Luxury: luxuriously lit Hermès rave in the desert

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Trust Hermès to transport fashion connoisseurs to the sand dunes for a post-desert hike. For spring summer 23, artistic director Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski had utilitarian chic in mind. Think outdoor hikes, desert sunsets, and sun-kissed dresses embodying freewheeling weightlessness. All in all, a summer closet steeped in contemporary intuition. Portable and ergonomic, each set, separate and accessory has embraced the culture of contemporary living through its luxury utility.

Although the brand has always been synonymous with luxury travel, the pervasive phenomenon of post-pandemic revenge travel cannot be overlooked. According to the show’s notes, “A rave in the desert. The sound radiating from behind the hill follows the drift of the dawn: she has never felt anything so beautiful. It spreads in layers. All you have to do is approach this magical mountain for the air to become impregnated with a singular power. This was not the only transformation: the colors emanating from the landscape came to life and began to move, to shimmer – sunburned red, sulfur yellow – as if liquefied.

A lightweight trench coat has been layered over a racerback sweater in silk knit and a leather vest in fawn Barenia calfskin

What do you pack when you head out on a wilderness retreat, perhaps to Patagonia, Kenya or Alaska? Perhaps a sturdy utilitarian piece of equipment, which does not compromise on glamorous appeal. Vanhee-Cybulski kicked off the Hermès runway with coveted leather jumpsuits and windbreakers in toasty desert hues like sandy beige, earthy tans and sunset orange. While most of these pieces may not look functional for the outdoors, there’s no denying the French craftsmanship that crafted them. For example, a chic raincoat made from technical fabric had a breathable mesh inner layer and a poncho was artfully crafted from buttery leather. Inspired by climbing rope gear, there were charming details like the bungee cord, which lent gravitas to a litany of sun-hued sundresses.

A silk georgette dress has been embroidered with black lambskin gradient black sequins with black rope straps

The highlight was undoubtedly a clever extrapolation of leather – the beating heart of Hermès. The show opened with a two-piece in nomadic beige smooth calfskin consisting of an overshirt and sports pants with a ring closure and rubber tanka. A tempting invitation to dress up! Worn with a golden Swift calfskin and palladium-finish metal necklace and accessorized with an Arçon bag in fawn Barénia Faubourg calfskin and fawn Barénia calfskin, this glam-leisure look instantly evokes a carefree summer vacation spent sipping gin and juice in pristine beach resorts. Plus, there’s been a smart push on tone-on-tone summer layering techniques. Thus, a light trench was superimposed on a racerback sweater in silk knit and a leather vest in fawn Barénia calfskin. In a nutshell, an array of easy and airy separates, which can be effortlessly mixed and matched to suit her mood and outing.

Additionally, some sets emitted a high-octane sheen thanks to the workshop’s masterful surface texturing. For example, a silk georgette dress was embroidered with black lambskin gradient black sequins with black rope straps. The closing look, which was a short cape dress in white silk knit, was embroidered with Le Rêve de Julia motifs in glass beads. Shiny, textured yet minimal and polished.

The closing look, which was a short cape dress in white silk knit, was embroidered with Le Rêve de Julia motifs in bugle glass beads

There was also a lot of text drama on the bags. It was hard to ignore the luscious and tactile pink ostrich feathers, which accentuated a Toupet Folie bag in nasturtium orange. A clutch bag by Kelly Élan Folie in black also featured lush ostrich plumage. According to the notes of the show, “A bivouac, a dance, and everywhere this feeling of immensity – the very one that a philosopher who does not deny magic once called the Californian enchantment…”.

This sublime emotion easily resonated with the collection’s sophisticated silhouettes expressing a culture of appearance and function. Embodying contemporary ideas of versatility and functionality, Hermès presented a softer, whimsical take on its luxury staples – sultry yet sublime, rugged yet supple.

From HT Brunch, October 8, 2022

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