Hermes has become a byword for simple, unpretentious luxury. With panache, veteran menswear designer Veronique Nichanian proved this again in a classy and masculine showing for autumn-winter 2013. A more muted palette than last season was broken up with bright flashes of golden yellow.
There was no far-flung concept, gimmick or muse, unlike most Paris shows, simply because none was needed. Nichanian — who’s been at the helm of this family-run business an incredible 22 years now — is an expert at letting the clothes do the talking.
There was indeed a lot to be said.
The 44 looks ranged from on-trend loose but structured naval trenches, to short peacoats, tight black calfskin pants, via turtlenecks, jacquard silk pullovers and fitted double breasted tuxedo in black wool and mohair which were fit for a prince.
The unity in the diverse collection was to be found in the sumptuous fabrics. The programme notes read like a luxury encyclopedia: double-face cashmere, alpaca, winter gabardine, ribbed nubuck calfskin, shearling, chiffon crocodile, mink and velvety cotton suede, to name but a few.
Sitting in the front row, former Hermes CEO Patrick Thomas, tried to put his finger on the enduring allure of the house — one of fashion’s biggest success stories of the last decade.
Was there a secret?
“No, no. There’s no secret. But it’s not about ostentation, pretention, or trying to show you’ve got money,” Thomas said.
“It’s just the simplicity, and excellence of the fabrics.”