PARIS, France — There was laundry hanging around in the Cloître des Corderliers, setting quite a Neopolitan rather than Parisian scene for the Hermés show tonight. It was white shirts, wifebeaters and boxer shorts, and black socks. The men essentials, apparently. As predictably non fashiony as it can possibly get.
It felt curiously completely at odds with a collection that toyed insistently with ideas of modernity and speed — the qualities usually associated with a sporty, active lifestyle. Veronique Nichanian likes to take the normal, even the boring, and give it the Hermès twist — using beautiful leathers for technical looking pieces, for instance, or putting the highest level of craft on a t-shirt, done in agreau plongé, no less. Of late, she's pushing a general and apparent rejuvenation of the house’s codes.
This season, it felt fresh rather than forced. The windbreakers, colourful parkas and elasticated-cuff trousers had energy and appeal. Nothing groundbreaking or challenging, that's for sure. Just superbly made updated classics, which is what Hermès stands for after all. The hanging laundry was just distracting visual noise.