A Breath of Fresh Air at Hermès

The French brand closes fashion week with a collection that is quintessentially Parisian.


The Hermès show today was the last on my schedule, the endnote of an eventful week. The setting at the L’Orangerie, a greenhouse filled with lush vegetation, was perfect for a Spring presentation. The plants were dappled with light from the afternoon sun, and the pebbles crunched underfoot (well done to the models who navigated these stones in high heels).

Many people, including myself, were still talking about designer Christophe Lemaire’s Fall 2013 show from February. That collection was a perfect combination of restrained luxury—so elegant, so completely French. It was one of his best to date and a tough act to follow, not in the least because with Hermès, it often comes down to the fabrication, and layering and texture is simply easier in Fall.

This being Hermès, Lemaire still worked with skins for Spring—there was a crocodile skirt in daffodil yellow, a green leather trench, and a teal suede dress—and yet they didn’t feel too heavy, especially in the mix with the linen suiting and crisp white shirting. On that note, the strongest element of the show was the color palette, which developed nicely from darker, cooler shades to fresh whites and muted tones (very Meryl Streep in Out of Africa).

The silhouette was simple and one of ease; loose fitting but cinched at the waist, and although little skin was shown, the look was undeniably sensual. It was a fitting end to Paris Fashion Week: nothing is more Parisian than Hermès, and Lemaire seems to be flexing that more and more each time with great success.