Hermès designer Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski is firmly committed to a message of “stealth wealth”, with collections made of richly tooled wardrobe basics that whisper instead of shout. For Spring/Summer 2017, she adhered to her tried-and-tested aesthetic because she knows the formula is working. After all, despite financial setbacks at many Parisian houses, Hermès is having a great year, with the sale of leather goods up 16 percent and consolidated revenues up 8 percent for the first half of the year.
Hermès is doing workwear for people who actually work.
Her collection for the forthcoming season focused on masculine, uniform-like separates and jumpsuits. Hermès is doing workwear for people who actually work. Leading the charge were smocked dresses with elastic waists and oversized pockets – about as utilitarian as it gets at the storied brand – as well as beautifully cut trenches, impeccably tailored shirting, mod zipper dresses in blush-pink wool and nude leather, and abstract-printed artist coats. Flat, clinical surfaces were joined together by whipstitching details or pockmarked by the occasional topstitch pattern, and Vanhee-Cybulski’s love for pleating came with spliced-in heritage fabrics or plush embroidery.
Additionally, Hermès presented a gorgeous series of dresses and separates made from shingle-like fringe, which led to a break from daywear in the form of five gowns at the finale. In keeping with the idea of “stealth wealth”, these gowns were aesthetically simple, featuring either herringbone tweed surfaces or gauze-like material. What was surprising, however, was the fact that the final two came in hot pink and canary yellow, shades that make pupils widen and could hardly be considered stealthy, which threw the luxurious restraint of the preceding looks into sharp relief.