Sunday 4th October

| BY Claudia Croft

Hermès: Ready-to-Wear SS21

Fashion doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Lockdown left Hermès designer Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski longing for a sense of collaboration and a creative togetherness. The designer sent her collection to her favourite artists, who then used the clothes as inspiration for their art. Images of their creations lined the zig-zagging Hermès catwalk and were also sent in a ‘scrapbook’ photographed by Sam Rock to the many editors who couldn’t attend in person.

These are unprecedented times and the normal rules of putting a collection together don’t apply. Over half the pieces shown on the runway were from Vanhée-Cybulski cancelled Resort collection which was supposed to be held in London in April. Rather than ditch it all, she nudged many of the looks into SS21. Thankfully this designer’s aim has always been to create a perennial style for the house. It’s not about seasons.

Hermès is a way of life and the clothes Vanhée-Cybulski creates are for living in. She excels at daywear, polished, and finessed by craft but effortless in style. This season, that meant apron dresses, pinafores, dungarees and overalls, all worn with clunky leather clogs. Was she inspired by the pragmatic uniforms adopted by the artists she collaborated with? Curving cut-aways, which showed off bare backs, and metal link shift dresses, injected a sensuality into the collection, which was matched by the rich, tactile fabrics favoured by this house. At Hermès, how something feels is as important as how it looks. “There is one spirit here: that of a freedom found,” said the designer.

Photography courtesy of Hermès.