Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski has been revolutionizing Hermes for more than two years now, subtly refining the French fashion house with her conceptually sophisticated aesthetics. For her Hermes fall/winter 2017-18 ready-to-wear collection, the French designer added little maximalist touches to most of the garments, naturally infusing standard Hermes polished and quite minimal fashions with contemporary, more jocose vibes many will surely fall in love with.
After delivering rather nostalgic Hermes ready-to-wear collections, which found great sources of inspiration in Hermes’ heritage, for the first time ever Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski spoke up louder, giving us pieces of herself, letting us know her points of view not only on Hermes, but also fashion in general.
Vanhée-Cybulski, who studied in Antwerp and then worked with one of the industry’s most mysterious designers, Martin Margiela, has in fact just updated Hermes with one of its most colorful collections, which alternates relatively coherent solid-colored patterns with color-blocking ones, even playing with jocose animal prints here depicted in the form of abstract swallows.
Although, like Margiela, Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski is not a very talkative person, she did hint at the fact that this collection was going to be different in an article with Interview Magazine from January. When asked about how to avoid the trap of nostalgia, with Hermes’ legacy being so imposing, she replied by stating that “there is not an inch of nostalgia in Hermès. Heritage is not necessarily hammered with nostalgia. Heritage is like DNA in a way. It’s a code that is there, but it actually enables you to live today. I don’t need to think of balancing it because it’s really more innate. For ready-to-wear, you don’t have time to be nostalgic; it’s good that it’s there, and you can use what you want and how to process it and work with it.”
She also revealed that, given her Antwerp Six-inspired minimalist aesthetics, to better understand the roots of Hermes she had to become familiar with saddle making, as well as with “the purity of a shape and the autonomy of that shape, and also the fusion between the man and the animal.” Such cryptic answers really give us a clear idea for interpreting this latest Hermes fall 2017 collection, which is targeted towards the dynamic woman, who needs to wear something practical yet fancy all day long, from the office to the aperitif.
The collection was thus packed with strong fashions that were utilitarian and chic, with the separates inevitably dominating the scene. Although showcased in color-themed blocks, each one of the items is meant to be mix-and-matched with the others, which is no small feat for sure.
The leather goods played an important role, too, with the accessory line being even more variegated and multifaceted than the clothing range, if possible. Aside from the purses, which are Hermes’ trademark, Vanhée-Cybulski had a particular care for the shoes, which here were exclusively thigh-high boots with platform heels.
Pleated skirts, warm jackets and coats, turtleneck sweaters and even sheer, airy shirts all worked together to create the Hermes fall/winter 2017-18 rtw collection that not only was wearable indeed, but also could introduce us to Vanhée-Cybulski’s most daring side, namely the one from which we should expect imposing and revolutionizing things in the years to come.
Photos courtesy of Vogue