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Seduction and Restraint at Hermès

Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski has been struggling to nail her signature at the revered French luxury house. She may have found it.
By
  • Angelo Flaccavento

PARIS, France — There is something extremely seductive about strictness and restraint. Sensual even. The Hermès show on Saturday night was a perfect embodiment of this idea and a welcome step forward for the revered luxury house. The collection exuded an unmistakable sense of elegance and rigor, with a noir feel. It was shown in a sensational auditorium-like setting with curvaceous, translucent walls that revealed lights twinkling to the soundtrack.

Not French, not bourgeois, not cliché. Just elegance of the best kind, done with the incredible Hermès savoir faire, featuring supple leathers and superior craft. There were no blatant references to other eras or labels, no sampling or carbon copying of vintage styles. Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski has been struggling to find her signature at Hermès; a way to create contemporary relevance at a house that's one of the last bastions of true luxury. Now, she may have found it.

The perfection of the cuts and the attention to detail transformed every piece into a timeless object, an impression enforced by the neutral colour palette. Such precision, however, was softened by glimpses of skin and signs of bodies moving underneath the clothes. This created a frisson that can be delicate to do right, but something that Vanhee-Cybulski should explore further. It suits her sensibility.

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