Gabriela Hearst Adds Color to Her New, Ultra-Luxurious Namesake Line

The designer has gone in a more high-end direction, and it's starting to pay off.
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Chantal Fernandez
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The designer has gone in a more high-end direction, and it's starting to pay off.
A wool and tulle dress from Gabriela Hearst's spring 2016 collection. Photo: Gabriela Hearst.

A wool and tulle dress from Gabriela Hearst's spring 2016 collection. Photo: Gabriela Hearst.

Gabriela Hearst only debuted her namesake line in February, but the Uruguayan former model has been designing since 2004, when she launched the bohemian contemporary line Candela. "After doing it for so many years, now I'm doing it in the space where I can use the materials that I want," she said about the freedom of designing a luxury collection. Hearst presented her spring 2016 collection on Friday at lighting designer Lindsey Adelman's showroom on Great Jones. "It's like a whole box of colors is opening up to me." Color was the specific challenge Hearst set for herself in the spring collection, which she said she was apprehensive about exploring. "Colors can be a hit or miss, right?" she said. But Hearst is so meticulous about every piece she creates, it's hard to imagine her allowing any off-note pieces into the collection. The orangey reds she relied on the most still felt classic, almost like neutrals. A pink long lace dress was certainly bright, but consistent with the simply luxury of the rest of the pieces. 

The most stunning dress in the spring collection actually had no color at all. Hearst went to the laborious (i.e. expensive) trouble of embroidering tulle with wool on a dress that alternated the fabrics in wide bands. "It's very difficult to patch wovens with knits," said Hearst. "So to get that technique right, it takes a lot of trial and error because they don't lend themselves [to it], but we did a whole gown." The combination is also found near the bottom edge of a long cashmere poncho. 

In Hearst's third season (she also designed resort), exquisite fabrics continue to be her primary focus in addition to exact tailoring and considered details like hardware pieces on a waistband or a painted wooden boot heel. "I have certain goals and challenges that I want to see if I can hit, season by season," she said. "I just want to learn more, I always feel like I'm just starting, I always feel like I'm in the beginning." Critical reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, which Hearst says makes the time spent away from her children a bit easier — she just had a baby this summer as she was designing spring and working on the production of fall, available now exclusively at Barneys. With prices ranging from $300 for small accessories to $3,995 for a coat, her debut collection has only been for sale a few weeks, so it's still a bit early to say for sure whether there's a market for her considered, ultra-luxurious pieces. 

See the Gabriela Hearst spring 2016 collection below.