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LaQuan Smith shows at Empire State, elegance at Caroline Herrera

The fashion house, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, held its show in a gallery in Manhattan's Upper East Side, where Herrera first launched her brand.

LaQuanA model gets her hair and nails done backstage in preparation for the LaQuan Smith fashion show during New York Fashion Week. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Fashion floated high above New York City on Thursday night as designer LaQuan Smith presented his collection on the observation deck of the Empire State Building as part of the New York Fashion Week show.

With a lit up Big Apple around them, models presented sparkly bodysuits, mini dresses as well as frocks and trousers with cutouts. Printed strapless tops were matched with mini skirts and there were lace dresses for the evening.”… (It) is just really a preview of the transition from
comfort zone to glam zone,” Smith told Reuters.

“I’ve taken into the consideration that we are getting back out there again. And so, there’s sort of a spectrum.”

Smith said he used plenty of suede, printed leathers, terry cloth and Chantilly lace for the line, opting for a colour palette of white, camel, black, burgundy and blue.

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LaQuan Afterpay co-CEO and co-founder Nick Molnar, from left, actor Naomi Watts and fashion designer LaQuan Smith participate in a New York Fashion Week kickoff event at the Empire State Building on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

After two seasons of digital events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Fashion Week has seen a return to in-person shows. Smith’s was the first to be staged inside the Empire State Building, which marks its 90th anniversary this year.

“I’m all about the traditional live splashy runway shows that I grew up with in New York,” he said.

“And I was singing all these New York anthem songs and I’m like, duh, Empire State Building.”


At Carolina Herrera, creative director Wes Gordon presented voluminous gowns and satin dresses, sparkly checked outfits and jackets and tops with elaborate sleeves.

He paired bralettes with trousers while dresses bore floral and letter prints, sparkling embroidery or came strapless or layered. Colours were mainly black and white, pink, peach and red.

The fashion house, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, held its show in a gallery in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where Herrera first launched her brand.


“This season obviously because of COVID, we did a much more intimate presentation,” Gordon said.

“That allowed us to choose a venue that was different from the normal ones we’ve used in the past. We’re in a historic townhouse that’s now an art gallery. And for me, it was really an opportunity to acknowledge where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going.”

New York fashion week runs until Sept. 12.

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First published on: 11-09-2021 at 10:20:27 am
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