A men’s show at Hermès carries the promise of a few key ingredients: sumptuous leathers, elegant tailoring and an intrepid way with pattern. Véronique Nichanian’s spring collection delivered all three in spades, with an impressively light-handed touch.
The designer worked tissue-thin lambskin into elegant cardigans, jackets and narrow pants. Tie-dye patterns blossomed on filmy silk knits, and on a cobalt blue shirt in a paisley-printed silk twill. The haute hippie looks set the casual tone of the display, which spotlighted that rare and fascinating breed: the leisure class.
A loose gray sweater with an open polo collar and contrasting white stripes seemed immune to the passage of time: It could have been lifted from a Jacques Henri Lartigue photograph, or spotted last week at the Meadow Club. Two-button suits were worn with chunky sandals, signaling a casual disregard for established rules.
Nichanian took a risk with the sulfur yellow shade that was the guiding thread of the show. The acid-bright color worked its way onto canvas weekend bags and an equine-themed camouflage print. It was a calculated move: the dissonant note helped to bring the rest of the tasteful display into sharper focus.