Hermès S/S 2016

When less is more

A salutary lesson in the art of less being considerably more from the house of Hermès. All the way from the charming staging, where the pampered editors perched on simple wooden school chairs to the correctly chilled champagne, whose after-taste reminded one of expensive English country biscuits. A key test of good bubbly, by the way, perhaps not enough appreciated by all our French cousins.

Suede pants will never look better Hermès
Suede pants will never look better

But, above all, it was the arty restraint of the clothes, whose meeting of downplayed luxury and quiet panache was so in keeping with the whole spirit of this great brand.

One could write paragraphs about the nobility of the fabrics – and nobody really has better materials than La Maison H, but the distinctive thing about this show was its elegiac sense of ease. And, albeit for a show staged in a 17th century garden, the sunny sense of seaside light.

Hermes also makes wonderful suits Hermès
Hermes also makes wonderful suits

From the opening poplin jackets in faded dinghy sail blue to the rubberized leather jerkins with bold arm stripes to perfectly cut cable knit Galway Bay at dawn blue sweaters.  Even the hippie phase – two-tone blazers in a scattered floral print – was classy and yet completely plausible for Glastonbury.

Showing off the atelier, printed croc Hermès
Showing off the atelier, printed croc

Designer Veronique Nichanian kept the mood witty throughout, notably with a series of Hermès Birkenstock-style sandals and some great seaside totes in a putty leathers.

We’re talking about great America’s Cup racing clothes, albeit more for the owners than the crew.