NEW YORK - At 75, Carolina Herrera is showing no sign of slowing down or wallowing in nostalgia, unveiling her 2014 fall/winter collection on Monday for the contemporary woman looking to the future.
The doyenne of New York Fashion Week, the Venezuelan-born designer known for her elegance and sophistication has dressed first ladies, society women and film stars all over the world.
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and burlesque dancer Dita von Teese sat front row at the Lincoln Center show, which was crammed to bursting with fashionistas, fellow designers and journalists.
Top model Karlie Kloss opened the show in a black boiled wool coat, pony skirt and cashmere turtleneck - and closed it in a red silk embroidered evening gown.
Congratulated by fellow New York designers and mobbed by acolytes backstage, Herrera told AFP that her collection had been designed "for the woman of today but looking to the future."
"I'm a bit tired of all those collections that have a reference to the 40s, the 20s, the 30s," she said.
"I need something else. I need the future. That's why the proportion was very important for me - the low heels and something different from the things we have seen before."
Her models wore their hair swept high on the head in buns with tall, Turkish fez-inspired woollen hats perched on top.
Her jackets and sweaters were cape-like, with wide collars and cowl necks, while skirts were tight and fitted, creating a different silhouette to much of those seen on the catwalk.
Jackets were embellished with fur in the lower sleeves and from the chest down, or with leather panels. There were geometric, almost African-inspired printed dresses and skirts.
Flowing gowns to the ground in georgette and organza were cinched at the waist with big, bold-coloured belts.
Herrera said her inspiration was young women but - in the celebrity-obsessed age - the ones with style.
"I am very inspired by the young girls, the ones that have some style," she said with a throaty laugh.
And would she name names?
"No!" she laughed. "But you know what I mean exactly."