Carolina Herrera Says You Can't Be a Fashion Icon in a Naked Dress

Britt Aboutaleb

Beyoncé giving an “Aw shucks this ol’ thing?” face in custom Givenchy at the 2015 Met Gala. (Photo: Getty Images)

Robin Givhan profiles designer Carolina Herrera in the Washington Post this week, and Herrera, who might be most famous for her own uniform of a crisp, white collared shirt and polished skirt, expresses her distaste for naked dresses. “They’re supposed to be fashion icons, and they’re not wearing anything,” she says of women like Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, and Jennifer Lopez.

“It’s so modern to be naked or almost naked,” she adds. “They think it’s going to attract younger people if they do those dresses. No! They’re trying to get people to pay attention to them. In life, there should be a little mystery.” 

Of course, the thing is, naked dresses do attract younger people — they attract all people because, well, they’re called naked dresses for a reason. When your dress is more sheer than covered, like the custom Givenchy gown Beyoncé wore to the Met Gala this year, or every Zuhair Murad look that Lopez wears on every red carpet, you have a pretty good chance of being tomorrow’s headline. (Unless Rihanna shows up in a egg yolk-like cape, in which case, not even flashing a nip is going to earn you the top spot.)

And honestly, if you’ve managed to maintain what might be one of the most iconic figures over the last few decades — talking to you, Lopez — why not make damn sure everyone knows? Herrera is a beloved, well-respected designer with a loyal clientele (Amy Adams, Christina Hendricks, Emmy Rossum, and Michelle Obama are all fans), none of whom would dare step out in anything that could potentially earn the modifier “naked.” And that is totally fine. The great thing about fashion is that there’s something for everyone. 

Givhan writes, “Herrera, 76, has succeeded in the fashion industry by refraining from chasing cool. She does not aspire to be hip or edgy.” Nor should she. She’s earned her place in the pantheon of great designers, and the industry might grow concerned if Herrera started covering pop stars’ breasts with Swarovski crystals. Luckily, there are plenty of other designers who are thrilled to do just that.

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