Menswear Spring 2021
Pictures by Hermès
BEHIND THE SCENES
A Perfectly Curated Peek into the Making of an Hermès Collection
By this point, a designer showing a behind-the-scenes look of the styling and pre-production of a collection is not a new concept. Many labels have used this tool in place of a live show during quarantined seasons to varying degrees of success. But none have provided the artistic eye and subtle theatrics of Hermès Menswear designer Véronique Nichanian, who enlisted the help of experimental theater director Cyril Teste to capture her Spring 2021 collection.
Filmed in the bright and cheerful foyer of Les Ateliers Hermès in Pantin, on the outskirts of Paris, the show begins with a model, dressed in a light blue striped blazer atop a white baggy long-sleeved t-shirt and solid blue pants, awaiting his cue in a glass elevator above the bustle of the work below. A male voice is audible off-camera providing direction in French (“en trois, deux, un…”) as the elevator descends into the foyer and we catch a glimpse of Nichanian, who offers a slight smile as she adjusts another model’s gently striped blue suit with matching zippered shirt. The camera continues to pan the room in single-shot motion, sliding past dressing models, a tech table of computer screens and zooming in on close-up details such as a hidden chaîne d’ancre printed over the faint striping of a light jacket, a detail that most likely would have been lost on a runway. The film carries on to show the action of the collection, a model buckling his leather sandals, another on his phone leaning against a pillar, a close up of a Slim d’Hermès watch, and so on. This is not a chaotic backstage environment. It is controlled and calm and artistic, such as the Hermès way should dictate.
Although the video only captured 18 looks, the full collection is composed of 26, which were photographed for a lookbook. The color palette is soothing and comforting with muted blues, tans, and greys. A pop of florescent yellow is the only jolt in the series, appearing on an untucked shirt with its collar popped, a belt left loose and dangling, and in small details such as the inside collar of a light jacket. The clothes were equally as comforting with drawstring pants, airy sweater vests, and unbuttoned shirts with the cuffs rolled up.
Written by Elizabeth Kramsky