Access to the Hermés backstage tents at the Garde Républicaine in Paris required a good amount of security and government identification for a reason: It’s the training centre of the horses of French Republican Guard, which could be seen trotting around the grounds and pausing next to piles of hay in stables. They even worked their way into the beauty inspiration for the show, reminding a tech-tied world that a the good life is still found in nature.
When creative director Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski relayed her collection notes, what stuck out what the idea of “springtime in a meadow, feeling alive from the light of the sun,” said Gregoris Pyrpylis, creative director of Hermès Beauty of what their muse would be doing on a truly luxurious weekend. Rather than creating content or restaurant hopping, “it’s about taking your friends and going and laying down on the grass,” Pyrpylis explained. It’s “soft on the skin, a lot of silk and cashmere — beauty, but also comfort.” They share an ethos. “I’ve always said that whenever you feel good, you look good,” says Pyrpylis, adding that it’s also part of the house’s heritage. “Since day one, Thierry Hermès was creating harnesses and saddles that became known not just because they would be beautiful objects, but that they would really bring comfort to the horse and also the person — he had four beautiful daughters, and they had this athletic lifestyle and were riding.”
To illustrate the feeling with his forthcoming Le Regard Hermès collection, the runway look was designed to naturally filter, but never “mask,” models’ features. For satiny skin to match the clothes, a sheer tint of Plein Air Enhancing Complexion Balm on the face, a gentle (not contoured) dusting of H Trio Healthy Glow Mineral Powder and dab of Lip Balm on the cheeks.
Under the bright catwalk lights and without heavy cosmetics, small details make all the difference. Pyrpylis believes in curling lashes (including his own every morning) to “let the light in,” and designed a new curler to deliver a safer, softer bend. Although his new Trait d’Hermès Mascaras will soon arrive in subtle navy and aubergine hues to help “transform” and define gazes, models wore the brown and black shades tailored to their complexions, while the Rosy Lip Enhancer formula he applied delivered intuitive colour-matching with a texture that “become one with the skin, just like the collection.”
Meanwhile, the meticulously organised team prepared the runway for the with an immersive installation of field florals and grasses. “When I spoke to Jodie [Barnes, show stylist], we talked about the girl who was in nature and maybe had come out of a lake and just combed her hair back,” said hairstylist Gary Gill. He paused in front of a table lined with neat rows of products including familiar backstage bottles of Bumble and bumble Prep Primer, cans of L’Oréal Professional Paris Infinium Pure 6 hair spray, and tubes of Schwarzkopf got2b Ultra Glued Indestrucible Styling gel for another high-shine “luxury finish.” This satiny hair idea started by going through “old Vidal Sassoon references” with Barnes, and it was important for Gill to “have a contrast of the softness of the set, the very gentle environment.”
This sense of gentle refinement in the beauty is meant to work in any environment, and any time. “In the morning you will look beautiful, if you stay the whole day in the meadow into the evening, you will look still beautiful,” said Pyrpylis with a smile. “It’s beauty that starts by taking care of yourself.”
This article was originally published on British Vogue.