Hermès: Reined-in Romanticism
The genius is always in the details chez Hermès, especially when it comes to considering any collection by Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski.
The materials are probably the most noble of any luxury brand; they reek rich, even if the whole point of Hermès is understated chic. That fundamental contradiction is always at the heart of every Hermès show, sometimes greatly complicating matters, other times subtly brought into balance, as it was Saturday evening in Nadège's impressive fall 2019 collection.
Especially as the details were flawless in this show, staged inside the HQ of the Garde Républicaine, home of the cavalry regiment of the gendarmerie.
"Classicism, where classicism is to be modern, injected with sharp eccentricity," said the designer after unveiling a collection bristling with equestrian references. Bridle reins sewn down the sides of pencil skirts, deerskin tunic dress sleeves trimmed with saddle buckles, voluminous down coats finished with stirrups.
Dressage bodysuits with a dash of hauteur and a romantic frisson; bold sandy suede Girl on a Motorcycle suits – biker jacket and pants done with pony catches. Jet-black or fawn suede skirts and coats dusted with pearls, or goatskin pencil skirts topped with harness belts.
For evening, horsey silk scarves cut into tunics and cocktail dresses ever so faintly aged. Throughout, subtle changes made all the difference; where turning the classy logo H from brushed steel into white enamel is a major statement.
In a word, Vanhee-Cybulski’s best collection for the house; very much a designer on an upward curve.
Everything is meant to be flawless at a Hermès event. From the perfectly formed oval auditorium, with a half-dozen bleacher seats, covered in the house’s iconic soft beiges and hard oranges. The surrounding walls, an exterior skein in wooden lattice; the soundtrack a beautiful remix of soaring David Bowie tracks.
"What I love about this set is that it looks as if it has been built to stay," proudly beamed show producer Etienne Russo, summing up rather neatly the whole ethos of this classy maison.
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