Hermès celebrates Parisian craftmanship
Savoir-Faire is the brand’s new collection of timeless fashions
The French commune of Pantin lies in the north-east of Paris; it can be reached by car in just under 40 minutes if one was to start at the capital’s famous Louvre Museum. It is in Pantin that Hermès preserves and nurtures the many crafts that underscore its 183-year strong heritage.
There are leather workshops and a perfume laboratory; elsewhere, tailors finish shirting to custom specifications.
The brand’s womenswear studios are also based in Pantin and in March last year, shortly before she commenced her maternity leave Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski and her team began work on Savoir-Faire. Blue-printed as a non-seasonal collection, Savoir-Faire presents Vanhée-Cybulski’s idea of a timeless Hermès wardrobe, with shapes and finishes anchored in the brand’s past.
Modern for its tight edit of wearable separates – Savoir-Faire counts just ten ensembles – Vanhée-Cybulski’s collection is also notable for its ambitious use of artisanal techniques. The finishing of each piece requires up to 18 working hours. Cut from grained goatskin, a slim-fitting biker jacket is emblazoned with an equestrian “Brides de Gala” motif of ceremonial bridles: first sketched by Hugo Grygkar for a 1957 Hermès silk scarf, Vanhée-Cybulski recreated the design by assembling three layers of leathers which are then embroidered and appliquéd. Grygkar’s work is also recreated in fine stitches on a double-faced cashmere riding coat and as an open-work embroidery on a white cotton poplin shirt.
Elsewhere Vanhée-Cybulski, who joined Hermès as creative director of womenswear in 2014, captured the mosaic tiles laid across the floors of the brand’s 24, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré home in geometric embroideries.