In the 2009 documentary Bill Cunningham New York (a must-watch for any fashion lover), the beloved photographer utters a line which has been re-quoted ad-infinitum since: “Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life”. Hermès creative director Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski was inspired by a similar sentiment when she set about designing the brand’s Fall 2021 collection, revealing she wanted to create clothes that are a “second skin” to “protect” the body.
“It’s urgent now to live again,” she said in a post-show interview. “The message to the world is that I have this conviction of designing clothes for a confident woman. It was about resilience.” The message was, indeed, global in its reach. In an ambitious feat, Vanhee-Cybulski unveiled the new collection across three continents concurrently, sandwiching the traditional runway show (which took place in Paris), with dance performances by Madeline Hollander in New York, and Gu Jiani in Shanghai.
The clothes were a textbook case of Hermès’ unparalleled sophistication. Chocolate leather trousers, perfectly-cut coats (cinched at the waist with Hermès leather belts), silk mid-length day dresses in timeless blush pink and cream. The first four looks were head-to-toe denim—equestrian-style cropped jackets, flattering high-rise jeans, and a leather-panelled dress, all made in dark indigo denim with chic contrast stitching.