Gathered at the Tennis Club of Paris, show attendees sat down to yet another bravura showcase by Hermès womenswear designer Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski. Guests sat facing a runway peppered with macro images of Ancient Greek ruins amid an undulating terrain surrounded by mirrors, which could have been interpreted as a play on life. These days, it would seem that everyone is treading on uncertain ground. There’s something to be said about a total look, however, particularly if that total look is Hermès. Dressed in the French house’s luxurious skins and textiles, in purposeful monochrome and neutral hues, one holds her head a bit higher and walks with an assured step.
Vanhée-Cybulski proposed 45 looks that offered a study on freedom, reinvention, and connection. Instantly the eye was drawn to the seductive, hip-skimming bodysuits and nude backs, which denoted elegance in movement, sport, and a South of France holiday. Layering this came leather tabliers, which appeared transformed across a top, trousers, or a coat. Meanwhile accents like enlaced ribbons suggested a “holding together” for a time when everything appears to be coming undone. “The growing pleasure of reconnection with the world, the infinite pleasure of beginning again. How sweet it is to live again. How urgent it is to go further,” read the notes.
Ahead of the show, 500 limited edition books were delivered to editors and friends of the house. Inside, Vanhée-Cybulski presented it as a contemporary scrapbook, “where artists who inspire us have in turn been inspired by our collection to create works and images.” It was a poetic reminder of the maison‘s dedication to craft. “Begin again, begin again,” it read. “Pretend that it lasts forever.” This critic can affirm that no guest rushed out of her seat after the collection’s finale, lingering for just a while longer in the euphoria of witnessing the work of whom many will argue, is Paris’s finest womenswear designer.