Sunday, 14 July 2013

Inside Carolina Herrera's Manhattan Atelier

The recently renovated Carolina Herrera atelier and studio is in Midtown Manhattan, but standing outside in the pebbled rooftop garden lined with tiny manicured hedges, you’d think it was the courtyard of a palace. That is, until you realize you’re standing in the shadow of the Empire State Building. Like the garden (which was just added in December), the house of Herrera is an elegant setting that maintains a New York state of mind. Inside the design studio are monogrammed lampshades, behind which is a black-and-white portrait of Mrs. Herrera as a child, dressed as Snow White. In the picture she’s pouting because she wanted to play the witch. It seems the role just wasn’t in the cards for her: Hers, after all, is a studio that is full of laughter.

Walking through the showroom and atelier, the designer shows her library of prints from past collections. “I have the birds, the clovers and the mushrooms, too. And we keep adding! It’s fun, no?” Yes. As is the collection of pens, arranged according to the next season’s color palette, as well as the graphic-striped couches. After morning meetings, the team goes out to the roof to eat lunch together. “I think everyone wants to come and work here because of the gardens,” Mrs. Herrera jokes. “It’s very rare to have lunch on Seventh Avenue outside!”

A rack of dresses out Resort 2014 collection in the showroom, 
which is upstairs from the atelier.

All of the Carolina Herrera prints are developed from scratch in-house. 
“It’s a very amusing process,” the designer says.

 Sketches in the studio library. Each collection is carefully archived.

Carolina Herrera affectionately called Mrs. H in the office, in her design studio 
on Seventh Avenue in New York City’s Garment District.

The showroom at midday. “Everything has windows because for me, 
light is so important,” Mrs. Herrera says.

The Empire State Building as seen from the rooftop garden.

Spools of fabric in the atelier. Mrs. Herrera has been known to bring 
in inspirational pieces from her own closet during the design process.

Fabrics paired to looks for the resort 2014 collection. “She’ll touch something 
and know what’s right,” says Marino Isolani, a designer on the team.

Francois Bouchet, a pattern maker at Carolina Herrera, has been 
with the house for ten years. His favorite part of the job? 
“Working with young people, because they take risks.”

 Mrs. Herrera’s collection of back issues of Vogue, 
which used to belong to a close friend.

 “Many times I go through the pages of old Vogues. You know fashion is 
a repetition of ideas, so whatever you see in these books comes back,”  
Mrs. Herrera says.

Pressed clovers are collaged on the desk in the design studio.  
“I love clovers; I’m always looking for them,” Mrs. Herrera says. 
That day, she was wearing a skirt printed with clovers from a recent collection.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Victoria Will for VOGUE  

More Carolina Herrera To Love ... 

'“Prints, that’s what this collection is all about, prints,” said Carolina Herrera as a preface to her 2014 resort presentation. “And seasonless,” she added, “because there are no real seasons for clothes anymore; in summer somewhere it’s winter, or in winter somewhere it’s summer. It’s important everything can be worn all year round.”'

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