PFW: HERMES F/W 2014

It’s all over but the packing. When Christophe Lemaire exited the Hermes runway, the rush for the door, and the airport, was on. This month of fashion weeks has been long, cold, and wet, and I can’t imagine that anyone who has made the trek through all four cities isn’t ready to go home, crawl into bed, and sleep for the next week. Fortunately, everyone had a solid, attractive, and not overly-complicated show on which to end.

Hermes is clothing for grown ups, the kind of refinement I wish more people, men and women, would aspire to put in their wardrobe. Tasteful and stylish but not overdone in any manner, Hermes is consistently a line of quiet sophistication without being pretentious. Today’s show continued that trend with a line classically cut and tailored, full of confidence and tastefulness.

Colors were totally seasonal, heavy on browns and greens, but also delightful with a winter white that was not the least bit out of place. Fabrics ran from wool to linen, leather to silk, with occasional touches of fur and sheepskin, but nothing over done or ostentatious. Most of the looks are monochrome and necessarily so. Pairing even a pastel with any of these looks is going to increase the volume. Even the prints, beautiful, vivid, and far from simple in some cases, keep a quiet sort of elegance. If clothes could talk, these would whisper discreetly and only when necessary.

Coats are a highlight and those that are oversize with immense lapels are likely to be the most popular. One doesn’t need to stop looking good just because one has to go out into the weather. Designed to drape themselves over the body, these coats are almost as attractive as the clothes beneath them, yet, once again, they don’t overstep their place. Properly paired with the correct ensemble, the coats are a compliment to rather than an exception from the overall aesthetic.

All the silhouettes are full, with several pieces having a distinct masculine style, especially with the suits. Belts cinch a few of the looks, but any other shape comes naturally from things such a tucking a blouse into a waistband. Hem lines all run long with nothing going above the knee and the majority going all the way down to mid-calf.

One final touch of refinement comes in the footwear. Where as so many other collections have paired boots of various heights, Hermes more often stays with strapped heels paired with thick wool socks rolled down to the ankle. I know, typing that sounds a bit on the geeky side, rather like an old country woman than a look for class and style. When the correct colors are paired together, though, the look works surprisingly well and does a good job of keeping the foot warm as long as one avoids the inevitable puddles.

Watching the Hermes show this afternoon was like giving a soft sigh of satisfaction on Paris Fashion Week. After all the hype and pomp and production, it was nice to end with a collection of clean lines and refined classicism. I still wish more people would dress like this. Given a collection this well done, perhaps they will.

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