Addressing the post-pandemic sartorial needs
What’s the role of a digital fashion showcase? Is it merely to put the clothing and accessories on the map? How can fashion help us connect with different cities and cultures in these challenging times? Hermès AW 21 women’s collection provided lucid answers to all these questions in its live performance that played itself out in three powerful acts. At the core of this trinity is a socially distanced Paris fashion show at the Garde républicaine, broadcast live on various media. The “prologue” takes place not in Paris but in New York, at the Armory Show, where choreographer Madeline Hollander starts things off with a free interpretation of the movements gleaned from Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski’s collection. At the close of the Paris show, it’s over to Shanghai, where dancers under the direction of choreographer Gu Jiani conclude the triptych, injecting renewed vim and vigour into the collection.
Powerful dance movements choreographed to the mood-elevating and uplifting rhythmic beats breathed life into the showcase as this first-of-its-kind (this season) presentation exuded a whiff of hope, optimism and positivity. We could all use it after the trying year we’ve had.
Equestrian touches steeped in the house’s heritage, skillful leather tailoring and a bold usage of luscious hues made it easily one of the most memorable Hermès collections till date. Fall shades of tan, brown, burgundy, rust and mahogany were artistically layered to create edited ensembles with a strong mix and match appeal. From the standout checkered pattern to a suit which was cut parka-style thus redefining the rules of tailoring - there were many refined details to take in.
It’s hard not to fall for the padded anorak and the cycling pants - both evoking instant desirability. Combine the value of comfort with the house’s decades-old craftsmanship and you’ve got a winner here. Moreover, an overwhelming emotion of warmth and protectionism - permeated in each look and it was easy to picture these pieces on the feminine, fierce forces of today playing key roles as the world struggles to move out of the pandemic rut.
The highpoints were definitely the cashmere blankets, long jackets, coats and ponchos with integrated scarves. Tone on tone layering which facilitated freedom and movement addressed the post Covid reality - crafting pieces, which work beautifully at home and also for a night on the tiles. A delightful reconciliation between comfort and chic, style and savoir-faire. All in all, a delicious blend of ease and sophistication which has been epitomised by Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski work at the hallowed luxury house.