Scene setting: Véronique Nichanian looked at themes of open air and warmth for Hermès’ latest menswear collection, staging the A/W18 show in the former cloister of the monastery of St Thomas Aquinas. The courtyard catwalk was dressed with eight square metal columns that were stuffed with wood and set ablaze. The roaring crackle of the fire spat glowing embers into the evening air. It created an elegant spectacle, which is exactly what you would expect of Nichanian’s clothes.
Mood board: Menswear is shifting in myriad ways. The fledgling designers of London are breaking down gender labels with an LGBTQ edge. In Milan, sportswear is seen in the collections by the most traditional tailoring mills. In Paris, a clutch of young brands shows modern basics like sharp jeans, neat bomber jackets and good wool coats in relentless catwalk style. Hermès is happily outside of these conversations – its clothes have a mature veracity. Blousons with bomber proportions, elasticated waist and leather cuff trousers; the coats with removable sheepskin collars. They each sit above and beyond the noise.
Best in show: The collection had a more generous volume giving a more casual, unzipped mood. Fabrics were the fine skins and cashmeres as expected yet they had a franker appeal. Soft lambskin was rubberised on a hooded blouson. The maison’s water-repellent Toilbright technical fabric which was last season cut into lightweight sporty blousons was shown quilted on zip-up coats and shirts. Their two toned nutty brown and red colour had a snug, burnished patina.