Hermès likes to deliver the unexpected: the parties at which the luxury firm traditionally celebrates its annual theme have featured waiters suspended from cables, and musical instruments carved out of vegetables.
Certainly, no one expected to be attending a show outdoors with the outside temperature at 48 degrees. Granted, Hermès provided some ultra-soft riding blankets to bundle up against the cold, but by the time the display began almost 50 minutes late, fingers were starting to numb.
The setting was a transparent awning surrounded by trees bathed in Hermès-orange light — a suitably dramatic backdrop for Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s opening sequence of sleek outfits in dark leather set off by glinting hardware.
There was a fetishistic allure to a belted dress in blue-black calfskin, its shoulders studded with metal parts borrowed from the brand’s Piano handbag. But it was another classic piece of Hermès hardware, the pyramid-shaped Clou Médor stud, that was the star of the show.
It inspired the graphic check pattern on a blanket tunic fastened with a snap hook, and the geometric print on a midi-length mahogany shirtdress. Its shape worked its way into the quilting on a cinnamon-colored calfskin parka, and into the square buttons on a beige coat made of what might appear to the untrained eye like corduroy — but was in fact shaved mink.
It was in keeping with the brand’s stealthy attitude to extreme luxury, or what the show notes referred to as “whispered sophistication.”
A priceless diamond-studded Niloticus necklace was tossed over a peat-colored ski jumper, while pristine white deerskin jodhpurs suggested a life of leisure, or at the very least the presence of staff to deal with small children with greasy fingers.
The Hermès woman has a sporty side, too: A sheepskin aviator jacket, a quilted calfskin hoodie or a sweeping blanket coat suggested she was not afraid of hitting the great outdoors. Who cares about the cold when you look this sleek?