True to its equestrian heritage, the Women’s Ready-to-Wear Fall/Winter 2018 collection from luxury French maison Hermès is all about sporty, outdoorsy elegance.
Inspired by the beauty of a winter garden at twilight, the Hermès Women’s RTW FW 2018 runway show saw 54 models crunching along a red gravel path under a muted orange light.
True to its ethos of understated luxury, the opening outfit was subdued yet sublime: the streamlined three-quarter length black leather coat with boning at the waist for a smart, feminine silhouette, and an unusual fastening consisting of long silver fob chain, has the makings of a wardrobe staple one reaches for over and over again on travels to colder climes, without ever getting bored with.
Paired with black gloves and a pair of rust-red rubber-soled thigh high suede boots, the ensemble was also a canny way of highlighting what’s got to be the collection’s lust-have footwear design.
Also available in black, andalusite green, ultra-marine, that oh-so-covetable shade of orange that Hermès is so strongly associated with, the monochromatic boot punctuated many of the collection’s other outfits with a pop of saturated colour.
For example, a cosy long-sleeved charcoal grey sweater dress, with grey stripe details on the hem, paired with a matching scarf and cinched at the waist with a plain black leather belt, was saved from drabness thanks to zesty chartreuse boots.
Hermès’ Creative Director Nadege Vanhee-Cybulksi also took a heavy dose of inspiration from Hermès’ iconic Clou Mèdor, the pyramid-shaped metallic stud that features so heavily in the brand’s jewellery collections, and on its famous watch design, where a studded leather bracelet reveals itself to be a timepiece.
The metal stud was reinterpreted in various ways: as a graphic square print consisting of two-toned triangles, as silver-toned squares used to mark snap fastenings, and to decorate belts and buttery soft leather jerkins, as prints on silk dresses, and as 3D architectural chain-strapped handbags – the Clou Mèdor Minaudière – in croc or leather — some of the sharp angles on the bags were further accentuated by rows of the metal detail.
The Fall/Winter season always has us hankering after something warm and cosy, and in line with Hermès’ equestrian roots, the tartan horse blanket formed the basis of several pieces in the collection — from blanket-like wool shawls featuring leather shoulder straps, which we can imagine would be on many a Hermès fan’s Christmas wish list, to cosy pencil skirts, duffle coats, gilets.
Quilting that “reassures, protects, armours” featured in several pieces, from padded trousers, jackets, and a sublime charcoal striped long coat accentuated with panels and quilted patches in black leather.
Vanhee-Cybulski also looked further afield — to the American Wild West, to be precise, for more horsey inspiration.
Navajo-inspired triangular motifs appeared on knits and gilets; shirts and dresses featured floral embroidery patterns and checked patterns associated with cowboy shirts, slim-cut minimalist lizardskin boots revealed, upon closer inspection, the subtlest cowboy-boot inspired silhouettes — all looks that the android heroine of popular TV series Westworld would undoubtedly approve of.
All images courtesy of Hermès.