To say that Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski got her freak on with her fall collection for Hermès would be a gross overstatement. But to the extent that these tend to be polite affairs, her unfettered use of color and novel mix of materials this season marked a departure for the discreet designer.
Vanhee-Cybulski worked a retro color palette incorporating buttermilk, caramel, lilac and emerald green. The opening look, a double-faced blanket cape with a top-stitched lozenge motif, glistened with silver zips. Meanwhile, a cropped tan puffer jacket was lined with felted sheepskin.
She drew inspiration from the leather aprons worn by the craftsmen at Hermès for high-waisted dresses in materials ranging from patchwork knit to caramel suede with grommet details at the waist.
Silk scarves, some of their colors stripped away to reveal the pattern underneath, opened the way for psychedelic color-clash effects. A lilac shirt was paired with a forest green skirt and an aubergine leather jacket embellished with strips of multicolored Mongolian lamb.
Floaty dresses came in a hand-painted paisley motif design harking back to the Sixties, while a print featuring delicate hands provided a surrealist touch. Even the accessories — safety-pin necklaces and platform boots — hinted at a newfound rebellious streak.
“These are clothes designed to be worn with pleasure and confidence,” Hermès stated in its show notes. With her fifth collection for the house, Vanhee-Cybulski took some risks that didn’t always pay off, but took the house in an interesting new direction.