Gabriela Hearst was taking resort appointments last Wednesday, the day the New York sky turned a dystopian shade of orange. It made her study of the ancient Druid culture all the more poignant. “I’ve been asking myself where did society take a wrong turn,” she explained, hinting that it may have been when the Romans wiped out the Druids. Reading from a book on the subject by Peter Berrsford Ellis, she said, “the Romans based their laws on private ownership of land with property rights entirely vested on the head of the family, while the Druids always considered ownership collective.”
What if we had evolved as a species that respected natural resources because we understood that the natural world and the human one are not distinct, but deeply interconnected? There’s always lots to chew on with Hearst, even if the connection between her research and her collection isn’t necessarily apparent, beyond her commitment to using responsibly sourced and sustainable materials, that is.
Resort finds her iterating on her design signatures. The most eye-catching development is the metal hardware that accents otherwise unadorned, even austere dresses. The hardware trims a circular cut-out at the hipbone of a long-sleeved style and encircles one bicep on a strapless dress. These are evolutions of runway numbers through whose side cut-outs you could see sculpted metal panniers. Other special occasion dresses combined the simplicity of a t-shirt on top and a long narrow skirt with graceful draping at the hips.
The pleasures of Hearst’s clothes encompass the visual, but equally, if not more, important is the way they feel on the body. She earns the term “quiet luxury.” This season that quality came across most distinctly on a cashmere knit dress whose hand knit aran pattern changed from neckline to midi-length hem, giving it its feminine hourglass shape.
This article was originally published on Vogue Runway.