There were no distractions at Gabriela Hearst’s immaculate spring show (not counting the bountiful lunch buffet to the side, a happy pre- and postshow diversion). The white SoHo gallery was blank but for copper-wrapped columns. The looks were exactingly styled by Camilla Nickerson, who stripped away the superfluous so each garment, shoe, bag and, yes, fine jewelry — a new category launch — was crystal-clear, more so than ever.
Hearst is a perfectionist with the highest luxury standards, and the wherewithal and tenacity to achieve them. She makes it look easy, and perhaps that’s why her work is resonating. Though certainly rarefied, her collection is attainable, grounded in reality. The fine lines and restraint of her clothes belie the romantic, intellectual backstories and intensive fabric development that take the clothes from concept to commerce. Fueling spring’s minimalist femininity was the creative relationships between Maria Kodama and Jorge Luis Borges and Salvador and Gala Dalí, which she admires for their unconditional artist/muse devotion. “When you go on these creative journeys for a collection, there’s a lot of magic that happens,” explained Hearst during a preview. “It’s almost like invoking certain spirits.”
By her own admission, Hearst was moved to “feminine mode.” Suits done in a combination of wool, linen and silk came in pink. Tailoring, shirting and dresses were outfitted with corsets. In general, there were more dresses, including a cool, color-blocked satin-faced linen bias slip; many painstakingly pleated styles, such as the Japanese poplins that opened the show, and the silk cady beauties dotted with real freshwater pearls that closed.
Hearst summoned the spirits of the Prado masterpieces — “The Descent From the Cross” by Rogier van der Weyden; “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch, and “Christ Presented to the People” by Quinten Massys — for her palette of neutrals enlivened by deep cobalt, blush and pink, as well as the new jewelry offering. The rings and chain necklaces in the latter directly inspired Hearst’s pieces, all done in 18-karat gold, the rings set with malachite marble, lapis lazuli and tiger eye. She’s launching them the same way she did her handbags — by request. The gods answered. After posting a photo of the rings on Instagram last week, she already has some orders.