Hermès basks in the warmth of a summer afternoon
today Jun 24, 2018
After their last show in the cloister of Paris' Hôtel de l'Artillerie in January, Hermès headed to another cloister, this time at the Cordeliers church, currently occupied by the Pierre and Marie Curie School of Medicine, to present its spring/summer 2019 menswear collection. Above rolling hills of hydrangeas, clothes were hung out to dry on lines strung from one window to another – shirts, boxer shorts, jumpers, socks. It was a family atmosphere in which to present a wardrobe which was intended to be, above all, wearable – sophisticated, but laid back.
"I wanted real clothes, for real life, for real men! Clothes to feel good in, but also clothes which make you want and desire them. A kind of chic casual that's sophisticated and very sexy", explained Hermès' Creative Director Véronique Nichanian, who, season after season, manages to distil a timeless, modern aesthetic into her collections.
Models wore either polished lace-up shoes with no socks or comfortable leather sandals, sporting fresh, summery outfits in which comfort and airiness were subtly combined with a touch of luxury. Straight drawstring trousers, shorts and jogging pants zipped at the ankle were paired with jumpers, loose t-shirts open at the shoulder, natty little jackets and windbreakers or weightless rain coats.
Behind this apparent simplicity, however, the essence of Hermès luxury was present through the use of incomparably fine materials. Zipped hooded sweatshirts were made in a technical calfskin that looked like silk, or lambskin that resembled nylon and felt like chiffon to the touch.
Lambskin was also used in ultra-soft suits, while suede jackets were constructed out of four different shades of grey. Toilbright, the house's patented feather-light waterproof fabric with micro chevrons, was used in hooded shirts with short, shimmering sleeves.
The palette oscillated between faded shades of cement, old rose, wine dregs and grey-blue, and warm, bright colours. "I wanted to create lively accents with oranges, yellows and turquoise, like whiplashes, or an electric shock, introducing new harmonies," explained the designer.
When it came to the evening wardrobe, however, the palette settled down with shades of white, beige and ecru. One model zipped a suede jacket over his bare chest, while another paired a trompe-l'œil distressed linen jumper nonchalantly with white shorts and sandals, all of which gave this season's Hermès man a certain caddish allure. "It's time for a late afternoon aperitif in the last warmth of summer..." said Véronique Nichanian with a parting smile.
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