Hermès: sophisticated and suave, yet also rather serious
Sophisticated, suave, sleek though not terribly sexy, the latest pre-collection from the house of Hermès had all the virtues, and occasional faults, of this storied house.
One could only admire the perfectly cut calf-skin leather dresses, shirts and coat-dresses made in hues of butter, petrol blue lilac or Connemara marble green, all the better for being finished with some genial perforated or laser cut patterns; geometric or askew.
The opening salvo of cutout jumpsuits and double-breasted redingotes in the creamiest of cashmeres were all flawlessly cut, though somewhat oddly worn with leather flip-flops. The models appearing in several beautiful medallion-print chemises and party frocks that were truly charming in this Spring-Summer 2019 pre-collection shown on the opening Sunday of Paris couture.
All clutching various versions of the Kelly bag, from humongous in white canvas with raspberry leather trim; to super cute in boxy straw with a white topping. All of them looked great, and already, one imagines, have extensive waiting lists.
Presented to an audience of some 120 editors and clients on the second floor of the brand’s Faubourg Saint-Honoré flagship, redone with a runway of crushed hay, the show had a marvelous soundtrack. A live band named Perfume Genius playing a delightful wee concert throughout the runway show, the lead singer performing great melodramatic paroxysms – much to the delight of dolled-up fashionistas.
However, a series of yellow and pink plaid beach windbreaker-colored one-shoulder dresses and flared skirts added nothing to the proceedings, nor did the rather banal raingear. And overall, the clothes, while suggesting poise and polish, were far too restrained. Thanks to its ability to market and produce great discreet luxury Hermès has built a mega brand that is currently the darling of the Paris stock market. Incredibly, earlier this year Hermès was valued at more than Kering, a multi-brand conglomerate.
Yet, this collection suffered from the fact that while adding grace and self-assured attitude it also added age. And, no matter what the share price of Hermès on the Paris Bourse tells you, no woman, or man for that matter, is terribly keen on ageing.
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