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Gabriela Hearst: FLOTUS – Dr. Jill Biden’s “Unity” dress by Uruguayan designer

Gabriela Hearst (maiden name Perezutti) whose designs have been worn by Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, Angelina Jolie and many other prominent figures — was part of this week’s historic inauguration fashions.

“Born in Uruguay, Gabriela grew up on her family’s 17,000-acre ranch, Santa Isabel in Paysandu, surrounded by horses, cattle and sheep, where the notion of luxury meant things were beautifully crafted and made to last.

After more than a decade spent in design in New York, Gabriela honored her family’s heritage through the launch of her eponymous label in Fall 2015, as well as taking over the operations of her father’s ranch in Uruguay. She wanted to create a brand that reflects a slower pace and process: where things are made with care and detail, where tradition is more important than trend, where there is a purpose to every piece. ” [GabrielaHearst.com]

There’s this idea that nothing can go to waste when you’re in a remote areayou’re always thinking twice and repurposing everything.” – Gabriela Hearst [Modesens intv. Feb. 2020]

Gabriela’s goal is to achieve maintaining a high end, environmentally conscious, fashion design line. Her stores are built without synthetics or chemicals and no new materials. She has also managed to go plastic-free with the use of compostable TIPA packaging and introducing recycled cardboard hangers. In September of 2019, Hearst hit another eco milestone as she produced the first ever carbon neutral runway show.

Hearst studio is based in New York but the Merino wool for her garments comes from the sheep on the family ranch and she also supports Manos de Uruguay, a 48 year old non-for-profit co-op and supplier of handmade products in Uruguay that is run, and operated by, rural female artisans.

As the previous administration didn’t believe in climate change nor supporting green renewable energy, it was a welcomed turning of the tide that incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, chose to go with Gabriela – a designer who she has worn on several occasions – to create a symbolic and also eco-friendly dress for the evening festivities of Inauguration Day.

Hearst posted on social media and gave beautiful details about her inspiration in creating the First Lady’s exquisite design:

“The message of Unity is the main inspiration for the creation of the Ensemble. Unity makes strength and it is needed for the road ahead. The blooming symbol to represent this message are the federal flowers from every state and territory of the United States of America. The flowers are embroidered into the cashmere coat on the hem line in an pattern that rises organically on the side’s seams. On the dress, the embroidery is placed on the silk organza neckline and arms…

The Delaware flower is positioned at the heart level of The First Lady, from there, all the other flowers branch out. The pieces were made entirely in New York City. The Embroidery and Coat were crafted in the garment district and the dress was assembled at the in-house studio.

[continued] … Each flower took approximately two-four hours to embroider. Careful placements and color selections were carefully studied for weeks. Inside of the coat, representing the lifelong calling and service of Dr. Biden as an educator is a hand embroidery on the lining with a quote from Founding Father Benjamin Franklin  “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

The materials used were existing available fabrics to minimize the impact on the environment” – Gabriela Hearst via Instagram

How exciting to know that Dr. Biden’s dress will become part of the First Ladies Museum, and we will be able to celebrate the fact that this beautiful ensemble was designed and constructed by a LATINA!


read our full profile piece on ALL the Latinx talent behind Inauguration Day fashions: click here

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