There is no hard-and-fast rule that dictates a designer must adhere to a definitive theme on his or her runway, but it’s nice to be able to put your finger on the big idea. Midway through Christophe Lemaire’s show for Hermès, it was time to stop waiting for the coherent vision to present itself and accept that this was a random assortment of clothes.
There were beautiful pieces, most of which could be defined as classics, that hit the house standards of luxury, craftsmanship and exceptional leather work: a crisp white shirt and shorts accessorized with a long, slim scarf that was cinched at the neck, a clean white leather jacket with a sharp collar and boxy shape and a few trenchcoats among them. A Birkin weekender done in toile and a caramel-colored leather backpack provided new fuel for the almighty accessories business.
Lemaire struggled to put the Hermès’ signatures in a new context, touching on luxed-up workwear via shorts with awkward extended leather pockets and suspenders that brought to mind a utility belt. There were also moments of sporty minimalism and an ode to Asia — a consistent resource for Lemaire — in kimono details on a jacket made from multicolored strips of woven leather, and the scarf prints worn mismatched on draped shirts and pants.