There are plenty of Creative Directors and celebrated designers around whom many tenure-themed rumors swirl. Often, they’re on their way out the door once their three-year contract is up, if not sooner. But not so with Hermès’ Creative Director Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski who has been with the legendary house since 2015. Her beautifully articulated designs and her discreet bourgeoisie aesthetic have fused her ready-to-wear collections with polish and poise.
For example, you may see a woman heading down the street in Paris in head-to-toe Hermès, never surmising it was head-to-toe Hermès, but understanding at a single glance that the stylish creature before you had impeccable taste. It would be transmitted in the cut of her silhouette, the rich simplicity of her fabrics, her covetable chicness. This kind of quiet allure is something people pay a lot of money for, and one that is innate to the house. Remaining distinctly apart from the modern fashion fracas, Hermès doesn’t do loud logos, it doesn’t do massive influencer campaigns, it doesn’t shock and awe their audiences. It simply does not have to.
This is because of Vanhee-Cybulski, who does her job both remarkably well and consistently. Spring/Summer 2021 is more evidence to the fact. A set, looming large with a maze of massive columns printed with images of Greco-Roman goddess sculptures, brought visual depth to the presentation – which is a smart move when you’re showing a collection both online and offline. Mirrors also added dimension to the view, which reflected back a parade of models either wearing skin or showing some. Pillowy leather and supple suede are what the house does best, and here they came in a subdued “naked” palette of neutrals, each one assured to caress the skin with a soft touch.
Hermès doesn’t do loud logos, it doesn’t do massive influencer campaigns, it doesn’t shock and awe their audiences. It simply does not have to.
Touch was an important aspect of the proceedings, as quarantine and social distancing have left many of us craving the human kind. A kiss of soft knits rounded out the tactile mood of the show, but it was the bare bellies that caught our notice. Abundantly youthful bralettes were paired with loose blazers or chic bombers, there were backless tops and side cut-outs galore, and some caged leather overlays atop shrunken mini dresses. For those that prefer to cover up, Vanhee-Cybulski worked through a few crisp jumpsuits with utility pockets and some lovely lightweight coats. Clothes were fashioned like a “second skin” but weren’t clingy or smothering, a note that looks especially fresh for Spring/Summer 2021 when we may come out of hibernation yearning for the perpetual pajama days of 2020.
It wouldn’t be an Hermes show without some truly wonderful bags, and they were delivered by newcomers: the ‘Perspective Cavalièr’ bag and the ‘Mors de Brides’ bag. ‘Perspective Cavalière’ is a tidy little bucket-style bag with an asymmetrical design, while the ‘Mors de Brides’ featured the house’s well-known equestrian harnesses by bringing the horsebit element to the strap. They were both so fetching you wanted to reach out and touch them as they passed by.