Hermès readies its clients for a desert rave.
I left the desert and came to Paris only to find the desert at the Hermès Spring/Summer 2023 show. Set against a sandy dune treated with techno-cool light projections, a Burning Man-inspired collection swept the runway. At Burning Man, self-sufficiency is one of the festival’s 10 core principles. There is no currency, you arrive everywhere by biking through stretches of sand, and you erect your own campsite. You have to be prepared (as much as you can be) for every eventuality.
For that reason, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski cleverly incorporated elements of self-reliance into the Hermès collection. The third look sported a leather vest; from the back, it was embedded with a backpack. There were hooded leather parkas with unfurling tent-like attachments, just in case you need to be your own camping equipment. These were worn over carved-out racerback tanks and tailored trousers, paired with stacked platform gladiators. Another cool idea presented was a series of leather jackets with straps that were slung over the shoulder and worn like a handbag. Utility was the name of the game.
There was clever detail work at hand as well, including dresses and jumpsuits with lace-up sides that wove rope through grommeted holes, looks finished with raffia woven leather trim, and dresses finished with thin ropes pulled through hook-and-eye closures. The rope-bound rigor of the first half of the show soon gave way to elegant dresses and sequined abayas. One of the best looks from the last half of the show was a black cropped leather jacket and matching pencil skirt scored with thousands of tiny perforations and tied with leather cord across the midriff. Très chic.
While Vanhee-Cybulski’s desert rave unfolded, it was being watched elsewhere around the world in key locations. One of those locations was at Buhais Geology Park in Sharjah, UAE, where Hermès invited guests to discover the show, along with a live music performance under the stars. Light projections cast desert rose shapes against a natural rock formation backdrop. This immersive experience was enhanced by an immediate re-see where guests were able to experience the wondrous textures of the clothes and accessories in-person directly following the show viewing. With Hermès, it’s always its microscopic attention to detail that sets it apart from the rest.