For the longest time, Hermès has stood as the epitome of luxury fashion. Synonymous with timeless elegance and immaculate craftsmanship, the storied French house has maintained an unwavering commitment to quality and attention to detail, with a devoted customer base to show for it.
For the women’s 2023 collection, artistic director Nadège Vanhee looked to build a collection that went against the norm. Breaking free from stereotypical design frameworks has always been a strong suit of Vanhee’s, and this season she showcased it through upcycling the maison’s excess fabrics into one-of-a-kind garments. The 16-piece capsule release—called Collection Hors-Série, which is French for ‘limited-edition’—sees leftover scraps, in the form of precious remnants and dormant silk scarves from prior seasons transformed into beautiful concoctions brimming with technical and artistic brilliance.
As always, there is a heavy emphasis on wardrobe staples. Soft outerwear returns in the form of an ivory sleeveless cardigan and silk jacquard Spencer jacket. A peat-brown coat in sumptuous lambskin features bands embroidered with nuri seeds and metal bugle beads, constructed in a structured silhouette that provides the wearer with a certain poise. Textured co-ords emerge, each filled with intent and a backstory to its conception.
The house’s signature cashmere makes an appearance on versatile micro dresses that are suitable for any occasion. A swathe of organza forms the basis of aguipure-lace shift dress like no other, referencing the house’s iconic Le Mors à la Connéttable design. Micro iterations follow suit, in muted shades that are versatile fora myriad of evening occasions. Blink and one would miss all the other intricate detailing that is present throughout, from V-shaped necklines embroidered with galvanised metal beads to three-dimensional beading that resembles the distinctive mosaic tiles of the Hermès flagship store on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris.
Each piece is infused with dazzling embellishments in the form of hand-stitched embroidery, lacemaking, weaving and passementerie. It is a true display of the love and dedication these master artisans have for their craft, with each exquisite construction being the result of hundreds of hours of work. Many of these ancient needlework techniques are still present around the older regions in France, and serve as a balance between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary style.
Closing out the collection is a long dress in off-white silk and cotton crêpe, with chevron embroidery in silk thread and glass beads. Clinging effortlessly to the body, it is finished with a matching tassel belt that helps add dimension to the monochromatic number. As the model walks, the flowy nature of the cotton crêpe catches the wind, creating subtle volume and showmanship. It drives home the brand’s commitment to understated sophistication and designs with longevity that eschew fleeting fashion cycles.
A melding of heritage and innovation, Collection Hors-Série is the culmination of Vanhee’s visions for the season and is the latest addition to her creative utopia. Whether it is the considered shopper or fellow lover of the ‘quiet luxury’ aesthetic, each garment tells a story of reinvention while paying homage to the rich artisanal legacy of Hermès.
The Jan/Feb ‘Intentions’ issue of Vogue Singapore is available for sale online and in-store from 11 January 2024.