Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Hermès Spring 2016 Collection

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There is a form of luxury that beats you over the head with logos and extravagant surfaces, loudly proclaiming its identity as a status symbol, and there’s nothing wrong with that – in fact, many of us would prefer our relationship to our clothes to carry swift and uncomplicated associations with “the good life”. However, the Hermès luxury philosophy is the opposite of swagger and boasting. For centuries, the brand has preferred a covert route to proclamations of prosperity – it lets its exclusive, high-quality products whisper a subtle message of fortune and sophistication. There is no doubt in our minds that Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, Hermès’ new Creative Director, innately understands the power of “stealth wealth”, but her second collection offers a sneaky mal à propos spin on the brand’s established aesthetic. Vanhee-Cybulski understands that the women she creates for are busy ruling empires, but find themselves in desperate need of a functional wardrobe that still transmits a chic, monied message. For Spring/Summer 2016, she provides the kind of future-proof clothes her women want, but she pairs her simplified luxury with comfortable sneakers. Even though the idea raises an eyebrow, Vanhee-Cybulski carries off her measured, practical approach to luxury with great finesse, using exquisitely luxurious materials in a casual, wearable way.

For SS16, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski provides the kind of future-proof clothes her Hermès women want.

Hermès’ minimalist collection starts and ends with crisp, unembellished separates and simple frocks that would look chic in almost any era of history. Additionally, there are taut leather apron frocks and leather maxi skirts paired with woven shearling cropped tops, which are interspersed with loose pants and pleated tennis dresses covered in a sparse grid print. The sporty side of this collection suggests that the Hermès woman might be a participant or a spectator, but either side of the field she is on will be chicer for her presence. As she did last season, Vanhee-Cybulski turns to scarf prints to add gaiety to her mostly neutral collection, transforming bold striped canvases into silky separates and easeful dresses. One gets the sense that the timeless appeal these clothes possess is due to the integrity of their materials and smart tailoring, which culminates in a sort of polished beauty that is determined to outlast any trend from here to eternity.

Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree

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