Gabriele Hackworthy describes her personal style simply as “boy meets girl”, which is a fairly minimalist view of her Seventies flavoured oeuvre that nods to legendary flare-wearers like Bianca Jagger and the windswept scarf-and-tresses vibes of the bohemian YSL muses of yesteryear.
Those murmurs from the past are inflected in the clothes Gab chose to wear for our shoot, including that fantastic paisley print chiffon blouse by Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga (“it’s ten years old but I still love it”, she says). She also wears a black vest by Stella McCartney, an embroidered peasant blouse by Isabel Marant and black shorts by Chloe – and all three are available from what is ostensibly her office.
In the world of fashion publishing (and life), she has a day job that would make even the most high-spirited employee deranged with envy. Official title/s: Editorial Fashion Director at Net-A-Porter and she’s also Fashion Director of the website’s lovely print iteration, PORTER. According to our mental calculations, that amounts to a shitload of time spent with really, really, really gorgeous clothing.
Gab says she knew she wanted to work in fashion “from the time I was old enough to dress myself”.
Now based in London, Gab originally hails from Australia and did a three-year tenure as Fashion Director of Vogue Australia before pursuing international posts for Vogue China and UK Harper’s Bazaar.
“I love working with talented people who put their heart and soul into everything they do,” she says, explaining what it is about the fashion industry that continues to keep her enamoured after more than 15 years up to her neck in it.
“It’s one of the most creative and inspiring industries to work in. I also have a rather short attention span, so the fast pace suits me well.”
With the limited attention span spent telling stories through style, her beauty strategy is in line with the less-is-more school of thought. “Beauty for me is about simplicity,” she explains. “I don’t really make huge fashion statements with make-up or hair, I prefer a more effortless look.
When it comes to statements she tends to let the clothing do the talking. Her most treasured wearable item is a Celine leopard print coat, for example. And despite the myriad designers and big brands she interacts with on a daily basis, she’s quick to name her favourites.
“Nicolas Ghesquiere and Phoebe Philo, hands down, are the most influential designers on the planet right now. I love everything they do.”
Coming from someone with credentials like Gabriele Hackworthy, that should be taken as gospel.
Photographed by Kelly Geddes
Words by Susannah Tucker