Vogue CS in English

Checking in with Wes Gordon of Carolina Herrera

Wes Gordon, the creative director of Carolina Herrera, speaks to our International Editor about how “the world will need joyful beauty more than ever” in the latest installment of the #stayhome interview series.
Hello! How are you? You’re at your farm in Connecticut, right?
“Yes. My husband, dog and I have been spending this time at our farm in Connecticut. I am grateful that we are healthy and safe but also eager to get back to working with my team in person, not just by video conference, and seeing our friends.”
I’m in Prague at home with my family on our 65th day of sheltering in place. Have you ever been to Prague before?
“I visited Prague while I was studying at St. Martins in London. I loved it and hope to visit again soon. It is a beautiful city. I bought a book of photographs by Josef Sudak on that trip which is here with me at the farm. It is one of my favorite books.”
Wes Gordon
I loved your Instagram post from a few weeks ago about helping others, being safe and moving forward. What sort of things are you currently doing on that front?
“Staying home is of the utmost importance and that is something we all should do if able. Carolina Herrera has been helping in larger ways, too. Our primary factory has been producing scrubs for the hospitals in Spain and our fragrance facilities have transitioned to making hand sanitizer.”
Since we’re all looking for a little outside inspiration these days, what television shows or movies have you been watching?
“I feel like I’m quickly running out of them. I loved ZeroZeroZero, Little Fires Everywhere and Ozark. For films, I just rewatched In the Mood for Love and also The Dreamers.”
Any favorite meals that you’ve been cooking?
“Not really – I’m trying to just eat as healthily as possible. I’ve been doing a lot of simple soups and clean foods (plain fish, chicken, etc.).”
Any great books that you could recommend?
“I’ve been having trouble reading during this lockdown. The pile of books next to my bed is growing, not shrinking. I think I’m too distracted by screens right now to be calm enough to enjoy a book. I keep trying.”
Anna Wintour wrote in one of her recent letters for Vogue.com about “find(ing) moments of joy along the way.” I think that’s something which fashion designers and fashion magazines can play a big part in right now. To that end, please tell me about your inspiration for the Carolina Herrera Fall 2020 collection.
“Fashion should be about joy. Fashion should bring happiness. Fashion should make you feel amazing, empowered and beautiful. These beliefs were top of mind as I designed the fall collection. With an initial inspiration of baroque Spanish oil paintings, I used drama and bold colors to celebrate optimism.
What are your three favorite looks from the collection?
“Three is too hard! My top five are probably looks 1, 20, 33, 36 and 39. These looks feel particularly modern, powerful and alive. They are women I would love to know.”
You have said in the past that you are “adamant about happy color” which seems even more appropriate for today’s world. What colors do you love?
“I love color, saturated, deep, bold, emotional colors. Colors that bloom in a garden. Colors that celebrate life. The world will need joyful beauty more than ever after this.”
In the two and a half years since you made your runway debut for Caroline Herrera, The Duchess of Sussex, Zendaya, Alicia Keys, Glenn Close and so many others have worn your designs. Can you tell me what it was like when you first saw some of them in your creations?
“I loved seeing each of them in my designs and becoming friends in the process. They each embody a different woman and a different style. I never have a favorite but enjoy seeing each individual person make the look into their own.”
Who else would you like to dress? Personally, I was really hoping to see Renee Zellweger wearing Carolina Herrera to receive one of her many awards for Judy since Renee had such a close relationship with the brand in the past. It would be wonderful to see her in your version of Carolina Herrera.
“As a designer, there is nothing more exciting than seeing a woman wearing and loving something I have designed. This is true of celebrities as much as it is of non-celebrities. I love seeing a woman walking down the street in a piece of Carolina Herrera.”
Lastly, what was the best piece of advice that Mrs. Herrera gave you when you became creative director of the brand?
“Mrs. Herrera once told me that sometimes the most radical and bold thing to do is to be elegant. I love that idea.”
Camila Morrone in Carolina Herrera at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood on February 9, 2020.
Gwyneth Paltrow in Carolina Herrera at the Goop MRKT opening in Sag Harbor, New York on July 23, 2019.
Zendaya in Carolina Herrera arriving at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in New York on June 25, 2019.