Hermès’ AW21 Collection Ready-To-Wear Collection Travels Between New York, Paris And Shanghai, Using Movement As A Medium To Reveal The Collection

PARIS, FRANCE- Hermès AW21 women’s ready to wear collection show between New York, Paris, and … [+]

Shown in three parts, French luxury brand Hermès dared to have a fashion show in the midst of a pandemic and between three cities: New York, Paris and Shanghai. The women’s autumn-winter 2021 ready-to-wear collection was inspired by the energy of three very different cities using dancers and models, as well as the art of fashion to connect all the story dots that the House’s creative director Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski’s; and choreographers Madeline Hollander and Gu Jiani wanted to tell through the collection.

Part 1- the prologue in New York City

The prologue was performed in New York at the Armory Show, choreographed by Madeline Hollander, with movements taken from Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski’s collection.

PARIS, FRANCE- Hermès AW21 women’s ready to wear collection show between New York, Paris, and … [+]


“I had worked with Hermès in February 2020, on an event for which I composed a choreography based on the silk scarf, ”said Hollander in a statement. “Vanhée-Cybulski’s and I came to discuss fabrics, and the incredible quantity of fabrics in her collection, and also the sensuality of certain textures, certain colors.”

Having always been fascinated by people’s walking styles, she was able to choreograph part 1 of the show. “Once I see a certain kind of walk, my work can begin! There is in each fashion show the potential to extract a certain kind of walk and use it as a point of departure for choreography. But for this particular project, I was not so sure, and neither was Vanhée-Cybulski: should we use the fashion show as inspiration or not, given that the show would come afterwards, in the Parisian sequence. The more Vanhée-Cybulski and I worked, the more I understood that she was specifically interested in New York.”

To prepare for the show, Hollander studied how people walk in New York in the morning. “At that early hour there are two distinct rhythms: some forcible, power-oriented, decision-making. Others adopt a leisurely pace, traversing the city more circuitously. So, we have two distinct territories that both possess unique forms of sensuality.”

Preparing the dancers for the show, Hollander realized that the Hermès AW21 presentation is not only about clothes or performance. Through the intricacies of the age of Covid, humanity has had to reinvent itself. “Despite the crisis we must continue to collaborate and discover creative ways to leap over obstacles. New ways of functioning and performing will, I’m sure, emerge from these constraints.”

Part 2- the collection in Paris

Quintessential Hermès, the collection is a color palette of blacks, brown, dark blues, and off whites with straight lines in pants, dresses, coats, and blouses. Leather is a fabric commonly seen throughout the collection on pants and jackets.

PARIS, FRANCE- Hermès AW21 women’s ready to wear collection show between New York, Paris, and … [+]

Playing with pleats, clasps and creating a parka-style suit. Quilted jackets and tailored silhouettes occupy the collection. Vanhée-Cybulski has created smart looks for a professional environment, a coffee out with girlfriends, nightlife looks. She has, as her past collections, captured the DNA of the brand, playing it safe and staying within the borders of how we know the Hermès woman to dress.

PARIS, FRANCE- Hermès AW21 women’s ready to wear collection show between New York, Paris, and … [+]

The heart of the collection is the expression of the desire of sensuality of new mythologies, through gestures and movement that adorn the human form.

Part 3- the conclusion in Shanghai

“I had to look elsewhere, and meditate on the spirit of the collection, its values, its vision of the moment we are all experiencing, and compose a choreography inspired by these clothes. The movement interprets the clothing, not the other way around,” notes Jiani who choregraphed the Shanghai portion.

PARIS, FRANCE- Hermès AW21 women’s ready to wear collection show between New York, Paris, and … [+]

Jiani had to capture what Vanhée-Cybulski wanted but with a choreography steeped in Chinese tradition. “When Gu Jiani decided to use the box as a theme— a universal object—it was both startling and intuitive, since the box is fundamental to Hermès,” says Vanhée-Cybulski. “

Our orange boxes have a long history; they are part and parcel of Hermès. It seemed appropriate to include them in the staging since they symbolize our identity. The history of these boxes is synonymous with the boldness but also the quality one associates with Hermès. Boldness means finding solutions and reinventing oneself using what is available, and building something beautiful despite the constraints of the moment—while reaffirming one’s creativity.”

A collection of mystery and power revealed in three continents, Vanhée-Cybulski has captured what it means to reinvent ourselves in the age of Covid through a collection of awe inspiring aura.

With a background in International Politics and having worked for a few years in Washington, DC, Ally has found herself in a totally different arena- fashion journalism.