Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski put on a small and sociable Resort presentation in the Hermès flagship store during the couture shows in July, which charmed. For Spring, she also tried to bring her much bigger audience closer, by having them sit within white-curtained corridors in the much larger venue Hermès arranges for ready-to-wear. Putting over the quintessential magic of this French establishment, its supremacy in leather goods, its uniquely specific bond with a cultured, reserved-for-the-few lifestyle is all-important.
With this collection, the viewpoint shifted. There was more of an emphasis—here and there—on fashion. Vanhee-Cybulski picked up the big-shouldered ’80s silhouette of the moment via a couple of padded-shoulder shirts with diagonal zippered pockets, tucked into high-waisted pants. And, in sync with the Paris trend toward vivid color-pops, there were two looks in bright fuchsia.
Perhaps it’s wrong to look for trend at Hermès, though. Subtle techniques are more relevant to the expertise of this house, and that could be examined in such things as patchworked leather, worked into a series of green-gray coats, dresses, and tops. Sophisticated knitwear came in two elegant fit-and-flare midi dresses.
Still, it wouldn’t have hurt for Hermès to remind the world at large of its prowess in bags. The Birkin and Kelly bags don’t need any reinvention, and Hermès never shouts about them. But amid the cacophony of fashion images generated everywhere, the mention of Hermès’s classics would stand the house in good stead.