Hermès shows fall collection with strong retail appeal

Our castles have long inspired art, from masterpieces also known as “The Birth of Venus”, or music from one of the most popular hippie musicals, hair. The musical’s theme song touts “long, beautiful hair, shiny, lustrous, flowing, flaxen, waxy… by then (hair), shoulder-length or longer (hair)” in its lead song. It has officially inspired a Fall-Winter 2023 clothing collection thanks to designer Nadege Vanhee-Cybulksi of Hermès.

Speaking to reporters after the show, Vanhee-Cybulski explained that the monochromatic show was about hair in mostly earthy tones. “When I started it was about the color of different women and shades; red hair, warm surfaces and pitch black; I wanted to play with the complexity and symbolism. You can be male or female and it expresses your beauty; Hair is power, seduction and magic,” she said.

In developing the ultra-rich textiles for which the house and collection are known, Vanhee-Cybulksi sought to recreate them in fibre. “I took something that can be trivial but worked with it in a textural way,” she continued, “I sent some hair to some fashion factories to recreate the complex structures of cashmere fibers and when draping fabrics across the fashion.” think about twisting, braiding or wearing your hair,” she explained.

The process is probably best appreciated up close, but evidenced on the catwalk, for example, as leather lacing, as cable knits on sweaters, or in the snuggly fringe effect on silk lame, which the designer said also referenced the 1920s couture house like Poiret and Vionnet. As expected, the ebony-inspired looks with sleek jet black hair were dominated by leather that exuded an air of carefree cool.

Like the comfort and security of well-groomed curls, the aim of this collection was to envelop. “I think this collection is more introspective; it’s the winter when you want to wrap up in your coat and fall colors. The idea came about by taking the stereotypes of a wardrobe like a blanket coat and incorporating knitwear that wraps you around,” she continued. The round bucket bags were also encased in pin-straight horsehair that fanned out around their circumference.

These chronal looks often included lush, belted coats over thick knits that twist and tie around the body. The layered looks also imitated the popular haircuts of the same variety with flaps, buttons and hems, creating different levels of the looks themselves.

Imagine a backcombed, voluminous hairstyle, and the waves and valleys it needs can help describe the range of molded knit tunics paired with loose biker-length shorts. The effect shows the textile sophistication of the houses. However, it is best to leave the view to those whose financial situation and position allow them to ignore the impressions of others.

Perhaps what Vanhee-Cybulksi captured best was the shiny hair that The Cowsills sang about in this 1960s musical. She explained that she was also thinking of the red metal, copper. “I thought about how it’s flexible and has a strong memory,” she said.

To this end, a series of cape-sleeve gowns, draped like fringes but a unitary piece of delicately pleated fabric, after appearing as a lustrous red skirt in a daytime look, formed the dramatic finale of evening wear in shades of metallic hues that still linger once mimic hair. The sleek, radiant robes would be a statement asking for hair that isn’t distracting.

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