Christophe Lemaire offers it all at Hermes
Before Christophe Lemaire was at the helm of Hermes, the designer’s DNA was very much embedded in utility sportswear. And so he reprised his roots here at the ultimate French heritage house.
He fused sportswear with bold cubist blocks of colour (that appeared even on the supersize-me Birkins) and Asia – a consistent source of inspiration for this designer – and traditional Hermes’ scarf prints.
He also mixed last season’s masculine vibe – one cream suit worn with a silk necktie, clasped at the knot with a silver hoop – with more floaty femininity, in the form of fluid silk trousers and draped tops or skirts wafting a trailing hem. Then he went into more stark minimalist territory with a black and white leather jacket or t-shirt and shorts in luxury turquoise croc. And then he added in his utility jackets with large saddle bag pockets for good measure. On top of all this, he also played with the house’s signature leather – to great effect – on a kimono shaped tunic and jacket made with plaited leather.
But while the collection as a whole was youthful and will no doubt appeal to Hermes’ younger customer, it lacked the single concise thread to stitch it all together. He seemed to want to put a bit of everything in this collection – minimal yet romantic, masculine yet feminine, sporty yet bohemian – but in such a clear-headed, single themed season, the audience struggled to find a coherent vision.