Front Row

Gabriela Hearst FW23: On Minimalism & Legacy

For the Fall/Winter 2023 season, designer Gabriela Hearst draws inspiration from the early 20th-century Irish artist, architect, and furniture designer Eileen Gray. Channeling Gray’s severe and simplified aesthetic, Hearst crafts a collection reflecting both artistry and functionality.

The line offers a balanced blend of masculine tailoring, textured sets, soft leather apparel, and a series of unique knits. These knits stand out with their bold color palette and strategic cut details, echoing the hues and craftsmanship found in Gray’s weaving creations. Hearst’s leather pieces include meticulously crafted trenches and handbags that mirror Gray’s lacquered wood screens, employing a combination of symmetrical and overlapping squares. The collection also features metallic accents that add a touch of evening glamour.

Hearst’s fascination with Gray’s geometric approach is manifested in the use of angular and square-focused designs. This theme pervades various items, from cashmere knit dresses to lacquered tote bags. The leather garments in this collection are notable for their beauty and complexity, with designs that again draw from Gray’s square screen works.

The story of Eileen Gray’s relatively obscured life and her posthumous acclaim, including a record-setting auction sale of one of her chairs, further influenced Hearst’s design direction. Elements of Gray’s furniture designs are evident in bags constructed from interwoven leather squares.

The materials used for the structure are from deadstock/leftover from previous projects. The reflective floor will be donated to the Materials for the Arts – a creative reuse center working with public schools and arts centers. The structure itself will be reused by Gabriela Hearst for a future installation.

Hues such as Mediterranean blue and fiery red are used to highlight cuts in certain garments, and understated finale dresses subtly nod to the chrome used in Gray’s revolutionary E-1027 table. Gray’s pioneering use of the material, even before famed architects like Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, finds resonance in Hearst’s collection.

In encapsulating Gray’s timelessness, Hearst rounds out the collection with her signature minimal tailoring and substantial cashmere knits, suitable for both men and women. The collection also marks a collaboration with Tricker’s, the renowned British shoemaker, blending history, art, and fashion into a coherent homage to a creative pioneer.

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