Our eyes are on Hermès, always. So, you can imagine how fixed our eyes were as we watched the Hermès RTW SS23 show during Paris Fashion Week.

When asked to name the inspiration behind her SS23 collection, Vanhee-Cybulski said the idea of hosting a desert rave is credited. In 2014, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski was appointed the womenswear creative director of Hermès. Since then, Vanhee-Cybulski’s collections have been exciting to watch. They offer a youthful and modern energy for the one hundred eighty-five year old, French fashion house.

We instantly fell in love with the luxe lineup of handbags we spotted à la runway, but we're equally impressed by the strength of Vanhee-Cybulski's ready-to-wear. Undoubtedly unique from anything we’ve seen before, it's as though Vanhee-Cybulski stepped out of the saddle and into the future, presenting a highly conceptual, high fashion collection. 

The Source of Inspiration

The audience in attendance was transported from Paris to sand dunes. What’s the reasoning for the desert backdrop, you might ask? After digging into Vanhee-Cybulski’s concept further, we learned Nadège leveraged the collection to demonstrate shifting ideals within the luxury fashion and luxury travel industry.

The pandemic changed many aspects of life, travel included. Given the times we live in, we have a newfound familiarity with travel limitations as well an adjusted, socially distanced mindset. We are determined to experience nature, even on vacation.

In this collection, Nadège paints a picture of a woman on a desert bound holiday or upscale travel retreat. Thus, the collection provides an elevated ensemble for women to wear during their hiatus into nature. Utilitarian and sporty, the women wearing this collection are ready to brace the elements in style.

Runway Trends

Unwaveringly bold, the collection consisted of durable desert daywear. Chunky sandals with airy, architectural platform heels walked the runway and a reveal of new handbags generated buzz. A mixture of fresh design and redesign, the SS23 handbags are certainly noteworthy. Some of the new bags are built upon Hermès classics and others boast entirely new designs.

Additional calling cards of the collection include monochromatic leather jumpsuits, trenches and hooded capes. The color palate evokes earthy tones and sandy shades. Minimal in approach, the luxurious materials make a refined statement. Nadège’s theme of desert rave is tastefully threaded throughout the collection and is prevalent in garment details. Industrious hardware, technical materials, elastic cords and ropes similar to those used to climb made their way into the collection.

Bag Check! Lets Take a Closer Look at The SS23 Handbags

There certainly wasn’t a shortage of feathers on the runway. Feathers are always fabulous, especially when attached to a Kelly To Go. Vivid bag colors drew our attention closer, evoking imagery of a sunrises and sunsets.

Bucket bags weren't excluded from the feathery fun! We spotted two bucket bag styles, adorned with feathers, offering elegant movement while in motion. A crescent moon shaped bag with a wide, belted handle caught our attention. We especially love the exaggerated pocket conveniently placed on the bag's exterior. The notable carabiner clip, neighboring the pocket, ensures your bag charm or keys are secure. Then, there's the crescent shaped wristlet which can also be worn as a cross-body.

As Hermès collectors, we must confess Vanhee-Cybulski’s reimagining of the Kelly To Go was most exciting as the design of this icon rarely changes. But, it was equally thrilling to see new bags enter the center stage. Together, these bags do not disappoint. They offer something borrowed and something entirely new.

Is This a New Era for Hermès?

Booth More is the West Coast Executive Editor of Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). In a recent review of the collection, Booth writes, ‘it’s like Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski brought a bit of Burning Man to the Paris Tennis Club.’ Burning Man is a notorious, nine-day festival held in the Nevada desert attended by artists, musicians and community goers in the pursuit of artistic self expression. ‘This was the overall vibe of the collection,’ Booth adds. Models walked the runway to the beat of techno music set upon a futuristic background.

Who's to say if we will see the desert rave theme storm back onto the runway again, but one thing is certain—Hermès is expanding its world beyond the ‘Paris Tennis Club’ bubble Booth alludes to. 

Whether you're an Hermès collector or not, we believe Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s SS23 collection offers utilitarian purpose, elevated taste and endless inspiration.

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