Making fashion sustainable is first and foremost an energy issue, which is why Gabriela Hearst spent her first two years at Chloé focusing on materials, from fibers to garments. There won’t be a cotton logo tee under her watch.
For the spring 2024 pre-collection, the brand’s collection notes cite “a more subtle and abstract stance centered on ideas of consciousness, circularity, and timelessness.” concept.” It added that these values were “expressed holistically, both on an aesthetic and technical level.”
In keeping with his straightforward demeanor, Hirst expresses himself more succinctly. “This collection is about mixing and matching the most chic clothes, but what you see is garbage,” the creative director said with some glee in his Zoom showroom in New York. “Knowing it’s leftover crap makes me feel good.”
Not that anything about this outing even whispered “leftovers.” Quite the opposite. The result of a collaboration with denim specialist Adriano Goldschmied, its jeans are made from a proprietary fabric of 13% post-consumer cotton and % hemp. What looks like denim isn’t necessarily denim: the shearling-collared jacket shown here with matching flared trousers is actually made of suede.
Hearst’s favorite category, knitwear, is another staple. It showed up in an elegant fringed suit, or in a merino wool dress with tulip sleeves and a botanical lace mid-waist, which might turn the cutouts off. Designed for curves and ease of movement, low-impact wool ribbed knits feature jewel-like chains at the seams, an element that returns on black hourglass jackets or wool coats. A collaboration with social enterprise Manos del Uruguay produced pieces such as a wool jacquard cardigan with multicolored threads.
In the evening, the designer paid homage to Karl Lagerfeld’s Quarter-Chloé tenure of the century, previewed at the Met Gala last month. The bespoke column dress worn by Maude Apatow in deadstock silk crepe with hand-embroidered arrow motifs was reiterated in coats, dresses with swooping arrows in the back, as well as bags, shoes and jewelry. Not shown here was another nod, a long version of the guitar dress based on the one Hearst wore on the red carpet.
Alongside these statement numbers comes a range of deep, luxuriously chic, sharply tailored garments in a neutral palette of beige, black and navy. These show Hirst’s mastery of Thomas Crown-ian dressing, which women everywhere may have struggled to find in recent years. Black wool cape coats with gold buttons, denim and shearling jackets, shearling fur coats or cropped chocolate leather jackets make solid cases for no-gimmick long-term investment dressing.
“[In fashion], people sometimes forget that we provide a service, a beautiful and well-made service,” the designer observes. “Nobody really needs what we make.” Chloé fans will beg to differ when the collection hits the shelves.