High-society favorite brand Carolina Herrera on Monday showed the first collection since Herrera stepped down as the house's creative force.
Herrera, 79, whose timeless designs were worn by five first ladies, handed creative directorship of the label to American designer Wes Gordon in February.
Gordon, who worked with the Venezuelan-born Herrera for a year, said "she wanted to be surprised today when she saw the collection. So this is her first time seeing everything."
The collection, with plaids, florals and bold prints, "is about a woman who is not a wallflower, who's looking for beautiful happy colors when she opens her wardrobe in the morning," he said.
"I think the world needs a little more joy, and your wardrobe is a very good place to start."
For inspiration, he turned to old pictures of Herrera in search of the pulse of the house.
Using specialized fabrics, deep colors and bold prints in addition to the traditional pastels of Spring, Gordon said he "played with the classic Herrera cotton shirt."
"We make the most perfect white shirt. We wanted to show a lot of different tweaks and variations on that today, so we took that fabric and we did everything from little smocked dresses to polka dot combinations.
"And then the embroideries ... it really is an embroidery house creating these pieces that are really American culture."
Celebrities filled the show, among fashion week's hottest tickets, held at the New York Historical Society.
Martha Stewart, former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush, fashion world doyenne Anna Wintour and socialite Nicky Hilton Rothschild were on hand.
New York Fashion Week, previewing the latest looks for Spring 2019, concludes on Wednesday with a party in the borough of Brooklyn featuring pop superstar Rihanna's Savage x Fenty lingerie line. --Reuters