Gabriela Hearst recycles fabrics and telling ideas
The 'it-word' of fashion these past few years is sustainability, even if -- despite their multiple press releases -- most brands and designers just pay lip service to the idea.
Not Gabriela Hearst, who almost alone among the 400-odd designers who will stage runway shows over the four-week international catwalk season, actually grew up in the countryside.
Actually, on a ranch in her native Uruguay, which gave her latest show all that more credibility. It was staged in a small maze of walls of upcycled paper bales that a recycling facility in Brooklyn had transformed from her own company’s waste.
Practically, every look had a recycled component – most notably the recycled cashmere yarns used in two superlative, loosely woven columns at the finale. Hearst even revamped Turkish carpets to become very cool, gothic paisley dusters.
But, in the key test, this collection was also very wearable. Hearst passed that test with flying colors, especially with her great cashmere corduroy mannish pants suits, which shall be hyper influential.
All staged on the most inclusive cast in New York; from funky afro-haired black beauties, to Amazonia goddesses, to waspy princesses. In a show in a disused West Village gallery, where on each seat, guests found soft ecru sleep masks made from upcycled cashmere and soft wool batting. Fashion that managed to be languid yet assertive, rather like Gabriela Hearst herself.
“The premise of the collection was to devise further techniques where we could work with waste that would not compromise the quality or aesthetic values of our company,” explained Hearst, in her notes.
Post-show, the Uruguayan creator staged a friends-and-family party nearby at Café Altro Paradiso, outside of which stood a new bronze statue of General José Artigas, the national hero of Uruguay, a great Federalist and a supporter of the ideas of Thomas Paine. That philosopher’s ideas of transnational human rights have rarely been more needed than today, and Hearst, even if just through fashion, expressed the very same ideas of the Enlightenment and tolerance with this collection.
They may only be clothes, but all together this made for a powerful and very relevant statement.
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