Later this month, Gabriela Hearst will present her last collection for Chloé in Paris after three years at the Richemont-owned brand. Her PR cut off questions about it during a preview.
“But, I think it’s good,” the designer said before taking a detour to talk about how she got used to the travel back and forth to Paris. “That part, I didn’t mind actually.”
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She has plenty to do Stateside with her own namesake label anyway, including opening her next store in Los Angeles on Nov. 9.
“One of the most exciting things is to see we can support the craft so it doesn’t disappear — and the client wants it. Retail is doing phenomenal, this transition we dreamed of is happening,” she said during a preview of her collection.
For her latest women’s tale, she was inspired by the Druids, the high-ranking priestly class living among the Celts in ancient Europe circa the third century BC.
“Druid society had women in a very prime spot,” she said, explaining her research into high priestesses and witches, and how it led her to Haitian artist Levoy Exil and the spiritual motifs he weaves into his work. He, along with the cooperative the brand works with in Bolivia, designed macramé knits for the collection shown Tuesday.
“It took 31 artisans more than 5,000 hours to make the pieces in show. The white macramé poncho alone took 1,500 hours,” she said, noting she has the customer for it. “We have four clients who requested custom-made couture pieces; they are ready to pay for something between a garment and art.”
Hearst has her formula down, starting with variations on her luxurious silk wool suiting, which this season also included organza options, nodding to elevating temperatures everywhere, something the sustainability-minded designer knows all too well.
Ivory linen tailoring had a pleasingly raw texture, including a trenchcoat that was inset with silk chiffon pleats, making it breezy and light. Light also was an ivory silk, caped-back gown readymade for the red carpet when it returns, while a black contoured-to-the-waist dress with origami-like, ruched leather cap sleeves was more witchy woman.
Tapping into the sheer trend, Hearst’s crochet knits were embroidered with tiny glass beads, or scrap leather pieces. Meanwhile, a constellation of recycled sequins was woven into a wool base on a black off-shoulder gown. Another handcraft, a fil-coupe feathered technique, created organic swirl borders on duchess satin capes and dresses in ivory and black.
Ready-to-wear has gained a 65 percent share in Hearst’s business. She also recently launched her first perfumes selling in her New York store only, in a limited edition of 300. And when they are gone, they’re gone.
“I think you have to own the verticality of your perfume. It’s important to have that control from an image perspective,” she said. “I could go to a big guy, but it’s not true to the luxury we are trying to create.”
Launch Gallery: Gabriela Hearst RTW Spring 2024
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