If there’s one thing viewers took away from creative director Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s autumn/winter 2021 showing for Hermès, it’s that the world is united in its nostalgia for normalcy. Across three continents, Vanhee-Cybulski reiterated the Hermès universe in all its glory, presented to an international audience in the form of a seamless livestream.
In New York, a Madeline Hollander-choreographed performance set the scene; in Paris, the clothes took centrestage; and in Shanghai, a closing orchestrated by Chinese contemporary dancer Gu Jiani.
Vanhee-Cybulski’s convergence of time wasn’t just for show. Just as she melded time zones and occasions for AW21, the pieces put forth for Hermès’ latest Hors-série—French for “limited edition”—savoir-faire capsule does the same. Launched this fall and drawing on historic patterns of the maison, each piece brims with the potential to transport its wearer to a different time and place.
And, the hints are subtle. Think: versatile dresses, jackets, skirts and capes that come together in a gentle nudge of seasons, intricate hand-painted detailing as well as delicate beadwork embroidery.
One can expect a range of ultra-luxurious offerings for everyday, with instantly recognisable Hermès motifs. Featuring the dichotomy of indoor-outdoors—a theme that has remained prevalent in a mid-Covid climate—the collection has a clear crescendo.
A fresh white cotton blouse lined with lace starts off the morning; a chocolate-hued viscose and silk dress with Mosaïque-inspired embroidery fares as an option for mid-day; and a pleated lambskin skirt bridges day to night. And for when the sun sets and the air becomes cooler—a luxurious cashmere cape or a belted coat in lambskin, proving that the choices are, in fact, limitless.
Versatility aside, the details—as with all things envisioned by Vanhee-Cybulski—quietly steal the show. In a nod to the painstaking art of artisans, the capsule boasts items that require hours of manual labour. Described by the maison as “a skill akin to dancing on a tightrope without a safety net”, expect hand-painted motifs inspired by Hermès’ Lift profilé finesse silk scarf, diamond-shaped embroidered inserts and H en biais embroidered motifs in fine lambskin.
Because no matter the time of day, season or country, Hermès’ Hors-série offering makes one thing clear: it’s nailed fashion’s momentum—or as the French say, élan—down to an artful science.