In what may have been a first, for Hermès at least, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski said her fall 2023 collection was inspired by hair.
“Hair back, hair forward, nothing on the sides, the bun, braiding…each chapter is a hair color — crazy red, blond, ash,” she said backstage before the show. In front of photos of looks in such rich hues, it did make one contemplate trying a new ‘do.
She’s definitely onto something; hair artist Charlie Le Mindu has taken over the famous interior staircase of La Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf department store in Paris with his “Tricophilia” installation, and Victoria Beckham used artificial extensions in her collection.
But Vanhee-Cybulski was also taken by the ways people style their hair, using those as inspiration for how to wrap, tie and secure warm layers around the body.
This was an outerwear intensive offering, full of simple blanket coats with incorporated knitwear and attached scarves that could be “played with as you want,” and belts that could be tied at the side or in back. There were also glossy leather blazers, quilted leather jackets, cozy cropped shearlings, even Hermès puffer coats with matching messenger bags.
Underneath, cashmere skirts and shorts, leather pants and jumpsuits were worn with thigh-high suede boots in the same color, creating tonal looks. Adaptable knitwear was a through line. For example, a charcoal braided shrug hugged the shoulders, with loose ends in back cinched by an Hermès leather bracelet.
Tunics and shorts came in metallic wavy knits that shimmered when they moved. And for evening, plissè metallic dresses with a nod to Fortuny had subtle beaded collars.
“It’s sophisticated but comfortable, which is not something typically associated with French fashion,” Vanhee-Cybulski said.
A new cylindrical bag and a fringe version of a Birkin were among the standout accessory offerings in a collection that otherwise could have used a little extra oomph.