The destination show has taken on a new meaning, with brands rivaling to stage displays in previously untapped locations for Paris Fashion Week. The prize for most remote venue will no doubt go to Hermès, which ferried guests to a private jet terminal at Le Bourget airport north of the French capital.
Cars drove past a nearby branch of the Gagosian gallery that is currently hosting an exhibition of monumental sculptures by Richard Serra. Stepping into the Hermès venue, guests discovered another art installation: huge sliding panels, painted by Flora Moscovici, in warm sand tones that were a teaser for the palette of Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s spring collection.
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“The idea of coming to the terminal was really the promise of escape,” the designer said in a preview. “You come through a passageway, a transition zone, designed to make you let go of the heaviness of the present and head toward something promising, optimistic — an opening.”
Her spring wardrobe was all about loosening up, as the world leaves behind coronavirus restrictions. Belted jackets with rolled-up sleeves were trimmed with leather and pearled studs, traditionally used to attach the hardware to the luxury house’s coveted handbags, while the gathered waistbands on wide-legged trousers were inspired by drawstring pouches.
Silk separates, in a graphic print overlaid with a blurrier impression, were paired with black leather shorts and crop tops. Athletic vests underlined the mood of austere sensuality, but the hero items were the dresses.
They ranged from full-skirted bustier styles in featherlight silk twill or buttery calfskin, to three-hole dresses with graphic details inspired by leather goods. Meanwhile, a bias-cut black shift was embellished with square flaps embroidered with glass beads.
“I looked at a lot of dresses from the 1920s, because it was interesting to be able to understand this liberation of the body from corsets, and the movement,” Vanhee-Cybulski said.
She chose a warm yellow as the anchor color for the collection, lauding the hue for its feminine, upbeat, solar and nurturing qualities. Among the standouts were a coat, crop top and micro skirt in silk gauze, layered with appliqué rectangles in paper-thin lambskin.
These were clothes for a brighter future, paired with footwear for going places: leather sandals with ultra-light soles, some worn with matching lambskin socks.
“More than building a wardrobe, it’s about recovering sensations. I think that these days, people need to be reassured, but personally, I also want to feel encouraged to continue living, and therefore I think it’s important that this is a feel-good event,” Vanhee-Cybulski explained.
The show was livestreamed and broadcast simultaneously at special events held in Busan in South Korea; Kanagawa in Japan; New York; London, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. But it was hard to match the original location: at the end of the display, the walls slid open just as a plane was landing — a moment of serendipity that justified the trek.
Launch Gallery: Hermès RTW Spring 2022