Rachel Gilbert

A Moment in Place with Rachel Gilbert

Physically, where are you right now? Are you at home, on holiday, in the office or elsewhere?

It’s 7.45am and I am in the studio getting ready to present the Resort 25 collection to the team this morning. I like to get to the studio early as I find that’s when I’m most creative.

How does your current environment inform your creative process and what is inspiring you right now?

When designing, the focus is on colour and the opulence of hand embellishment and the richness of textures, so when creating I like my surroundings to be minimal, clean with warm tones. Our HQ in Sydney has grand ceilings and whitewashed walls making the space light and airy. Textures of materials are neutral, natural tones and the oversized windows bathe the space in natural light making it a beautiful calm space to create in.

As a designer, you are known for your elegant design and exacting craftsmanship. From Ready-to-Wear to evening wear and bridal, there’s an inherent understanding of sophisticated drama expressed through the contrast of intricate detail against the structure of a strong silhouette. When it comes to curating your home and the design of your own interior, do you approach it through the same lens - championing moments of curiosity, detail and theatre - or is it more intuitive/heart-led or perhaps, driven by elements of both?

How I approach design and curate spaces around me is similar - I have always been drawn to elements that are timeless and elegant and like the collections we create, there is always a hint of drama and those unexpected details. There’s something deeply poetic about the way you design.

From weightless fabrics to rich velvet or the frivolity of feathers, your collections feel almost meditative - moving through seasons of texture as if they were the tapestry of a landscape you could journey through and explore. To what extent are you sensitive to and reflect on the patterns and palette of the natural world, and does it inspire your work?

The enjoyment clothing can give is always what is important to me when designing a collection. We are always working to create collections that women will connect with. Travel and culture is a strong source of inspiration and has always influenced how I design, giving a new energy and mood to a collection each season.

Rachel Gilbert Store at Emporium Melbourne

As a mother and a woman working in fashion, you embrace and celebrate forms that are deeply feminine. What does beauty mean to you, and what, in your experience, have been the biggest strengths of being a woman in business?

As a mother and woman in business dressing women of all shapes and forms, to truly have an innate understanding of what women want to feel and how they want the garment to feel when they wear it is at the core of how I design. Through the details of tailoring and draping fabrications, my intention is to create garments to make women feel confident, supported and empowered.

What have been some personal milestones that you have achieved outside the expectation or perceived expectation of others?

I think starting the business as a young woman and now being in a position to be able to create opportunities for other women in their career and support them in this is something I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do.

What have been some of your most profound personal challenges and have they ever informed your creative process or interrupted it?

There have been challenges along the way but I try not to focus too much on them, I think being in business you have to be resilient and keep on moving on. I’m always looking forwards and I think that optimism comes through in our collections.

What are your personal and creative rituals, if any?

I like to meditate, practice yoga and make time to be on my own to reenergise and keep centred. I find I am most creative in a private space where I can get lost in whatever I am working on.

What piece of wisdom currently resonates with you and how does it inform your approach to life right now?

I heard a great quote the other day that resonated with me. “If the door closes, find a window and climb through it” I am a strong believer in knowing there is always a solution, it is just about being open to look for another way.


Allard Ottoman Mustard


Vivi Dining Table Travertine


Cono Chair