A wind of liberty blew over Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s spring show for Hermès.
The display was staged at the Tennis Club de France, which many still associate with Phoebe Philo’s tenure at Celine. Vanhee-Cybulski, who previously worked under Philo before joining the Olsen sisters at The Row, channeled that era with a crisp collection that trod the line between brainy and sensual.
Models navigated a undulating white catwalk punctuated with columns covered in mirrors or images of Antique Greek statues.
The designer opened with a series of nude tonal outfits that steered the tony Hermès customer in a slightly racier direction. You could imagine Kim Kardashian West opting for a buttermilk bodysuit, sliced open to reveal the back and hips, or a taupe leather jacket and shorts worn with a bandeau top.
There were flashes of Helmut Lang in the way Vanhee-Cybulski cut a minimal black leather coat with an industrial zip running down the front, or how she paired a sleek black trouser suit with a leather bandeau top — all grounded with a chunky pair of clogs.
“This collection is about freedom, the freedom to reinvent, to dream of a new connection, a fresh spirit,” the designer said in her collection notes.
But she hasn’t lost sight of her core constituency. Equestrian references included rolled-up collars that underlined the patrician authority of a tan waffle-knit sweater and wide pleated pants, or a buttery leather belted coat with perforated side panels.
Blanket stitching added structure to soft suede dresses and coats, while roomy coats were fastened with a single silver buckle.
Vanhee-Cybulski also revisited a concept from her last spring collection, with chic black apron dresses that were a nod to the craftspeople working in the house’s workshops — including one covered in a grid of leather slats. “Summer armor for times recaptured,” she summed up.