Saturday, January 22, 2011



A plush ending for a pretty plush show @ Hermes
To an extent, the sizable elegance that Hermes is known for may seem like an ellipse rather than an exclamation point or a period when after every collection it looks that only so little has changed. The materials are almost the same, the trousers tweaked to look like more "now" 70s cuts, the jackets pretty much classic and the chunky sweaters almost identical to the others already spun and sold in stores. But why stick to Hermes when it may approach like a tiring formula? 

The reason, I believe is consistency. To confuse consistency with being stagnant is a terrible mistake. I hold myself a fan of Veronique Nichanian because like most of the great designers of our time, she has the same bone of consistency and cohesiveness that her contemporaries have. Sure, these looks you could've seen before under the same name, but like Tomas Maier's claim there is indeed little you can do to menswear and if there is anything a designer should be responsible for, is for making that "little" into something big. 

The statement at Hermes was quiet luxury, true to what the name stands for. The plush looks like rich, straight-to-the-point long coats and gloriously handsome leather coats that make like the new "sexy" for men, cinching waists small and leaving strong shoulders and adding volume for the hips were only two of the chicest  offerings of the show. There were bulky ivory numbers like a sterling, high-collared coat Paolo Roldan sported, paired with a strikingly, printed scarf of cream and sky blue. A well-designed camel coat, buttoned big and detailed with discreetly placed zippers down the side. A brick red zip-up cardigan worn great with plain, tailored trousers and pointy leather shoes (plus a giant black bag) looked great for work and when wrapped with the scarf, goes for bars or night outs and still feels and looks dignified. Huge knit sweaters in optimistic colors like bright blue and sunflower yellow could fit a 21 year old and wear as elegantly on a 60 year old. But the finer points in the collection came in somber, darker hues like an olive, fatigue coat accentuated by a blue-gray shirt so amazing even without the trouble of accessories or eye-catching anything. The all-black looks were sophisticated and the other juxtapositions of dark colors on a look like a hoodie in rich deep brown, almost a dark green actually with gray-blue sleeves impressed with so much depth that it could stand well by itself. 

If it's all just color-on-color therapy Nichanian is doing, looks won't be as beautiful. But the trick is played well when materials such as leather, velvet it seems and an inky, noisy cloth that looks like tweed are put into making such good looks. All of these factors make up an impression of depth for the clothes, reason why they not only feel (and are) luxurious but also look it. 

A consistent designer at a consistently elegant and heavy-weight label is a champion formula for times when trends and mentalities are taking on more practical and aged ways. Besides, now a days, only a few of us confuse being strong at something and sticking to it a weakness...For those who think it is, they'll eventually know better.



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