Season after season the generous show notes that Hermès places on each seat are filled with detailed descriptions of every outfit. There are also pages dedicated to a list of colors, silhouettes or fabrics used in creating the ultra luxe lineup. But when it comes to the inspiration aspect of the program they often read like a haiku poem in need of deciphering.
For the spring/summer 2015 collection designer Véronique Nichanian offered up the following verse in her decades long sartorial sonnet at Hermès:
A manifesto of prints.
Solar, cavalier charm.
Nichanian pretty much nailed it in those three simple lines.
This collection was a clear exploration of prints. There was an abundance of florals, with blooms both micro and macro getting time to shine on the catwalk. Graphic patterns were also out in equal force coming crafted in a fractal design sliced through with asymmetrical lines of black, as if a sharpie pen had be taken to it in a fit of DIY embellishment. And then there was the slightly industrial print that Nichanian dubbed “Glitch” as if the patternmaker had gone on the fritz in the middle of creating the design. Each one of these prints was rather strong in its own way, so the designer smartly watered down their power by running them in very light colors such as sand, limestone or creamy white to make them more palatable.
If print was the big story of the show, maybe it was its abundance that caused the eye to focus on and enjoy those pieces that were left unadorned. Oohs and Ahhs were heard when the first zip front cotton voile shirt appeared. Crafted as it was so that the fabric thinned to a semi transparent state, to delineate its edges. Also technically impressive was a single button black jacket constructed out of thin ribbons of cotton to create a pinstripe effect. It was the perfect example of the superior craftsmanship at work at Hermès. Additionally, a number of crewneck cotton sweaters bisected with knitted silk for a clever stripe effect left a long and lingering impression.
It was, and continues to be, the ability of Nichanian to make even everyday attire exceptional that keeps Hermès at the top of the menswear luxury pyramid.