While I occasionally complain about the negative impact of social media (the complete loss of any attention span, online outrage both real and faux, trolls, etc.), there are many great benefits – the increasing inter-connectedness of our communities, and, in particular for me, the instantaneous spread of information. So it was with great joy and good coffee that I was able to watch the Hermès Autumn/Winter 2022 runway show from the warmth of my bed with only my German Shepherd Rocky to hear my gasps of excitement at what was coming down the runway. There was a lot to be excited about.
I’m sure that at this point, anyone who has wanted to read a review of the show has already read it from the big players, like Vogue Runway and Bazaar and WWD, pronouncing it all “sexy” and “exciting,” particularly for Hermès, which tends to keep the shows very pretty and essentially very similar, from season to season. Of course, these reviewers see a lot of runway shows and tend towards what I like to call “the professional sycophancy of the fashion class,” which is not so much a review of the show as a carefully-worded description of it. Also, these seasonal pronouncements are usually very dry.
So now you get my hot take.
Let me start with this: I really liked the show. There were a lot of great, wearable pieces that I am sure will sell well. To a certain extent, there was some risk-taking for Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski that I completely appreciate. The silhouettes, the visual references, the reinterpretations: a lot really worked here. But to be honest, I did find the whole thing a bit disjointed, as though she was presenting more than one show; some of the shows I loved, and some, well, not quite so much.
What I saw on the Hermès runway was just this side of Robert Mapplethorpe’s Human Bondage Den mixed with Frau Farbissina meets Laugh-In with a touch of (sorry not sorry) Oscar the Grouch. One outfit gave me vibes of, shall we say, Hugo Boss circa 1943, while another was Daisy Buchanan as played by Mia Farrow… or the entire cast of Cabaret. You get the idea (I hope). One bit that was consistent was the bottom half – generally either striped pants or shorts with over-the-knee boots with socks in the same color as the boot coming up to mid-thigh. There were some flowy dresses and a few skirts, with a shorter boot. I feel that many of these pieces will work out of context; the outfits appeared somewhat costume-y, but the individual pieces would be wearable on their own.
The Autumn/Winter Hermès Looks
The show started with a lot of this very leather + sheer + stripes look with some chain details. It was hard to ignore the S&M references.
Some softer, less obvious interpretations.
Then on to a completely different silhouette: flowy, soft, feminine.
Sturm und Drang
You will forgive my whiplash because this was next:
And finally, a series of outfits like this, which to me did not quite seem to go with the rest beyond color.
The Bags of Hermès Autumn/Winter 2022
You will notice that very few accessories went down the runway this time. The outfits were truly the show, with some notable exceptions via bags; interestingly, a few notable blockbusters did not go down the runway at all, but were presented at the re-see afterward. Again, to me, the selection of bags that did go down the runway seemed as varied as the outfits, although the one theme I did notice was the continual references to Hermès heritage.
For example, one bag was a take on the vintage Cadena bag:
There was this new bag, which at first I thought was an interpretation of the Christine, but appears to me to emphasize the value of the Hermès zipper, which Hermès was the first to introduce to fashion.
This was shown in a useful smaller version as well.
While not technically new, a wide-strap version of the Kelly-To-Go was also featured:
And the Kelly Danse, appearing slightly larger:
Now, of course, I’m saving the best for last. You know a thousand gasps ensued when this new iteration of the Kelly went down the runway:
I’ll admit I wasn’t the hugest fan when I saw this – a lone dissenter! – but the Heritage value is undeniable. Even though I feel like someone out there in the design department took my rants against the Sac Himalaya as a personal challenge.
Surprisingly, this Kelly – called the Kelly Desordre – is not a lone interpretation. At the re-see, the series of Desordre bags were presented:
I will have to admit the Kelly Desordre is growing on me, as a whimsical version of a beloved design that doesn’t veer too far off into Louis Wain territory.
Two other fun interpretations of note were highlighted in the re-see; this fun version of the Bolide –
– and this mini version of the Chain Birkin I flipped over at the men’s autumn/winter show:
What are your thoughts on the new collection?