Gabriela Hearst’s Chloé looks a little different. A little less reliant on unbridled femininity. A little more respectful of nature.
Eagle-eyed followers of Chloé’s Instagram were perplexed when the fashion house’s grid began looking more like glossy pages neatly severed from the folds of a National Geographic magazine.
It’s not product that defines Hearst’s Chloé debut. Instead of handbags tethered to antique-gold hardware and dreamy, romantic frocks ridged with tendrils of lace, Chloé’s brand-new visual narrative — courtesy of images created by Zoë Ghertner and art-directed by Peter Miles — plunges into close-ups of nature. Of insects and plants and fruits and petals and the minutiae of everyday creatures that inhales, exhales and repeats. A study into the pleats on the underbelly of tawny-brown fungi, rather than a pleated silk-twill skirt. Into the hexagonal geometry of saccharine-soaked honeycombs, rather than the honey-coloured mane of a poised-and-coiffed model.
There is reason for this “radical” shift in tone. In an interview, Hearst muses: “We have to go back to respecting products, we have to go back to respecting objects, but we cannot go back if we don’t respect the source that is giving it to us.”
“You will get to see bags and dresses,” she continued. “But there wouldn’t be bags and dresses if there were no bees.”
It’s specifically this profound respect for raw materials — the source; the appreciation of where things come from — that charts Hearst’s vision for a Chloé under her creative direction; a perspective that will undoubtedly come as no surprise for those familiar with Hearst’s own self-titled brand, which has always held true to ‘honest luxury’, a slower pace and a strong commitment to ethics and social good.
“One thing we’re looking for is clarity in this world,” Hearst says. “And so it was more clear to do it like this, and to celebrate nature in this first chapter.”
(Hero and gallery images courtesy of Chloé, Zoë Ghertner and Peter Miles)