When Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski was appointed artistic director of ready-to-wear at Hermès in 2014, it came at a time when the luxury market – particularly the French sector – was in flux. And in those challenging times, the industry was intrigued by such a decision at a major heritage house. In an era of celebrity and social media followers, Hermès chose not to grab headlines, instead investing in the quiet assurance of the French designer. Previously creative director of The Row, the 38-year-old has also worked under Phoebe Philo at Céline and started her career at Maison Martin Margiela. Heralded for her subtle elegance, Vanhée-Cybulski is a designer’s designer with no interest in the spotlight.
This season Vanhée-Cybulski created an elevated sense of sophistication, but with a daring new edge. The vivid colour palette, combined with psychedelic prints, tonal leathers, lace-up dessert boots and stud details introduced a new Hermès woman. More over, a seventies influence ran throughout, but didn’t feel retro at all. Models wore floaty dresses with chunky boots and rolled up beanies giving the outfits a contemporary feel. Elsewhere, ruffled-bell-sleeved shirts and calf-length shearlings paid homage to some of the more classic menswear silhouettes of the era. As for the Hermés scarf? It was re-imagined as a dress, belted with numerous loops of colourful leather. This autumn, expect a vibrant new energy to Vanhée-Cybulski’s understated and quietly conceptual aesthetic.
GALLERYCatwalk images from Hermes WFW17