Beauty, calm and real clothes, as seen in this elegant two-piece
It was a quiet triumph for the designer and a major success for Hermès, as Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski brought the first inter-season collection to be shown publicly right back to heart and home.
Not since Martin Margiela was named Creative Director in 1997 has Hermès used its historic Paris store on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré as a backdrop.
From the vases of country flowers to the impeccable beige interior and the initials of each member of the audience embroidered on handkerchiefs, this was the house once best known for its equestrian elegance.
But there was far more to the collection than horsey bits — even if houndstooth and tassel prints, in the spirit of the classic Hermès scarves, made sleek blouses and calf-length dresses.
Smart casual coats followed the silhouette of the body
Love and life also came into the show, with a harpist plucking the strings and a poetic reading entitled: "I never gave you flowers." But a charming setting is nothing if the show doesn't sing — as previously seen when Nadège seemed overwhelmed by the enormous Paris equestrian stables.
This time all was beauty, calm and real clothes: coats following the silhouette of the body, (mostly) long dresses and skirts, some with geometric cuts. These smart-casual, but not precisely sporty, designs were shown in those colours that Hermès owns and names. So a suit with long, belted jacket and calf-length skirt was defined as 'rose sorbet'; and a darker burnt-orange trenchcoat as 'tile red'. My 'linen blue' was their 'periwinkle'.
The clothes were dynamic and women-friendly
All these clothes — angular, but with a sense of movement — were both dynamic and women-friendly.
So what happened to make Nadège produce an Hermès collection that we onlookers always felt she had in her?
'I'm back in Paris,' she said simply, referring to her return from America to her native France. She might have said that both she herself and Hermès had come back home.
Some looks were angular, with a sense of movement