Meet The Designer: Rachel Gilbert
Meet The Designer: Rachel Gilbert

Meet The Designer: Rachel Gilbert

Loved by A-listers across the globe, Rachel Gilbert’s feather embellishments and dramatic silhouettes have made her work the epitome of modern opulence. Here, the Sydney-based designer tells us how she started, how event dressing has evolved – and her style rules for party season.
By Emma Bigger

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I created Rachel Gilbert around a vision of women and what they represent. I had just come back from living in New York, and I wanted to cultivate a space for women to feel confident, empowered and strong in what they are wearing. There’s nothing quite like putting on a dress or an outfit that makes you feel amazing. 

The eveningwear space has exponentially evolved as people use fashion to self-express. We live in an era when everything is constantly changing and every season there is an organic evolution. There are certain aspects of the brand’s DNA that will always remain consistent, but there will always be growth. We’ve welcomed drama into our silhouettes, along with the expansion of evening separates. But we always come back who ‘she’ is, where she is going, and what she hopes to feel when she tries on a Rachel Gilbert piece. 

We strive to be a brand that welcomes the NATURAL SHAPES AND CURVES OF WOMEN.

The Rachel Gilbert aesthetic is bold, timeless and sophisticated. We take a dramatic silhouette and add signature details like ostrich feathers or embellishment. The craftsmanship in each piece is noticeable from afar. We embrace a subtle maximalism across shape and structure, transforming a typically minimal piece to inspire our audience to truly dress for the occasion. We strive to be a brand that welcomes the natural shapes and curves of women, with pieces that support them through internal structure and silhouettes that flatter. 

The current collection is about energy and colour. We wanted to create a collection that inspired and excited our customers. Resort 23 was a bold reinvention of our signature silhouettes. We revisited our roots and updated the shapes with a modern twist. It was a mix of welcoming the past to the future and creating pieces to have for a lifetime.

I have an amazing team who are innately creative. We work so well together. We start broad and conceive the collection in terms of a feeling, a vibe and an overarching vision. We look to architecture, art and landscapes for inspiration and colour palettes, and land with a vision. Everything flows from there. It could be a small detail that triggers a whole collection, a swatch or a particular art piece I’ve seen. Inspiration is truly everywhere.

I love that individuals gravitate to our pieces with such a genuine affinity. We often hear stories of the monumental moments in their life and it means so much they have chosen a Rachel Gilbert style to make memories in. This feeling is magnified when I see A-listers in my dresses. They have the pick of any designer they wish, so when they choose one of my designs it’s particularly humbling. It was an honour seeing Nicole Kidman and more recently Chrissy Teigen in my dresses.

The perfect party dress is hard to translate into one formula, but I think finding a silhouette that works for you and accessorising to complement the look is key. A bold silhouette always works for special events, and it’s important to match personality and energy. 

There is much more flexibility now when it comes to event dressing. There are certainly some events that have their own dress code – whether that be black tie, cocktail or smart casual – but the event landscape has transformed to allow some flexibility. Black tie to me is a floor-length gown and going above and beyond. Anything with a little bit of drama but always elegant and chic.

We look to ARCHITECTURE, ART AND LANDSCAPES for inspiration..

My personal style is minimal. I look for investment pieces I can wear effortlessly. I love structure like a beautifully crafted blazer or well-tailored pants. My everyday jewellery, accumulated over the years, ties it all together. If I have an event to attend, I look for pieces that do the work for me. Fit is everything. I love quality and look for statement in the details. 

I have always strived to continue learning – whether it be through a business mentor, reading, or looking to women in business in surrounding industries. I have had many mentors over the years, some just being wonderful friends. The Australian fashion industry has a wonderful energy between the brands; we truly champion each other's successes.

To see more of Rachel’s designs, visit


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