On any given day in New York’s Fashion District, the Carolina Herrera atelier is abuzz. It begins early in the morning, when the machines begin to click on and life is breathed into fabrics and patterns. As one of the few remaining ateliers in New York, this brightly-lit workshop is filled with skilled artisans trained in haute couture-level craftsmanship.
Every Carolina Herrera New York look begins with a concept and sketch dreamed up by the House design team, lead by creative director Wes Gordon. These ideas are carefully developed by our skilled patternmakers who drape the sketch in muslin, a lightweight plain weave cotton cloth. Every detail (from the drape to the seam) is planned, discussed, and charted onto the dressmaker’s form, before fitting the muslin onto the House’s fit model. Once the design is approved, the fabric cutters then cut the design in fabric. Delicate details, like embroidery, are given even more attention as the design is charted by the in-house embroidery designer and then hand-beaded in India. Following, the look is recreated in fabric by our seamstresses and then has a second fitting with the House model.
Looks for runway shows are individually fit for each runway model. The design team works with our patternmakers to make the subtlest adjustments, ensuring that the final look fits the House’s standards. The process to create a Carolina Herrera Collection takes twelve to fifteen weeks, with a single look going through at least twenty-five hands. Some looks can take as long as 120-hours to create before they make their walk down the runway.
Inspired by the modern woman, the House of Carolina Herrera applies the same care and attention to detail to each piece in every collection. The atelier is the heart of the house, and from this special place a look finds its place in the world, whether it’s the runway, a photoshoot, or your very own closet.
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