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Hermès Womenswear Ready-To-Wear Spring Summer 2022

Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski and Flora Moscovici in conversation

Interview by Philippe Azoury
Images : Villa Eugénie

Nadège, why did you approach Flora Moscovici to produce this work for the 2022 spring-summer collection?
N: I was aware of Flora’s work, I had seen it but I really encountered her painting with her installation at rue de Valois, a magnificent work covering the scaffolding during renovations at the Ministry of Culture. All of a sudden, the street was lit up. Her way of using color to transform public spaces in Paris meshed perfectly with the thought processes my teams and I had been engaged in since the pandemic, our aim being to renew the fashion show experience. Choosing Flora was an obvious choice: I needed something light-filled, solar, an intensely physical approach to painting.

Had you already decided to have the show at Le Bourget when you started working together?
N: Le Bourget was always our priority. We wanted a space at once monumental and open-ended.

Flora, working in situ, with foreknowledge of the places where you intend to pose and expose, is your method...
F: Location is often the starting-off point of my work. Context is always key. I take over a space. At the beginning of the spring when Nadège and I began to talk about the show, the space had yet to be decided upon.
But I was able to participate in the visits of prospective spaces; I was also privy to the early plans for scenography. This was of utmost importance since it allowed me to plan and project. I began imagining these large paintings, the Panoramas (around six meters high and nine meters wide). There are twelve now, as well as five that are seven meters wide. The initial twelve are hung in a circular manner and move forward, sliding and overlapping. In layers. The others also move, but in different directions.

In a 2016 exhibition, La Traversante, that was held in Paris at the Triple V Galerie, rue Louise Weiss, you painted the ceiling. Will you be doing that at Le Bourget, too?
F: No, this time the ceiling’s purposes will be purely it as one would a brush, overlapping tones. Each painting has around twenty colors mixed in.
N: I love the fact that Flora uses a totally industrial tool to head somewhere else. It’s always great to transform a tool. It fills me with optimism that one can always turn the trivial into the ethereal.

How was it to work together? What kind of dialogue did you have?
N: More than a dialogue, we both moved forward like two creative people used to working in a very solitary manner, concentrated on the tasks at hand, using few words, preferring the “language of silence.” Flora is a visionary who turns everything she touches into something both luminous and weightless. Though deeply anchored in the earth, she always manages to find the highest point of elevation. Had we talked too much we might have disrupted the momentum without which her work cannot thrive.
Also: she instinctively understands the Hermès approach, the work of the hand, the importance of craft. She also has an intensely precise approach to gesture. When we spoke of color and material, we both understood what feminine outline we were designing: a sun-kissed woman open to the world. We discussed the meaning of yellow at length: the color of wheat, yes, but also in Antiquity it was the maternal color, the color of women. The first few times Flora and I got together she had a book with her by Georges Didi-Huberman, The Man Who Walked in Color – the title of which I was immediately taken with.

What will now become of the paintings?
N: For Flora and for us, they exist as works of art in their own right. We are currently thinking of the best way to preserve and show them, elsewhere, at a later date.
F: It’s both a set design and a work of art. I love that double status and it was something that came up at the very beginning of our exchanges. Nadège was very receptive to the fact that what we were dealing with first and foremost was an artistic act.


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