The rotating doors of the fashion industry have once again ushered in a new crop of designers at top luxury brands, some of them well established and some of them no-name newcomers. Hermès was among several of the brands during Fashion Week that debuted a new Creative Director ― a 36-year-old woman named Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski who got her start at Maison Martin Margiela and also worked for The Row and Céline. Her pedigree is there, but household recognition is still a long way away for the young designer. Vanhee-Cybulski emerged from behind the scenes to helm the position of a well-known, luxury-goods house, but the change made for a fluid transition from designing understated elegant clothes in the shadows to doing the same work in front of a legion of brand admirers. It was not exactly a stretch for her to nail the Hermès aesthetic, as was evidenced by her excellent Fall/Winter 2015 presentation today.
Designing for an iconic leather-goods house (which started out as a saddlery company) means keeping plenty of leather and equestrian looks in the line-up, which Vanhee-Cybulski did by layering elegant molded-leather jackets over quilted parkas and fitted trousers at the start. She also showed smooth lambskin coveralls, oversized trenches, and seamed riding pants alongside suede jackets and dyed-fur sweaters. Most of the collection came in earthy neutrals or polished shades of navy and mauve, but occasionally she departed for brighter pastures, inserting hues of tangerine on a wool scarf or rendering one turtleneck-and-dress pairing in radiant banana yellow. Designing for The Row has clearly influenced Vanhee-Cybulski’s work, and this trickled down to her collection by way of monastic smocked capes. Everything was prim and proper, not a stitch out of place, and almost completely free of embellishment, save for leather belts at the neck and a series of handbags with rainbow-colored straps. This laid easy groundwork for the new designer to build upon in coming collections, and the forecast for Hermès’ future is strong with Vanhee-Cybulski at the helm.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree