Wes Gordon has a place in fashion history. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris chose a white pantsuit from his Carolina Herrera resort 2021 collection for her acceptance speech last month. For 100 years, white has been the color of the women’s suffrage movement; that’s presumably at least partly why Harris chose it. Going forward, it will forever be connected with her ceiling-shattering moment.
This collection is more or less pantsuit free; it definitely puts the emphasis on the more playful side of the Herrera aesthetic. That’s because it’s dropping in May and June of next year, at a time when, as Gordon put it hopefully, the “world will be on the path to vaccination.” Comfort and practicality were the major talking points of the spring 2021 collections; the pre-fall season is destined to be dominated by thoughts of reemergence.
Gordon channeled that notion with a graphic black-and-white zebra motif, polka dots in all sizes and lively colors, and leg-baring ’60s lengths that are callbacks to Mia Farrow circa Rosemary’s Baby, a reference he used last season too. Comfort is still in the picture—he showed everything with flat mary janes or brogues—but joy and exuberance are the big messages here. That came across loud and clear in the three brightly hued ball skirts he lifted from the house founder’s finale show in early 2018. Back then, Mrs. Herrera showed them with her trademark crisp white shirts. Here, they were accompanied by a fitted turtleneck, a T-shirt, and a polka-dot bomber.
They’re not inaugural-ball material, really, but who knows? We’ve never had a female vice president before; there are no rules. If Gordon’s in the running to design that history-making dress, he wasn’t saying, but after the acceptance-speech suit, his name will be in the mix. Forty-two days to go.