Nobody does inconspicuous consumption quite like Hermès. For her spring men’s collection, Véronique Nichanian took her cue from loungewear for tie-print jackets and pants that looked as comfortable as pajamas, and baby-soft lambskin coats that were belted like dressing gowns.
The designer played with opposites, like a navy cotton jumpsuit worn with crocodile slippers, or a python bomber jacket dressed down with a white T-shirt and sandals. Even the house’s trademark prints were muffled — as in the trompe-l’oeil “Cheval ombré” motif, a negative image of a horse, barely visible on a black sweatshirt.
With a couple of canvas Windbreakers, her less-is-more aesthetic flirted with the banal. But the simplicity of this lineup was also its greatest strength. What could be easier than slipping a sailor-style linen top over a pair of turned-up cotton pants?
It was just one of several alternatives to the formal dress shirt, which also included scoop-necked tank tops and linen T-shirts with buttons running down one shoulder.
The clean shapes put the emphasis on the house’s extraordinary craftsmanship. For some, it might require a re-mortgage, but these sumptuous clothes were to buy now, wear now.