Dispatches from Paris: Miu Miu & Hermès

Rebecca Lowthorpe reports

MOST POPULAR
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

GIF: Miu Miu, Hermès, s/s 2015 - IMAXTREE

As Paris Fashion Week came to a close yesterday, the season’s retro trend showed no sign of slowing down. With two of fashion’s most influential shows, Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu, both offering twists on the Sixties and Seventies. Yawn? Not really. It was Nicolas Ghesquière’s strongest show for Vuitton to date (admittedly, there have only been two) and Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu girl was a brilliantly believable bratty bad girl, in a 1960s housecoat, pencil skirt and ruffled crop top.  

MOST POPULAR

Miu Miu's music said it all: the girl group Shangri-Las’ Past, Present and Future mixed over Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, reflected Prada’s rebellious-fashion-is-feminist attitude, but with a wry smile and, possibly, even a wink. Leave the serious and sophisticated subversiveness (and homage-paying tributes) to Prada – this seemed refreshingly free of convoluted reference points, broadcasting pure bad-taste-as-good-taste fun.

Mrs P gives good coat. The 1960s housecoat being one of her chief fetishes – that, and they must have done cracking good business last spring. Spring for coats? They drop in stores in January, remember, so here in every permutation: plain wool, textured jacquards, striped with suede, trimmed with fur, luxed up with rich brocades, or polished leather and quilted in boudoir pink. The collection popped with colour: scarlet and turquoise for ruffled, cropped blouses that left bare skin above those belted pencil skirts; irresistibly tarty, actually, reminiscent of chief school rebel, a deliciously expert flirt.   

What of the shoes? Pointy and bowed with an exaggerated curving skinny heel or great clumping wedges, and worn with socks, of course – ‘kawaii’ as the Japanese would say. The bags were sensible (as in guaranteed sellers) in look-at-me brights, a few of them came quilted for that extra selfie-worth value. Mrs Prada’s intention may not be to serve street style's finest but, as ever, she managed to do just that.

IMAGE: Miu Miu, Hermès, s/s 2015 - IMAXTREE

The same could not be said of Hermès. Indeed, street style and Hermès should never be mentioned in the same breath. A supple suede beige cardigan is never going to make photographers in the street shoot while running backwards, knocking pedestrians over like skittles in the same way they do for rainbow-patchworked brocades, ankle socks and comedy shoes.

This was Christophe Lemaire’s last collection for Hermes after four years at the house; he is leaving to concentrate on his eponymous label. So he summed up the ease and gentle spirit of Hermès with pale, slim clothes that folded and draped: loose cotton shirt dresses were wrapped at the hip like a casual sweater, long pleat skirts fell in asymmetric hems, and suede and leather coats in rich tan whispered a super-conservative, luxury lifestyle. Occasionally, looks chimed with the fashion times: a white broderie anglaise smock dress or a black leather shirt worn with narrow trousers and loafers, but Lemaire has always understood that the Hermès customer wants to wear her wealth discreetly – and effortlessly. So nothing screamed Fashion – even the prints in deep cherry red, richly checked or peacock patterned in navy were classic Hermès to the core.

Hermès named Lemaire’s replacement back in July – Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, who comes to the house all the essential experience – she comes from The Row and Céline. Her first collection for autumn/winter 2015 will be shown next March.

More from ELLE UK: