“There is a need in the vision to go deeper, more personal, more human.To support the craft, the collective, the spirit that bonds us. The re-emergence of the community that understands that the power is in the collective and not in the individual. That anything done for the collective is not only more rewarding but also enjoyable than just satisfying the self. Recognizing the interconnectivity that not only empowers us but will be our saving grace.”
Gabriela Hearst Resort 2022.
It’s been a long 15 months of Zoom appointments. That’s partly why a showroom visit to Gabriela Hearst’s office felt like an adrenaline kick, but what it really comes down to is the designer herself. I’m not the only one to observe that Hearst is a force of nature. She took on the creative director duties of Chloé in December and has been shuttling between New York and Paris ever since. Resort is the first full season she completed after the appointment, and she confessed she was concerned about pulling it together.
She needn’t have worried. The 38-look lineup, which includes some men’s pieces, appears anything but dashed off. Hearst is making some of New York’s most finely wrought clothes: a double-face cashmere coat finished with a hem of sacred geometry lace, a dress embellished at the neckline with colorful agates left over from her pandemic-interrupted spring collection, a long linen shift with macramé chakanas inset at the chakras, a leather coat in earthy tones assembled like marquetry, and cashmere sweaters intarsia’d with famous North and South American sites from Yellowstone to Machu Picchu.
Those are just the more obvious details. Meanwhile, her efforts around sustainability are ongoing. A jean jacket and its matching flares were patchworked in a rainbow of four different shades of deadstock denim. The collection is 49% upcycled or deadstock material, close to her stated goal of 50% for 2021. The biggest advances might be in her footwear. Sandals with deep cork beds are a guaranteed hit—the cork is harvested without cutting down trees and it can biodegrade. There are also boots made with natural rubber soles and espadrille flatforms built on a base of algae-derived foam that cuts down on plastic.
Hearst talks about the couture-level embellishments and the nitty-gritty of responsible design with the same enthusiasm. But she’s most passionate about her many collaborators, from her daughter Mia, who painted the rainbow eyes that appear on some silk separates to the New York artisans whose workmanship on the collection’s macramé-inset shifts she says rivals anything in Paris. She would know.
By Nicole Phelps
The Jipitecas were the followers of the counterculture avant-garde movement called “La Onda” (The Wave). It started in the 1960’s with a literary focus which quickly grew into multidisciplinary outlets. “La Onda” promoted issues of Women’s Rights, Ecology, Spirituality, Artistic Freedom, Decriminalization of drug use and Democracy. The PRI political party at that time governed Mexico with a tight grip and used a combination of corporatism, co-option and at times violent repression to hold power.
ABOUT THE COLLECTION
There is a need in the vision to go deeper, more personal, more human. To support the craft, the collective, the spirit that bonds us. The re-emergence of the community that understands that the power is in the collective and not in the individual. That anything done for the collective is not only more rewarding but also enjoyable than just satisfying the self. Recognizing the interconnectivity that not only empowers us but will be our saving grace.
The RTW collection is made out of 49% deadstock and upcycled materials.
DETAILS & TECHNIQUES
The Lace is custom-made and based on the geometry of the Mitla Ruins (located on Monte Alban). We applied it to recycled cashmere and dead stock cotton poplin pieces. The Xicalcoliuhqui motif was used specifically in the spiral wave aspect of the design. We based our crochet appliques and embroideries on the Birth of Moon drawings - lines connecting the phases of the moon. Using the elements of the Earth, Moon and Wondering Planet to construct a Chakana – Inca geometry representing the multi levels of existence.
We created multi-dimensional buttons found on our leather aprons – a mix of enamel, leather and recycled wood. The marquetry leather skirt and shirt in earthy tones came from the footwear inspiration. The hand-knotted silk macrame tunic and skirt use a technique that was reimagined from the leather goods, tote, pouch and water bottle holders. Agate crochet bibs are applied on cashmere deadstock dresses and in knitted tunics.LANDSCAPE SWEATERS
Growing up in South America, I was brought up with the concept that an America that is united would be the ideal to aspire to. These sweaters have landscape images of Machu Picchu, Teotihuacan, Yellowstone and Aspen.
The sole of our Harry Boots are made of Lactae Hevea, a natural rubber derived from the milk of a Hevea tree. They are handmade by craftsmen skilled in this centuries-old technique. The soles have slight visual imperfections that are proof of their authenticity. The heels of the espadrilles sandals and slides, as well as the sole of the Plateau slide are made of natural cork. Cork can be ethically harvested without cutting down a tree and allows for regrowth in the area of harvest. Instead of plastic, cork is used as the interior support for this heel. Cork is a biodegradable material.
We have also incorporated bloom foam technology, which is a process of converting algae (30% biomass by weight) into a workable foam product. Incorporating this material into the sole of our shoes reduces the amount of plastic or rubber historically utilized. The algae are harvested from Lake Taj in China as an environmental restoration project.
This season was an exercise of precision in closures and hardware. Mabel Cross body and phone holders were inspired from old sideboards with the wooden doors that slide round the back. The metal work is solid, faceted and features the 3 natural elements: stone, metal and leather. The lock on the Marvelle satchel and Larry Flat Pouch evolved from the seat belt buckle from our past collections and it is reminiscent of a briefcase lock. The Mcewan Tote is our first East West tote, in leather and cashmere.
Bangles and rings are handmade by artisans in Germany with our custom 18KT Rose Gold and Vitreous Enamel. We have opted for this glass enameling process as it is hand painted and fired in order to build up its dimensionality of the glass in multiple layers.