September 24, 2011

Relaxed luxury by Hermes

It was Coco Chanel who said that “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise, it is not luxury.” And this season, the collection shown by another Fashion House, equally prestigious, to say the least, seems to have squeezed out the quintessence of this saying.

Now let’s talk about Hermès, the brand under the patronage of a god who, in Greek mythology, is the protector of guess what? TRADE! Funny coincidence, isn’t it?! There is no wonder, then, that each and every piece coming out of the hot oven of the French fashion house is sold like hotcakes all over the world.

Hermès is a brand seductive through its classical elegance unaffected by the passage of time, proposed with each new collection, and this particular feeling must be also induced by the fact that the creative department of the menswear line is run by the same designer, already as notorious as the brand itself.

Véronique Nichanian, a graduate of l’École de Design de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture counts among the most long-lived creative directors of a fashion house ever. After 12 years of working side by side with Cerruti, Nichanian has been in charge of the prêt-a-porter line for men for well over two decades.

Some time ago I read an interview where VN was saying that it was not fashion she made, but objects. Because each piece of clothing is treated individually, every detail is approached in the utmost preciseness, since Hermès policy is to offer elements of wardrobe capable to go beyond trends. The aim pursued is not to invent a fresh new look, as fashion invariably targets by definition, but to concentrate all efforts on the actual clothing items so that they may be turned into genuine objects of art in terms of their quality and elegance, without further experimenting, however, into the land of innovative design.

And this is exactly what she offered for the summer of 2012. The bourgeois image of the Hermès homme was twisted 180 degrees and turned into a leisure look of exquisite sophistication through the detachment exhibited.

Pyjama pants made of gabardine, casual jackets of Étrivière lambskin or crocodile leather, soft cashmere blousons or extra fine cotton shirts, Hussar blue waistcoats of a mixture of fibres particularly treated to get the raffia effect, short pants in colourful hues, all this summed up the French chic dose which is to reach the stores next year.

I must confess I expected more rigour from Hermès, but the collection designed by Véronique Nichanian was like a mouthful of oxygen, perfectly fit to go well with scarves of joyful prints and sandals in a burst of acid colours. Although she is among the few women designing for men’s line, the voices acclaiming Nichanian for her insight and intuition of what men want in terms of clothing are not few at all.

If you ask me, I’ll give a big TEN to the top model casting. If, last year, Jean Paul Gaultier simply seduced his feminine audience with his improvised hammam on a catwalk jam-packed with models one more eligible than the other for winning the Mister World pageant, this year show by Hermès has been among the few shows which did not follow the trend of putting in effeminate masculine top models aged 15 to 17 years.

As a mere fashion “consumer”, I can only say: Thank you!
For an authentic show!

Splendid victorious smile of Véronique Nichanian