This season we collaborated with Haitian artist Levoy Exil.
Levoy is a celebrated Haitian artist known for his pivotal role in the Saint Soleil art movement. Beginning his artistic journey in 1972, he joined the Saint Soleil workshops initiated by the renowned artist Tiga in 1973. This groundbreaking experiment empowered mountain-dwelling peasants with no prior exposure to art to explore spirituality and creativity, garnering international attention.
In 1975, the influential French novelist and art historian André Malraux visited Saint Soleil, recognizing the artists as conduits for spiritual expression. He dedicated a chapter in his final book, “L’Intemporel,” to the Saint Soleil movement, featuring Levoy Exil’s artwork on the cover. Exil actively participated in Saint Soleil exhibits, collaborated on a homage to Malraux, and showcased his work at the World Theater Festival in Nancy, France in 1977. Exil’s artistic career transcended borders, captivating audiences worldwide.
His art delves deep into Haitian heritage and spirituality, drawing inspiration from Voodoo spirits and vivid dreams. Using Pointillism, he created intricate compositions pulsating with images of Voodoo Loas, celestial bodies, and avian creatures, all infused with rhythmic spirituality. Each brushstroke weaves a narrative of eyes, limbs, hair, and serpentine forms, evoking mystical, abstract energy.
We used Levoy Exil's painting as an inspiration for the macrame fabric. Everything Levoy paints has spiritual meaning for him in the voodoo tradition, which we were careful to maintain. He is known for using patchworks of bright colors and graphic patterns as the foundation of his paintings. For this collection, we translated them into a patchwork of textures, all in optic white.
The fabric came to life in the hands of masterful Bolivian artisans. They began by creating the outline of the spirits with hand crochet, then each shape was filled in with a variety of macrame and irregular woven stitches, woven by hand using a needle.
Each stitch, knot and weave was painstakingly hand crafted, taking 31 artisans over 5,000 hours to complete the group. The long poncho alone took 1,500 hours.
To create our beaded mesh styles, we start by custom making the yarn. Each glass bead is individually threaded onto silk and then spun with 100% cashmere to hold the beads in place. The yarn is then hand crocheted by artisans.
In order to recycle the leather leftover from our handbags, we have utilized the scraps as patches for our mesh and leather dress. The dress is hand crocheted in merino by artisans.
Our multi colored cascading stripes are meticulously hand crocheted by artisans, in a patchwork of stitches and colors.
Sharp silhouettes in pearlized and metallic nappa leather. Multi-layered, folded origami sleeves in leather on slim-fitting dress bodice forms.
Smocking in nappa Leather and signature aloe linen with both sculpted and graphic cut-out detailing.
Detailed silk Organza tailored forms that frame the silhouette.
A constellation of recycled sequins are woven into a wool base in a scattered pattern on sharply waisted, full-length silhouettes with off-the-shoulder necklines in contrast to fuller sleeves. Also found in our tailoring.
Silk-wool with a slub-surface texture is layered in contrast to a leather under- layer framed with blanket-stitch edge detailing. A multi-box pleat is also used to enhance this fabrication as it reveals sections of tonal silk chiffon.
Cashmere-linen textured gauze holds languid, stream-lined silhouettes with draped, flowing sleeves.
Intricate fil-coupe feathered technique on a duchess silk satin base creates an organic swirl border on capes and dresses in ivory and black.
Textured slub-linen is made up in traditionally-detailed and tailored trenches with sculpted, full sleeves.
Slouchy clutch bag in soft nappa leather with chain strap inspired by our fine jewelery necklaces and bracelets. The outer shell features an inverted ‘V’ pleat reminiscent of the folds on the Nina and Demi bags.
A more classically structured shoulder bag with a chain side detailed attached to a leather shoulder strap. The turn lock is an oversize version of that on our Nina and Demi bags.
This evening clutch is inspired by 1920’s vanity cases and early 80’s technology. It has a variety of natural stones including howlite and malachite. The body consists of three coloured metals—our house rose gold, 18k gold and nickel palladium all individually assembled using slotted head screws. It has a marble push button opening mechanism.
Leather tote with silk macrame details.
Sculptured footwear with color contrast and bold shapes on classic Gabriela Hearst silhouettes.
Wren platform sandal with biodegradable EVA sole with soft nappa straps and metal buckles in silver and rose gold.
Platform sandals with bold sculptured and graphic colored shapes in nappa leather leads to textured surfaces.
Metal ring detail in rose gold on almond toe shape bootie.
The jewelry this season features substantial, sculptural pieces made entirely of either 18K rose gold or sterling silver.
Solid cuffs, shapely hoop earrings and hinged collars are new, graphic propositions, whereas chunky chains in sterling silver are an evolution of gold versions that are signatures of our fine jewelry line.
Every piece was entirely made by hand in New York’s Diamond District by master craftsmen. From model making to casting and polishing, nothing was ever executed beyond the confines of Manhattan, making this truly local manufacture, transported from the workshop to the studio by foot. No coating or plating was used in the making of the jewelry, as plating employs chemicals that negatively impact the environment.
For the music of this show, Fito Páez, with enormous generosity, allowed us to use what is perhaps his most iconic composition, El Amor Después Del Amor . This version is included in the new 30th Anniversary Re-edition of his album, which is until today the highest selling record in Argentinian rock history.