This is the last show we’re covering for Paris Fashion Week and it’s nice to end on a note that’s comfortable, attractive, and wearable without looking like everything else we’ve seen this season. This is Christophe Lemaire’s last collection for the label, and he ends on a soft, elegant note like a nice wine leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth.
Sand was scattered across the runway, telegraphing how soft and flowing the collection would be. Neutral tones were so dominant early in the presentation that they almost blended in with the room. We were over half way through the collection before prints started bringing in a wider range of color. Even with the prints, though, colors stay muted and quiet. The orange in the final look, about as loud as it gets, is more like that of a waning sunset than glaring noon brightness.
Silhouettes, likewise, are soft and flowing. Think split curved hem jackets, button down shirt dresses, “boyfriend” slacks, tunics tied ever so gently at the hips. One well received and often repeated look flows across the front then around the back of the neck, leaving a stretch of fabric on the opposite side that looks a bit as though a scarf is flowing gently in the breeze. Long coats without collars, leather wrapped skirts, suits with plenty of room, and even some pleated skirts in relaxed linen are all the kind of looks that lead one to breath a long, relaxing sigh.
Collections like this are why Hermes has been around since 1837. Nothing here is over the top, offensive, startling, daring, or adventurous. This is casual, relaxed, but sophisticated daywear that wears its luxury not loudly, but in the understated elegance of clothes simply made well with high quality materials. There are no power suits nor swim suits. Hermes is for a more mature woman who has outgrown the nonsense of clothes locked into a short-lived trend. Looks are unquestionably contemporary, but in a way that will still look good five years from now. Fasteners, shoes, and hand bags are likely the most dated pieces in the collection.
Hermes is the clothes that elegant women want to wear every day and Lemaire leaves the house with a collection of which he can be proud. Every piece here is a winner, 100 percent wearable, 100 percent graceful. What better way could there be to end a month of fashion and a week in Paris? Well done, and thank you.
Photo credit: Yannis Vlamos