Unlike the lucky ones who were able to attend Hermès’ second physical show (since the pandemic) in person on Jan 22, fashion moguls from around the world had their eyes glued to screens to marvel at the French maison’s ingenious assemblage of highly-texturised threads.
Created by Véronique Nichanian, the winter collection was all about generating visual interest. While juxtaposition isn’t anything new, Hermès’ deliberate decision to clash contrasting materials, finishes and concepts reflects the active evolution of masculine fashion in the past decade and demonstrates the house’s dialectic interpretation of it. Matts are met with shine, soft silks drape over crisp forms and the line between casual and formal is blurred.
The collection is eccentric. Soft shades and bold hues (notably on linings) are equally favoured, to inject joyful splashes of colour onto monochromatic winter streets. Fluid and rounded silhouettes soften the dandy looks, but their sleekness upholds the Hermès elegance.
When it comes to evening wear, glazed and mirror-effect leathers in addition to satin offer understated glimmer and shine; the patinated beauty of its technical canvases and faded motifs evoke the charm of the passage of time.
Once again, Cyril Teste was invited to direct the show. Its mise-en-scène was set with a selection of tapestries from the Mobilier National, alongside screened sections displaying digital renderings of the original works that gradually shifted and transformed. Is this a jab at accelerated digitisation and counterfeit attempts that run amok because of it or a bittersweet rumination of the loss of physical interaction?
Whatever it may be, the collection encourages one to rediscover light-heartedness and freedom and entices one to touch and stroke the clothes. It is an exhibition of impeccable craftmanship that moves with the times.