Paris, New York and Shanghai

Hermès FW21
Fashion | 8 March 2021

Presented the weekend before International Women’s Day, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s FW21 offering celebrated women who keep marching forward, brushing off challenges with a steadfast resilience

In one of the most ambitious productions of the season, Hermès’ creative director Vanhee-Cybulski didn’t produce one show, but a three-act saga, spanning three different continents and time zones, all live-streamed one after the other to create a captivating triptych. Starting in New York with a performance choreographed by Madeline Hollander, dancers clad in long, pleated skirts interpreted the rhythms and movements of Manhattan commuters. What followed was a more conventional fashion offering from Paris. Models walked among geometric shapes in a sci-fi setting that glowed Hermès-orange. Closing the event was a performance art piece from Shanghai, produced by Chinese choreographer Gu Jiani, in which dancers moved with bright orange boxes, a nod to the brand’s signature packaging.

Colours were muted and understated, mostly black and neutral tones with a few pops of green, red, and of course, orange. Western references were visible in several pieces with fringe detailing on leather and suede dresses, skirts and coats, including a striking cropped parka/poncho hybrid in an oatmeal tone. A modern sense of versatility thrived throughout, from high-waisted trousers cut loose with leather-edge detailing, to high-collared dresses that could easily shift from work mode to play. And layers – cashmere blanket jackets, suede ponchos, structured denim jackets. As models walked, leather-bound lipstick holders swung from their necks and leather phone cases – with built-in Airpods holder – in hand, reflecting Vanhee-Cybulski’s ability to converse in both classicism and modernity.

GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show