A show dedicated to movement and making magic even when stuck in a rut, the Hermès WRTW FW21 show is designed for women on-the-go. Capturing our attention are the minimalistic and practical accessory pieces that truly represent this ideology.  

One of the most compelling questions that Hermès’ Creative Director Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski asked herself while designing the show is “How in these socially distanced times can we continue to be creative and, more importantly, be together despite it all?” A prequel to cavorting fashion presentation by Hermès for their Women’s Ready-to-Wear Fall Winter 2021 collection was a documentary by Sébastien Lifshitz around the show. The fashion designer further internatises the premise of creativity with “If we cannot go anywhere, if we cannot travel, then the show will have to come to us… And that is how we came to the idea of something beyond an actual, physical performance.”

Her solution to this physical dilemma was a show shot/staged in three different locations – New York, Paris and Shanghai and woven together as a testament of a borderless world for the creative mind. The entire piece went live in different time zones – 8-30 am in New York, 2.30pm in Paris and 9.50pm in Shanghai, while being available to a global audience in a 30 minute thumping video that was akin to seeing a contemporary broadway show.

The performance-centred show begins in New York, at the Armory Show, where choreographer Madeline Hollander will start things off with a free interpretation of the movements gleaned from Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski’s collection.

From there they move on to Paris, the centrepiece of the Hermès WRTW FW21 collection that’s a mix of practicality and whimsy. There were utilitarian jackets, fringed pocho-parkas, minutely pleated midi-skirts, and scarf-print dresses all that were astute yet beautifully constructed.

Finally, the show closes in Shanghai where dancers under the direction of choreographer Gu Jiani will conclude the triptych performance. The three different stages represent Vanhée-Cybulski’s desire for travel in uncomplicated times and women’s ability to create even while being stuck in a rut.

A closer look at the Hermès WRTW FW21 show also reveals intelligent accessory choices that are born out of functionality, desire for movement and of course, pay an ode to the French maison’s classics.

It’s not just a Birkin

The bag that literally stole the show at the Hermès WRTW FW21 show was the Birkin 3-in-1 bag. Much like the triptych theme of the show, this multi-functional bag can be used as a regular Birkin, a tote and a clutch that is actually the bag’s interior pochette. This versatile piece elevates the iconic Birkin and we can’t help but feel that the Togo calfskin in midnight blue and the Denim canvas in indigo are going to be the jean replacement for the street style denim looks.

Smartphone bags are the new must-have

Let’s admit it, we might leave our luxe accessories behind but never a smartphone. Providing a solution to this phone-induced dependency is the Hermesway smartphone case with compartments for various tech and fashion accessories. Minimalistic and functional, this piece is available in Epsom calfskin, Swift calfskin and box calfskin in black.

Lipstick touch-ups on the move

At first glance at the Hermès WRTW FW21 show runway we thought the models were strutting around a miniature sanitiser case around their necks, a need of the hour truth be told. On closer inspection though, we realised the pièce de résistance, hidden under jackets, was actually the Hermès Kiss Holder lipstick case, another functional accessory crafted in Barénia calfskin in fawn.

Key to Kelly

Another Hermès’ classic named after, American actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, the Kelly bag is known for its iconic fastener. Taking this style a notch higher is the AlphaKelly double bracelet. This stylish wrist strap is designed in Swift calfskin with a snap hook and palladium-finish metal.

All images: Courtesy Hermès

Akshita Nahar Jain
Sr Associate Editor
Akshita Nahar Jain has worked with various publications, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Bride, and Time Out Delhi, and written extensively on fashion and lifestyle. A sucker for alliteration and shows with more style than script, she enjoys scrolling the web for less travelled destinations.