Hermès Spring-Summer 2019 runway show saw the juxtaposition of both maritime and equine inspirations for a collection that was presented at the Hippodrome de Longchamp horse-racing track at the edge of Paris.
"It is a game of reflections," began the show notes. "We sail into the horizon, along the edge between two worlds, between the sky and land. And in the same moment, we are sailing on the sea."
"Words break together on the shore: Sailor or saddler? We turn them every which way ... Why choose between them?"
Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski's collection set out to prove that it wasn’t an either-or proposition by using the sailor's smock as the starting point for minimalist tops and dresses trimmed in leather; and a horse-groomer's apron to inspire dresses, jumpsuits and tops cinched and knotted into place with boating ropes and bridle-bit fasteners. The cylindrical shape of a leather tote referenced a horse’s feeder nosebag, and utilitarian cargo pockets were sprinkled liberally throughout.
Equine-inspired references included tops inspired by a horse-groomer's apron, left, and feed-bag-inspired purses, right.
As a nod to its 1837 origins as a bridle and harness maker to the carriage trade, Hermès always has a deep bench of leather on offer, and in the spring and summer 2019 collection, the most memorable manifestation came by way of strappy leather mesh that showed up in skirts, trousers and dresses, some of which had leather straps and snaps at the waist to cinch the silhouette into a slightly more hourglass shape.