Her entire fall collection was inspired, she said, by a piece of classical music that she specifically commissioned for the show, by the English composer Tom Hodge.
"I started out light, just like the piece, and I reached a crescendo with my more dramatic clothes," she explained backstage after Monday's show at New York Fashion Week. "It all came from the music."
The piece, "Capriccio for Carolina," was in turn inspired by Beethoven's Kreutzer Violin Sonata, a piece that Herrera loves, she said. (For Beatles aficionados, the piece was recorded in late November in the Abbey Road Studios in London.)
As for the clothes, Herrera said she was inspired by the 1940s, especially in the shapes of sleeves and in the small waists of the garments.
Fur was a constant theme, even small bits of it. Whatever you're wearing, the designer seemed to be saying, even if it's not a coat or a jacket, there's a spot for some luxurious fur.
A strapless silk cocktail dress had some fox trim across the top. A long silky flowing skirt had fur trim around the bottom. Many garments had fur collars.
This being winter, a fact New Yorkers can't forget this week, there were some yummy coats. One of the nicest came in angora, with a fox collar. It was paired with a sandstone wool jacket and matching pant.
A distinctive item, though perhaps not for everyone, was a set of fox fur sleeves — just the sleeves — worn over a wool and silk blouse and silk skirt.
And this being Herrera, there were gowns aplenty. They came in blue silk charmeuse or ruby silk crepe, in velvet or in sequins. An emerald-colored silk charmeuse gown closed the show — with, appropriately, a plunging emerald fox fur collar.