With a sweeping stroke of genius, Gabriela Hearst will soon bid adieu to her tenure at Chloé, marking the end of an era at the esteemed Richemont-owned brand. Amid preparations for her final bow in Paris, the revered designer took a moment to reflect on her journey and share a glimpse into the magic she’s been conjuring for her namesake label. From the ancient Druids to modern-day couture, Hearst’s upcoming Spring/Summer 2024 collection embodies a seamless fusion of history, spirituality, and artistry.
For Gabriela Hearst, the preservation of craft is paramount. Despite the whirlwind of international travel and the demands of running her own label, Hearst remains fiercely committed to supporting artisans and ensuring the survival of traditional crafts. This commitment is evident in her latest collection, which pays homage to the ancient Druids – a high-ranking priestly class that held women in high esteem.
Inspired by her research into high priestesses and witches, Hearst collaborated with Haitian artist Levoy Exil and a Bolivian cooperative to create intricate macramé knits. The result is a collection that transcends the boundaries between fashion and art. “It took 31 artisans more than 5,000 hours to make the pieces in the show. The white macramé poncho alone took 1,500 hours,” Hearst revealed, acknowledging the dedication of her clients who appreciate the value of custom-made couture pieces.
The Spring/Summer 2024 collection showcases Hearst’s signature luxurious silk wool suiting, alongside new organza options – a nod to the rising temperatures affecting the globe. Sustainability, a core tenet of Hearst’s philosophy, is woven into every facet of the collection. Ivory linen tailoring exudes a raw, natural texture, while silk chiffon pleats add a touch of breezy lightness. Ethereal ivory silk gowns are juxtaposed with black dresses adorned with origami-like, ruched leather cap sleeves, tapping into the sheer trend with a witchy twist.
Hearst’s crochet knits, embroidered with tiny glass beads or scrap leather pieces, echo the collection’s sustainable ethos. Recycled sequins, woven into a wool base, illuminate a black off-shoulder gown, while a fil-coupe feathered technique creates organic swirl borders on duchess satin capes and dresses.
Ready-to-wear now accounts for 65 percent of Hearst’s business, and the designer recently ventured into the world of fragrance, launching her first perfumes in a limited edition of 300, available exclusively at her New York store. “I think you have to own the verticality of your perfume. It’s important to have that control from an image perspective,” Hearst expressed, emphasizing the importance of authenticity in luxury.
©Photo: Gabriela Hearst