Hermès A/W 2018

Hermès A/W 2018

Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski practices the art of seduction for autumn

Scene setting: One thing we love about the Paris shows is the way they consistently make us discover new and unexpected places. Last night was no exception, as Hermès’ rendez-vous took place in the Lycée-collège Victor-Duruy, an architectural treasure of a high school situated at the heart of the Rive Gauche and which counts not one, but two gardens. With a little help from Etienne Russo’s production team, one of the gardens was transformed into a labyrinthian jungle to host the show. Timing was, more than ever, everything: with the show being held outside, it was almost proof that even God loves Hermès that we were spared both rain and the polar temperatures of a few days ago (still, the guests were received in true Hermès fashion, with a cashmere blanket on every seat). And the show was timed to coincide with dusk, what the French call l’heure bleue, with the darkening blue sky contrasting against warm, tangerine lights in the signature Hermès shade.

Mood board: It was a show that celebrated the outdoors glamazonian Hermès style. The first few looks were presented in head-to-toe black leather, evoking Helmut Newton and making guests realise Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski has a — previously unknown and very seductive — sensual streak. Pencil skirts, long trench coats, trousers and even tops brought a hint of sexiness that will no doubt be welcome by the brand’s most daring customers. Which is not to say there wasn’t something for everyone: from hunting-friendly ensembles to city-dwelling, fox-ribbed parkas, to ultra luxurious fur coats trimmed to look like corduroy. All the Hermès classics came together, often impeccably styled from head-to-toe in the same colour pattern.

Finishing touches: But, as usual with the French maison, the attention was all in the details, from the pyramid-shaped studs present on most of the leather pieces (a nod to the brand’s most famous watch) to the boots with their practical gum soles dipped in the same colour as the leather. And the bags, especially the bucket ones, werereworked this season in mid-size proportions and decorated with little metal hoops. But it was the poncho-esque blankets that mostly captured our attention. Worn by the models as bags and held together by removable leather straps, they were as much a shrewd marketing move as they were an aesthetic statement, revealing the enduring lifestyle appeal of the brand.

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