Fashion editor Jacquie Ang connects the dots to uncover the powerful forces that drive this remarkable womenswear release.
Like the maison she represents, Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski is an understated designer whose approach emits a sublime elegance, a lofty practice on restraint deftly balanced with an uplifting sense of freedom. So when the artistic director of women’s ready-to-wear staged an extraordinary triptych spanning New York, Paris and Shanghai for Autumn/Winter 2021, it spoke volumes.
“I wanted this three-act performance to be our way of keeping a record of these extraordinary times here,” she elaborated on her explorations in the ways of breathing life into clothes through the contemporary woman in movement. “I wanted to know how the collection could feed off and contribute to the energy of three very different cities. We wanted artists to take over the project and interpret my work using their own language, their own discipline.” Based on their individual expressions of female power, local choreographers Madeline Hollander and Gu Jiani were chosen for the New York and Shanghai segments respectively. “There was something exalted in their approach to dance.”
The spirit of resilience and reinvention takes on a new resonance in this exceptional Hors-Série (“Special Edition” in French) savoir faire women’s ready-to-wear collection. Vanhée-Cybulski keeps the modern-day Amazon in her mind, reimagining the strong women who stride forward amid the chaotic new world order. Through these Hors-Série pieces elevated with elan, she renews our appreciation of time as true luxury, while patience and precision work hand-in-hand, unhurried and unfazed in this complicated world.
Vanhée-Cybulski honours intricate techniques that demand perseverance, as well as gestures that demonstrate finesse by working them into existing fabrics, assuring them a fresh lease of life. Blouses and trousers are given a dash of dazzle with beadwork and extra-fine glass glitter embroidery executed with needle in hand following traditional techniques. Bayeux lace blouses are made with a pair of spindles twisting and spinning the fabric round and round. Phenomenal details that are a nod to Hermès’ historic patterns further accentuate the distinguished collection, a sartorial salve that keeps the faith.
(All images: Camille Vivier for Hermès Hors-Série 2021 collection)
This story first appeared in the Nov 2021 issue of Prestige Singapore.