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5 Things To Know About Hermès’s Equestrian AW22 Show

“Speed, sexiness and sportiness” defines Hermès’s autumn/winter 2022 collection, according to Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski. Here, five things to know about the show.

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The collection was founded in the equestrian wardrobe

“It’s the same old thing,” Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski joked backstage before her show, which revolved around the equestrian heart of Hermès. “But it’s techno in spirit: speed, sexiness, sportiness.” Inarguably, the equestrian wardrobe has always been pretty sexy – just look at how it’s been appropriated by fetish culture – but Vanhee-Cybulski’s interpretation for the modern ages was more sensual in its expression. She cut a waist-and-thigh-centric silhouette by entwining leather with strands of stretchy knitwear, allowing little jackets, tight dresses, miniskirts and mini-shorts to hug the curves of the body in a non-constricting way.

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Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski played with new ideas of sexy

“It’s an expression of what equestrian can mean today,” Vanhee-Cybulski said. “How do you translate classicism and sophistication and chic into the idea of assuming femininity? Sexy is okay – it’s not something to be ashamed of.” Like the equestrian wardrobe itself, the almost cultural sophistication of Hermès has never made the house unsexy. On the contrary, its otherworldly luxury is so effortlessly chic, it emulates the kind of confidence that the mind historically reads as attractive. With that as her foundation, Vanhee-Cybulski experimented with new expressions of what sexy could look like through the lens of Hermès.

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It was all about the socks and stockings

Backstage, three marks were drawn on the wall where the models lined up just before entering Vanhee-Cybulski’s riding arena set, constructed with a balcony and a sanded court like old-fashioned riding halls exemplified in the famous one at Hofburg in Vienna. Before they circled the balcony and descended to the arena, each model had the height of her socks and stockings – sometimes layered in three – measured to precision. “I want to stretch the legs,” Vanhee-Cybulski said. “Treat riding boots almost like a ballerina.” She replaced the rigid leather of riding boots with knitted thigh-high stockings, and made both the leg and the stocking her erogenous zone for the season.

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The tailoring spelled out desire

“Forward, innovative, focused,” was how Vanhee-Cybulski described the collection. “The idea of embracing a realistic modernity today.” More than anything, she achieved that in the pared-back, super luxurious simplicity of tailoring – a coat, a car coat, a blazer, a drop-shouldered riding jacket with an intricate closing mechanism – either constructed fully in leather or mixing leather with refined wools, illustrating the timelessly sexy appeal of the equestrian silhouette’s subtle figure-forming line. As far as seduction goes, these pieces hit that desirable spot so exclusive to Hermès.

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Hermès has suspended sales in Russia

Like the rest of this season’s showcases, the Hermès show was overshadowed by the reality of what is going on in Ukraine, a fact which made the Dumas family – who own the company – take action. Earlier this week, Hermès became one of the first fashion brands to temporarily close its stores in Russia and suspend sales due to the “deeply concerning situation in Europe”, a move soon followed by the LVMH, Kering and Chanel groups, whose combined brand portfolios make up the vast majority of the industry.

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