Paris Fashion Week: Hipster Hermès
A major injection of hipness into Hermès this season, and all the better for it. Almost as if the Hermès lady had moved to a loft in Brooklyn or an art gallery in Hackney, or was working on a novel in Ostiense, in Rome. Downtown with a dash of devilment.
Using innovative cutting and a sleek series of new leather styles, the house’s designer, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, knocked a good decade off the brand’s target market for Spring/Summer 2022. And somehow made the brand that much more relevant.
Hermès is all about discreet luxury, but this was a new discretion with a soupçon of verve and a rich helping of panache.
From scalloped-neckline negligee dresses with studded hems to skillfully rouched glove leather cocktails whispering refinement, but with a dash of rock. While studded fine wool double-breasted coat-dresses injected a little posh punk.
The designer’s big idea this season was playing with leather trim on some great gathered jute dresses and white canvas parkas, keeping the house's equestrian DNA.
Plus, the new Hermès platform sandal – made of foam and finished with logoed monkish straps – could be worn anywhere, stylish yet practical. Made in caramel or black and paired with matching socks they imparted a tougher attitude to Hermès, which can at times be a tad too ladylike and uptight.
Not this season, where Nadège even sent out wool bustiers and a leather bra with stenciled equestrian scenes, worn with matching dhotis. Finishing the show with several marvelous perforated leather dresses and highwayman coats in the prettiest of butter yellows.
All shot inside a hangar within a private jet terminal in Le Bourget, the historic airport of Paris. One side of the hangar opened at the finale, to reveal the two-score of cast standing before the airfield. To attend, Hermès insisted everyone take their limousines to the show, and then instructed drivers to play their Bourget playlist in the cars.
A triumph for Vanhee-Cybulski and a significant step forward for Hermès. A day not even spoiled by the fashion pandemonium outside the show, as VIPs and influencers begged tearfully for limousines in the rain. With the award for the biggest panic attack going to one twitching Italian editor. About time he took the E train to Park Slope.
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