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Hermes livens the mood of Paris Fashion Week with welcome pops of colour

The French titan's runway made use of colour blocking and a Mondrian-esque sensibility to lift the sombre mood in a city coping with the coronavirus outbreak.

Hermes livens the mood of Paris Fashion Week with welcome pops of colour

The Hermes ready-to-wear Autumn/Winter 2020 collection, which made its debut at Paris Fashion Week, featured functionality and the use of playful primary colours. (Photo: Hermes/Filippo Fior)

The venerable house of Hermes is steeped in tradition, with a history dating to 1837, when it started as a harness workshop in Paris that made saddles, bridles and other leather riding gear for English noblemen.

It was this history that set the stage for the house’s women’s Autumn/Winter 2020 runway show at Paris Fashion Week. The collection was presented on a striped equestrian playground, as models walked among colour-blocked show-jumping poles in red, blue, yellow and green.

Just like the set, the collection featured an invigorating use of colour. Creative director Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski appeared to use white as a base, pairing it with pops of colour for a more modern, youthful look.

Hermes's colourful palette was a welcome respite from the dark cloud that seemed to hang over Paris Fashion Week. The coronavirus outbreak in Europe was a serious concern for both show goers and designers alike, with Paris banning indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people. Several designers also debuted collections with a dark apocalyptic theme, including Balenciaga, Thom Browne and Valentino.

READ> The Birkin of lipsticks: Hermes's new makeup collection dedicated to lip beauty

There was also an array of cream, khaki, black and grey looks at the Hermes show, many of which featured contrasting colours such as red, green and blue. At the core of the collection was a focus on functionality. As other fashion houses choose extravagance for their runway shows, Hermes looked beyond the superficial and pared down its collection to the classics.

This philosophy is best explained by a phrase from the collection's show notes – “What is useful must be beautiful”. With a focus on form, function and design, these perennial pieces will always have a place in a woman’s wardrobe. 

Here, we pick some of the most appealing looks. 

The Hermes Autumn/Winter 2020 women's collection featured sweaters in bold colours layered underneath outerwear in a palette of white. (Photo: Hermes/Filippo Fior)
Playful colour blocking also featured on the runway. (Photo: Hermes/Filippo Fior)
Dresses in classic silhouettes were given a modern touch through the invigorating use of colour. (Photo: Hermes/Filippo Fior)
The collection also featured khaki and cream pieces, paired with contrasting colours of green, red and blue. (Photo: Hermes/Filippo Fior)
A model is seen on the runway in an all-black outfit, paired with a red sweater. (Photo: Hermes/Filippo Fior)
The brand's accessories were also used to contrast ensembles. For example, a bright cobalt blue bag pops against a neutral look. (Photo: Hermes/Gaspar Ruiz Lindberg)
Leather also featured heavily in the collection, harkening back to the brand's history as a saddle maker. (Photo: Hermes/Gaspar Ruiz Lindberg) READ> A very rare visit to the Hermes workshop turning scrap into whimsical treasure
Source: CNA/st(ds)