Hermès, the Parisian luxury label, transported its audience into a world of rural escapade and jungle safari during its Paris Fashion Week show. The runway was accompanied by a soothing birdsong soundtrack, and the setting resembled a vast labyrinth meandering amidst tall grass, sun-dried lucerne, and vibrant flowers. This nature-inspired theme, a signature trend for Spring/Summer 2024, felt particularly fitting for Hermès, a brand with a deep-rooted connection to the outdoors.
The Paris Fashion Week event celebrated a day in the countryside. Models gracefully walked through a sprawling meadow adorned in poplin shirt-dresses and short jackets, all donning flat sandals designed to keep them in touch with nature. Creative Director Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski emphasized the importance of «feeling the ground as they walk thanks to their form-fitting soles.»
Hermès women epitomize elegance in every situation, clad in impeccably tailored garments crafted from the finest materials. Their wardrobe includes a range of lightweight yet durable outfits that provide protection without sacrificing comfort. Whether it’s a streamlined cashmere and silk overcoat or a flowing trench coat in glossy lambskin, these pieces effortlessly pair with simple shorts, silk-ribbed knitted miniskirts, or classic pencil skirts in perforated fabric.
Vanhée-Cybulski embraced the picnic theme, envisioning a picnic one could enjoy in their own garden. Long apron dresses in cotton organdie featured a check picnic tablecloth motif, while small strapped dresses in perforated leather playfully nodded to white table napkins. The collection also introduced «summer linen, shorts, ultra-lightweight jackets, and soft, free-flowing jacket-and-trouser sets,» as highlighted by Vanhée-Cybulski.
Her fashion philosophy strikes a harmonious balance between simplicity and sophistication, exploring the duality of strength and seduction, power and femininity. The collection seamlessly combines sophisticated pieces with sportswear-inspired elements, such as bodysuits, tank tops with wide armholes, and a variety of versatile bras, including racerback, t-neck, and bandeau styles.
The wardrobe offers a clever mix of boleros, adaptable bras, overshirts, flowing coats, and sleeveless gilet-coats. Additionally, there are tight leather outfits with a knitted base that creates the illusion of stretch material.
«These outfits are designed to accompany us through all of life’s adventures, suitable for all body types thanks to their modular components. They are versatile, perfect for wearing at home, on a trip, or on holiday. The idea is to empower women to choose and own their style,» emphasized Vanhée-Cybulski.
This season, red was a prominent color choice, much like the previous winter collection. The designer explored darker, warmer hues, including maroon, plum, chocolate brown, and the signature Hermès color, ‘Rouge H,’ which exudes a rich, burgundy-like red. Towards the end of the show, the palette burst into a series of vibrant red outfits, ranging from poppy red to garnet and scarlet.
«Red often carries negative connotations, but I wanted to refocus on its aesthetic and symbolic meaning of strength, beauty, and passion,» explained Vanhée-Cybulski.
The show garnered acclaim and even featured a surprise guest—an activist from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)—joining the models on the runway. The activist held a poster demanding that Hermès cease using exotic skins, sparking a response from a Hermès staff member. PETA has been advocating for Hermès to discontinue the use of crocodile skin in its handbags.