The Aesthete: Gabriela Hearst talks personal taste

Sustainability and supreme quality underpin Gabriela Hearst’s elegant designs, from her own flock’s finest merino jumpers to glamorous Met Ball gowns

Gabriela Hearst at home in New York
Gabriela Hearst at home in New York | Image: Weston Wells

My personal style signifier is a well-tailored suit in a beautiful cloth. My favourite was made by Timothy Everest two years ago. It’s midnight-blue herringbone in a soft wool/silk and can look good day or evening. I wore it to the Met Ball: I’m tall and like the masculine perspective on femininity. From £1,200;

Baracuta Harrington jacket, £295
Baracuta Harrington jacket, £295

The last item of clothing I bought and loved was a beige Baracuta Harrington jacket like the one Steve McQueen wore. It’s the coolest casualwear for New York in the autumn, when rain is always a possibility. £295;  


And the item of clothing I’m eyeing next is a corseted double-breasted blazer from my own collection. The prototype fitted me so well I can’t wait for it to come back from production. £2,295;

Hearst’s gold Hellenistic earring, $2,500
Hearst’s gold Hellenistic earring, $2,500 | Image: Weston Wells

A recent “find” is Hixenbaugh Ancient Art gallery in New York, which I stumbled upon wandering around Chelsea. It has Ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman and pre-Columbian art and artefacts – some relatively accessible. I bought a wonderful gold Hellenistic earring from the third century BC. It looks so modern I wear it a lot; it was $2,500 well spent. 537A West 23rd St, New York, NY 10011 (+1212-989 9743;

Her mismatched cuffs from Hemmerle
Her mismatched cuffs from Hemmerle | Image: Weston Wells

The accessories I’ll keep to pass on are a mismatched pair of cuffs by Hemmerle – one for each of my twin daughters: one is olive wood with pavé ruby tips; the other is ironwood with brown diamonds. 

The gift given to her by Alexandre de Betak
The gift given to her by Alexandre de Betak | Image: Weston Wells

The beauty staple I’m never without is Mexican tuberose perfume by Parisian brand Buly. It’s water-based and fresher than most iterations of this ingredient, but it’s long-lasting too. I wear it year round. €130 for 75ml eau triple;

Eau Triple Buly 1803 Tubéreuse du Mexique, €130 for 75ml
Eau Triple Buly 1803 Tubéreuse du Mexique, €130 for 75ml

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Portugal. My mother’s family were from there before they migrated to Brazil, then Uruguay, six generations ago. The culture and lifestyle seemed so familiar I instantly felt at home. I fell in love with Lisbon, its history, the Old Town and all the little shops selling handcrafted embroidered linen, silver and porcelain.


And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a silver paper knife from Leitão & Irmão, an elegant jewellery and silverware shop in Lisbon that dates back to the late 18th century – it was the crown jeweller. The quality and craftwork are beautiful. Largo do Chiado 17, 1200-176 Lisbon (+35121-325 7870; 

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Aoyama in Tokyo. As well as interesting Japanese brands, it has all the familiar designer labels – but the edit is different from anywhere else. My favourites are Dover Street Market, with a huge list of established and new names; Loveless, for edgy Japanese labels; Drawer for refined womenswear; and Itoya for all things stationery. Dover Street Market, Komatsu W, 6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku 104-0061 (+813-6228 5080; Drawer, 1F 5-12-4 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku 107-0062 (+813-5464 0226). Itoya, 2-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku 104-0061 (+813-3561 8311; Loveless, 3-17-11 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku 107-0062 (+813-3401 2301; 

The last meal that truly impressed me was at El Paraguas in Madrid, where the jamón Ibérico and pan con tomate were beyond compare. It’s not a fancy place, but the food and service are sophisticated – and it’s comforting at the same time. Calle de Jorge Juan 16, 28001 Madrid (+34914-315 950;

The best gift I’ve received recently is a handmade wooden tray with 15 small vases, each containing a different flower and with a word on the bottom; together they form a message. It’s so beautifully made and well chosen – typical of Alexandre de Betak, my show collaborator, who gave it to me.

My favourite websites are for dream homes all over the world – I’ve lived in so many places in my mind; for breaking news, although I turn off the notifications as I don’t want to be alerted to disasters all the time; and because it’s very objective.

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