Fashion designer Gabriela Hearst exits Chloe dancing, with runway swan song


Designer Gabriela Hearst (in the pink T-shirt) dances at the end of the Chloe fashion show during the Paris Fashion Week. Photo: AFP

In a bold departure from the sombre farewells often seen in fashion, designer Gabriela Hearst literally danced her way out of Chloe at her final show Thursday (Sept 28), radiating pure, unapologetic joy.

Rather than poignant goodbyes, Hearst opted for lively samba beats, leaving an indelible mark on the onlookers as she lithely pirouetted past guests carefree alongside one of Brazil's most reputed Samba schools.

It wasn’t just about an exit; it was a celebration.

And as the curtains drew on her Chloe chapter, Hearst’s pioneering green legacy remained in sharp focus.

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Swan song

Hearst, a designer renowned for exploring the boundaries of femininity, bid adieu to Chloe in spectacular style. Her final bow with the house celebrated minimalism and sportiness, weaving in her unmistakable touch of modernity.

Kicking off with a bright white, one-shouldered gown, ruffled in tight tiers, Hearst channeled the spirit of a sporty mermaid. The look was an ode to her mastery in blending freshness with restraint.

Hearst’s play on femininity took us on a journey of texture and form in refined botanical-inspired silhouettes.

Employing geometric ruching on exaggerated shoulders, she showcased surreal tubular shapes reminiscent of the enveloping flowers of the calla lily. The drama heightened with pants, cinched at the waist by a stark black rope.

The shimmering silver dress, poised for the disco, with its round historical sleeves and a stiff skirt, whispered of her affinity for pared-back elegance and the beauty found in the details of plants and flowers.

For colours, Hearst leaned into an on-trend monochrome palette, infiltrating the Chloe aesthetic with bursts of marigold, coral, and silver.

From ethereal white lace boho dresses to a stark black and white Pierrot bustier creation, each piece was a culmination of her vision of timeless femininity, echoing the radiant essence of nature in every stitch.

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Green legacy

As the fashion world saw off Hearst’s chapter at Chloe, the applause wasn’t just for her designs but also for her pioneering green vision.

Marking her final bow, Hearst didn’t just offer Chloe a creative facelift, she set it on an eco-conscious path less traveled by luxury brands.

In her brief yet monumental stint, Hearst infused Chloe with a duality of her Uruguayan-American heritage, delving deep into what femininity truly signifies in this age.

But it wasn’t just about designs. Under her helm, Chloe transformed into a beacon of sustainability.

Earning the first "B Corp" certification among European luxury brands, Hearst introduced forward-thinking solutions: eco-responsible materials, a revolutionary resale strategy, and climate-conscious collections.

From her keen understanding of femininity, as seen in her juxtaposition of softness and protectiveness, to her tribute to feminist icons like Artemisia Gentileschi, Hearst’s Chloe creative journey was memorable, despite sometimes receiving lukewarm critical receptions.

Yet it was her commitment to sustainability that truly set her apart.

A tale of joy, resilience, and responsibility, Hearst’s legacy at Chloe will be remembered not just for its aesthetic appeal but for its dedication to the planet. – AP

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